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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    260
    Location
    Central IL
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230, JD 400, AC 190XT

    Default Rotary Mower Confusion

    My new BX2230 with FEL and 60" MMM was delivered Saturday. I have already put 10 hours on it and I was out of town for the weekend.

    We are in the market for some type of rotary mower and I am confused as to exactly what I should buy. The dealers all seem to want to sell whatever they have in stock so I am coming here for an unbiased and expert opinion.

    I am pretty sure I have heard that for my particular tractor, I want a 48" mower, but the manual says it can handle a maximum of 60". Anyone know for sure what size mower would be best for me?

    My second area of confusion is over the terms used to describe rotary mowers. Bush hog, brush hog, finish mower, rotary mower. Are these terms used interchangably?

    Let me describe what we have and what I want to do and solicit your advice on what I should buy.

    We have a total of 40 acres. About 4 acres is yard and is mowed with the MMM. We have about 15 acres of horse pasture that needs to be mowed a couple of times a year. The rest is woods. I need a rotary mower that will MOSTLY be used for the pastures but that I MIGHT also want to use in the woods for keeping trails cut down and general maintenance. I do not expect a mower to cut down 3" diameter trees, but 3/4" saplings would be nice.

    Can anyone recommend a specific brand and size of mower that would suit my needs and my equipment?

    Thanks much.

  2. #2
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,037
    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    Let me try. The finish mower is a completely different animal than a brush hog, rotary cutter, or bush hog which are all the same thing. Your MMM is a finish mower made for nice finish cutting and the brush hog is a tool of mass destruction that can actually mow grass into a pretty nice looking lawn if done regularly. The finish mower uses rigid lawn mower type blades while the brush hog uses a pair of 1/2" thick by 4" wide blades that are hinged near the dirve axle. A much sturdier and rougher design. Even the lightest duty brush hogs are rated for 1" material but my light duty version pretty easily blows through material as thick as my wrist. 4' is about right. I use a 5' brush hog on my 30 HP tractor and 5' is about the width of the tires.

    Oh the brush hog will windrow the clippings.

    On brand and size I would buy the cheapest, say a King Cutter or TSC store brand at 4' width which should be plenty big for your machine. Mine is a Rankin and is beat up pretty bad but still functional. This is not a fine piece of machinery it is a rough cut mower.

  3. #3
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    2,694
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    "Tool of mass destruction", I like that

    Ditto what highbeam said IRT the rotary cutter/brush-hog. The blade is usually left a little dull(1/8" cutting edge) as they hammer their way through brush stalks with their great mass and tremendous blade tip speed. When sharpened to a finer edge, they do cut grass pretty well but the deck can be a bit cumbersome and has a higher potential to scalp uneven terrain. I also run a 5' Rankin cutter with my 28HP(24ish PTO HP) tractor and it is just slightly wider than the outer wheel track. When I get done busting my land into shape, I will add gauge wheels to all 4 corners of my brushhog, sharpen the blades a bit finer and use it for the majority of my semi-finish mowing. I have a 50" rideing mower for around the house and towing a sprayer.

    In my experience, Some finish mowers windrow in the middle, some are side discharge like that of a rideing lawnmower. The middle discharge type usually leave a denser row of clippings that are more easilly picked up. But if you plan on leaving them lay, that can be bad as it will hinder grass growth under the windrowed clippings and leave streaks in the lawn/field. Side discharge tend to blow the clippings a bit and more evenly dispurse them for more even re-growth. Another type finish mower is a flail mower which uses a large number of swinging cutter blades and pretty much drops the clipings right where they were cut for very even distribution. They are also very short and easy to maneuver with.

  4. #4
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    5,037
    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    And on flail mowers, no spinning blades to shoot rocks into cars, houses, or people. The rotary cutter blades build up plenty enough energy to pitch a baseball sized rock hundreds of feet with great speed. Flail mowers while more spendy leave no windrows, don't shoot rocks, and don't hang off the back any more than a tiller. There are some heavier duty ones but most are rated at 3/4" or so for brush. I would say they are more suited to brushy work than a finish mower.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    551
    Location
    Lubbock, Texas
    Tractor
    1996 Kubota L4200 GST, LA680 FEL

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    <font color="red">"My second area of confusion is over the terms used to describe rotary mowers. Bush hog, brush hog, finish mower, rotary mower. Are these terms used interchangably?" </font>

    A Bush Hog is a brand of rotary mower. Many people use the term Bush Hog to mean any rotary mower. Other's tweak it a little and call all rotary mowers brush hogs. Here in my neck of the woods they call a rotary mower a shredder. These are all the same thing as described by the earlier posters.

