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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
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    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
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    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default Large field mowing jobs

    I have possibly the chance to get a few large mowing jobs. Large meaning 8+ acres per customer. I aready take car of approx. 15 acres now at 5 different places. Most of the terrain is sloping to flat, rough ground, some rocks, mostly grasses and weeds with a few small saplings (1" or less).


    These larger acres I would try to get on a seasonal contract.


    I'm trying to figure out what the best implement to buy. I currently have a Woods BB720 which is an awesome mower. The trouble is it takes me forever to cut some of these smaller fields. I guessing I'm averaging about 1 to 1.25 acres per hour. Depending on the conditions my speed is 2 to 3 mph.


    To increase my capactiy per hour is it better to go with a disc type mower or dual spindle rotary cutter?


    The disc mower is more expensive to purchase, has more moving parts. But it does cut faster than a rotary cutter. Not sure how the disc cutter does with rocks and small saplings, 1" or less.


    I like the looks better of a rotary cut field than a disc cut field not sure if that is an advatage.


    Also, what do you think the efficiency percent is for field mowing? 70 to 80 percent?

    Suggestions.......
    Derek

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    Have you considered something like a 60"/72" commercial zero turn mower? Even with the rough terrain you mention I'd think you could at least double your productivity of 1/1.25 ph.

    Maybe you know someone that has one that you could try, or hire someone and time them while cutting an acre.

  3. #3
    Member
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    Mar 2006
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    S. Central PA
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    TYM K2 T273

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    I don't have any insight on the disc vs. rotary issue, but are you trailering or driving the equipment to these sites? Having that info might help someone give you a better answer.

    I think if I were regularly cutting 8+ acre parcels I would want something larger than a 72" cut. Maybe a 10-12 foot batwing. You could still trailer that fairly easily and your tractor should be big enough to run it at 70 HP.

  4. #4
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Mt Washington, Kentucky
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    What's the HP on your tractor? That'll determine quite a bit in terms of capabilities.

    Unless the ground is rough, or the weeds/grass is incredably tall, you should be able to mow at a faster "clip" (pardon the pun) than that. I mow at speeds of 4 to 4-1/2 MPH in open country.. That's not pushing things beyond a safe limit under ordinary conditions. (Forget all of that if ground is rough, rocky, hilly, or "trashy")

    Disc mowers will launch anything they hit beyond just grass. Stay away from rocks with them. Also, I'd think they'd be a bit maint. intensive compared to a bush hog style cutter. (I used a New Holland disc mower to cut hay for 7 years. They are NOT a bush hog.) They don't like saplings, brush, or junk. (They'll cut it, but not for long

    I'd vote for a dual spindle over your other choices. If it's transport width that's keeping you away from a wider single spindle mower, think about a SMALLER batwing. There are a few 10'ers on the market last time I checked. They'll be costly compared to a single spindle rigid deck mower though.

    I'm in the same "quandry" myself. due to the fact that I'm the only one in the family with a tractor anymore, other than my son, who doesn't have the time needed, I've been "elected" to take care of a tract of land that's in a family trust. 112 acres that's about 2/3rds open land. (With woods, a creek, and some incredably steep hills) Anything I plan on using needs to be transportable, rugged, or CHEAP enough to just leave at the propery. It'll need to be geared towards a 60 HP tractor.

    Another consideration is, are you wanting 3-point mounted, or will a drawn mower work. Mounted mowers need have their weight taken into account, where a given HP tractor can handle a much bigger pull-type mower. If you're comfortable going that slow, you can deal with a lot more width in a batwing style cutter.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Wisconsin
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    2003 NH TN70A

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowski

    I'm trying to figure out what the best implement to buy. I currently have a Woods BB720 which is an awesome mower. The trouble is it takes me forever to cut some of these smaller fields.

    Suggestions.......
    Why does it take forever to mow a smaller field?
    Bob

  6. #6
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    Well, my speed reading isn't quite up to par today. I was skimming through your original post earlier and made my FIRST reply. (Actually, had a grandchild in the room, so my concentration wasn't quite "concentrated")

    OK, so you're mowing rough ground. That (IMHO) eliminates a disc mower from the equasion. You'd destroy one in short order. I'm mowing my own property with a 7' mower on a 60 HP tractor and a 6' on a 40 HP tractor. It's hilly, some rocks, several steep banks, and a few very tricky creek banks. It's just slow going sometimes. Either that, or equipment gets abused and operators life placed in jepardy. That ain't good.

