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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1

    Default Flail or finish mower?

    Hey Guys. Just ordered a TC24DA with FEL and 4 ft shredder for my lawn and landscape business as well as my 5 acre estate/farm. I'm trying to decide whether to order a 5 ft flail mower or 6 ft finish mower. Dealer says tractor should have no problem pulling either.
    I already have a commercial zero turn with a 5 foot deck and a commercial walk behind with a 4 foot deck so that kind of takes care of my finish mower needs. The 6 foot deck on the finish mower behind the tractor would be nice however.
    My problem recently is rocks thrown from the mower. One of my clients is a cancer research center at a major university. The labs there have big plate glass windows, two of which I have broken in as many months. The last one happened despite the mulching plate being installed. I don't even want to know the price of some of the equipment inside the labs should a rock make it inside the building.
    I'm hoping a flail mower would keep rocks contained as well as provide a nice cut. I operated one years ago for a summer. I remember it working well and don't recall a problem with airborne objects. Any experience or advice regarding flail mowers would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    612
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    Ride,

    Flail mowers are probably the safest you can find with regard to throwing objects. For that reason they are often used for schoolyards, parks, and public areas.

    The major disadvantage is that when the blades need sharpening, it takes much longer than with rotary blades. Some offer a special grinder that allows for sharpening on the mower without removing each knife. Otherwise you have to remove every single knife to do the job. That can take a very long time.

    With regard to your current mower tossing objects that broke the 2 windows, maybe you could mow in the direction that expells the grass away from buildings for at least 3 - 4 rounds. I assume also that you have not removed or tied up the deflector chute That might be your overall least expensive solution.

    JackIL

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    38
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Tractor
    JD 4100, (2) JD 4400s, Gehl 5635DXT Skid Steer, Gehl 7800 Skid Steer, JD 110TLB

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    I have both types and I think you would find the flail mower to be alot of maintenance if you are using it for 'fine' cutting. I use mine only for rough cutting acreas at a time and it works great. JackIL is certainly right about the sharpening, it takes a LONG time. I just put all new flails on mine, 200 of them at 75 cents ea., and over 3 hours of time.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    How about a rear discharge finish mower with the little chains that hang down to prevent launching rocks and so on? We have a Bush Hog RDTH72 like that.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    442
    Location
    kansas (North East)
    Tractor
    YM 2210

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    I think you are thinking good. The flail should work for you and if you use it for fine cutting instead of rough cutting you won't have to sharpen or replace flail too often..... I have broke windows with push mowers, rear steer mowers, lawn tractors etc... I think even with chain guard on a 3 pt finish there would be more risk than with a good quality flail. I think new though flail mowers cost alot more.....

  6. #6
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,523
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    I almost got killed by a mower doing the division strip on Alligator Alley across Florida. It made what looked like a bullet hole in the door of my Benz about 6" or so below the window.

    The guy didn't have all his safety chains in place. There was even a hole in the deck of the bush hog.

    I think they should be using flail mowers on highways.

    Around here, I've called the supervisor of the people doing the mowing around Charlottesville several times because they're mowing with the deflectors UP on the mowing decks. They do this because they're frequently mowing the grass while it's wet in the mornings, and it, of course, clogs up on them with the deflector down. I've even driven by lazy people doing their lawns in the vicinity with the deflectors either up or missing. They're all accidents waiting to happen.

    Ralph

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4,383
    Location
    Janesville, Wisconsin
    Tractor
    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I've even driven by lazy people doing their lawns in the vicinity with the deflectors either up or missing. They're all accidents waiting to happen.
    )</font>

    Ralph,

    I bet I get at least 3 or 4 claims every year from people that claim their car was damaged from an object thrown from a Parks department mower. In most cases, the claims end up being legitmate because we discover that the employee had lifted the deflector for the very reason you mentioned.

    I finally got a handle on the problem by giving a training session to all of the employees about the dangers of not using the deflectors. They didn't seem too interested until I mentioned that in the future, any damage as a result of a raised deflector, which would CLEARLY be a safety policy violation , would be the responsibility of the employee operating the equipment.

    The union didn't like it, but the rate of claims/incidents magically disappeared almost overnight! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    237
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Tractor
    yanmar 1700

    Default Re: Flail or finish mower?

    ride,

    I have a side discharge finish mower now and used to have a Cub with a flail mower. As far as the cut and finish that I think you are looking for; the finish mower would be the better choice (I feel). A flail mower just dumps it out the back of the mower; it doesn't really disperse it like a finish mower. I won't claim that the finish mower won't clump grass, but I just think that the finished job looks better with a finish mower.

    Fig

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