    A finish mower is a different animal as described by the earlier posters as well.

    FWIW, Nathan

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    647
    Location
    TX
    Tractor
    NH TC 40 A, AC 5020

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    Be like the folks in TX and call it a shredder, because, well...

  7. #7
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    18,065
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    With 15 acres to brush cut, I'd go for the largest rotary cutter your tractor can handle.

    Although you might have adequate PTO HP, the weight of the cutter (600 pounds or more) may be the limiting factor.

    However...even if your tractor can't safely pick a 60" cutter up, you can leave the tailwheel on the ground and tow it...watch those turns though.

    Personally, I think a BX2230 is too small for a 60" cutter (weight issue, not power). But 15 acres is a lot, even with a 60" cutter. You probably need a bigger tractor...B7800 or L2800 would be my choice for a kubota.

    As far as brand...depends on what you want to spend. I have a 60" Land Pride cutter that works very well...good match for my 24 PTO HP Deere 790, but it worked well behind a 16.5 PTO HP Deere 670 too.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,927
    Location
    Home-1+ acres New Hope, TX / 24 acres-Fannin County
    Tractor
    JD 950

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    Another name is rotary cutter and is what you will normally see in advertisements.
    If the manual says it can handle it, I would go with the larger one. I run a 6' cutter on 27 PTO hp and mow about 10 acres 2-3 times a year. I run about a 1' overlap to get a good even cut so I get about a 5' cut each pass and it still takes a while to cut it all. It cuts the pasture very well as long as I don't let it get too tall. Then I either just slow down or take smaller bites. With a 4' cutter, you would only be getting maybe 3 1/2' each pass. If you try to get maximum cut, your pasture will end up looking like you planted some kind of row crop. Not that I would know. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    260
    Location
    Central IL
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230, JD 400, AC 190XT

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    Thanks to everyone for your timely responses. You have been most helpful. I would like to address a few comments specifically, if I am smart enough to figure out how. :-)

    Highbeam: &gt;&gt;brush hog is a tool of mass destruction&lt;&lt;

    LOL. With a description like that, I simply MUST have one.

    Highbeam: &gt;&gt;The finish mower uses rigid lawn mower type blades while the brush hog uses a pair of 1/2" thick by 4" wide blades that are hinged near the dirve axle.&lt;&lt;

    So if I look underneath the machine I am considering and it has a blade that looks like my MMM's, it is a finishing mower? Rougher cut mowers will have the hinged blades? I don't want for the dealer to sell me a "bill of goods" so, excuse my ignorance. I want to make sure what I buy will do what I want.

    RoyJackson: &gt;&gt;the weight of the cutter (600 pounds or more) may be the limiting factor. &lt;&lt;

    If I remember, my manual says the tractor can only lift something like 350 pounds. I may be wrong about that as I am going by my, quite fallible, memory.

    RoyJackson: &gt;&gt;You probably need a bigger tractor...B7800 or L2800 would be my choice for a kubota.&lt;&lt;

    Of course I need a bigger tractor. Would you mind calling my wife and convincing her of that? :-)

    Actually, here's my story, if you are interested.

    A couple of weeks ago, we had a tornado pass through these parts. Our machine shed was completely destroyed. The horse barn had no damage and the house had minimal damage. We rode the storm out in the basement and were, all things considered, quite lucky.

    The good news is that the shed was over insured. We actually profited to the tune of about $10 grand. This windfall, combined with Kabota's 60 months at zero percent financing, put a huge dent in the purchase price of the tractor.

    The Kubota will replace a very ugly Allis 190 and a, not too dependable, JD 400. We intend to sell both of these. I think we will come out better that way than if we had traded with the dealer. The AC was more tractor than we needed, for the most part. All we ever really used it for was mowing pastures.

    So, our thinking is, with the "profit" from the shed and the proceeds from selling both of the tractors, just put the money in our savings and write a check out of there to pay for the Kubota over the next 36 months.

    Again, thanks to everyone who replied.




  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    186
    Location
    Florence NY
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2015 w/FEL

    Default Re: Rotary Mower Confusion

    TSC carries King Kutter implements, and KK has a line of attachments called the XP series specifically designed and sized for sub-CUT tractors like your BX. If you have a TSC in your area, you might want to check them out.

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