    Mowing rough ground for hire, again IMHO, requires a price reflecting that time needed to complete. Then just go slow.

    I can't imagine using a 6' mower with 70 HP on tap, but then again, I'm using 7' w/ 60 HP. And so it goes.

    Where I'd go is to a SUPER heavy duty mower. Rhino (ALAMO/ Shuldte [?SP?]) and Bush Hog (a few other brands too) make mowers that you'll typically see highway mowing crews using in rough, trashy, rocky situations. They're available in several configurations, for example, a 10' 2-section batwing. They aren't cheap, but neither is replacing a mower every few months.

    One more word of advice. Wider mowers, especially rigid deck mowers tend to find rocks where a narrow model won't, due to the smaller mower conforming to terrain better. That's why I bought the 6' mower when I already had the 7'er. The 6' mower will cut the same places without smashing into rocks like the 7' will.

    Once more, I'd forget about a disc mower.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  7. #7
    Silver Member KrumpsBrother's Avatar
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    Farmtrac 675DTC/Kubota B7800/BCS 2Wheel with ACME 6.5hp

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    Are you planning to trailer your rig to the fields or drive your tractor?

    I use a 3pt mounted Woods DS120 (10') shredder with hydraulic wheel lift. I can shred 30-40 acres in 8 hrs with 72 hp tractor. It's 10.5 ft wide so it doesn't fit on the trailer well.

    KB

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Dec 2005
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    SC
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    JD 5205

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    If you mow the same field a couple of times, you learn where the problems spots are, ie where to slow down. Otherwise, crank up the rpms and the gear and let it rip. 5 mph would almost cut your time in half with no out lay of cash. With a 50hp JD and a 6' cutter, I can't put enough grass into the machine to load the tractor unless I go up into high range.

    Or layout some serious cash and upgrade to a 10' mower.

    I would get the cash flow coming in before upgrading the mower.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
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    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
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    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    OK, so you're mowing rough ground. That (IMHO) eliminates a disc mower from the equasion. You'd destroy one in short order.
    Doesn't a disc mower ride on the ground. It seems alot of the municipalities are using disc mowers to cut edges of roads. Our town road commisioner swears by them. The good ones like Kuhn run around $7k-$8k. They have break-away safety features along with "rock guards". I have yet to use one of these. Like you mentioned they are made to cut grasses for hay which usually is a smoother field.


    Mowing rough ground for hire, again IMHO, requires a price reflecting that time needed to complete. Then just go slow.
    Thats basically my trouble. Not sure how to quote prices due to ground speed, will it be 2 or 3 or 4.5 mph. I do go slow when needed. I do not want to tear up my tractor or mower. But usually if faster is doable the quality of cut goes down hill.


    I can't imagine using a 6' mower with 70 HP on tap, but then again, I'm using 7' w/ 60 HP. And so it goes.
    I does seem odd running that small of a mower with that many horses. I have yet to bog the PTO speed down by more than 20 rpm. Even in grasses that are 6ft+ high. The mower is what I had with my NH 2120 43hp tractor. That was a good match. This is sort of why I started this thread is I do have lots of HP available and would like to make more effceint use out of it.


    One more word of advice. Wider mowers, especially rigid deck mowers tend to find rocks where a narrow model won't, due to the smaller mower conforming to terrain better. That's why I bought the 6' mower when I already had the 7'er. The 6' mower will cut the same places without smashing into rocks like the 7' will.
    This is the other issue. I was thinking that a mower wider than it is long (dual spindle vs single spindle) would have less(er) change of hitting rocks. Again I have never seen or used a dual spindle mower so I don't have anything to compare it too.


    Thanks for your advise!
    Derek

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
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    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
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    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default Re: Large field mowing jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by KrumpsBrother
    Are you planning to trailer your rig to the fields or drive your tractor?

    I use a 3pt mounted Woods DS120 (10') shredder with hydraulic wheel lift. I can shred 30-40 acres in 8 hrs with 72 hp tractor. It's 10.5 ft wide so it doesn't fit on the trailer well.

    KB
    Do you have any pictures of the machine and/or before and after pictures of cutting.

    Also how much was it new?

    Trailering is not needed as of yet most of my work is with in a 8 mile radius.

    Thanks....
    Derek

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