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  1. #1
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    Simplicity

    Default Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    I am looking to buy a tractor. Currently, I only have 1 acre, but plan to move in a few years to a place with at least 40 acres. (I don't want more than 5 to 10 acres to mow, however.) I have narrowed my choices down to the kubota B3300SU (which has no mid PTO, so it is limited to a rotary cutter), the B3200HSD, and the B2920 (which I don't think is available, new, anywhere, unfortunately.) I like the fact that the B3300SU has 25 pto hp vs only 23 for the B3200HSD and 21 for the B2920. But, with the B3300SU, I would need a rotary cutter vs a mid-mount mower.

    I know the old mid-mount mowers were a pain the install and remove, but the new ones are all drive-over and look super-simple to install. So, with that thought in mind, what are the advantages/disadvantages of the mid-mount mower vs a rotary cutter? In order to re-claim some of my property, I am going to have to clear up some weedy/overgrown areas, if this makes any difference. Also, in order to get to all parts of my present property, I don't think I would want a mower larger than 54 or 60 inches.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    river falls, wi
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    Kubota mx4700 HST, 2 Ford 8ns

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    Unless you know the condition of the area you'll be mowing on your future property, I'd skip the mmm. The rotary cutter or a flail mower will be more versatile. The mmm and rotary cutter are kind of apples and oranges, the mmm is a finish mower, the bush hog will cut anything you can drive over.

    Still set on that B, huh? 40 acres is a lot of land. I'd be looking bigger. I know I already said that in your other post, but it seems really silly to spend that kind of money on a machine that I think will be woefully too small for your acreage. Just my two cents.
    Kubota mx4700, Ford 8nx2, Timberking B-20 sawmill, Farmi 351 skidding winch, tiller, mower, bale chopper, etc. F250 5 speed I6. Stihl and shindaiwa saws.

    Every spring I drill 450 holes in maple trees, so I get to make about twelve cords of wood a year. Just me and the Gransfors Bruks splitting maul.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Dec 2007
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    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    You can mow a big, open area faster and better with a multi-blade rear mower. The problem happens when you get into confined spaces or try to mow around obstacles like trees and flowers, etc. The mower sticks out the back of the tractor so when you mow a curve around something and then attempt to swing out of the way, the rear mower hits the obstacle you were mowing around.

    Guys that have big spaces as well as a yard often have two mowers. A small one to just mow around things and a rear finish mower to make fast work of everything else yet still steer clear of trees, etc.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    With the various trees and low branches, etc., on my current property, I think anything larger than a B would simply be too large. In fact, I don't know if I could even fit larger ones in my garage. My door clearance is 80 inches. So, I am leaning toward the B2920, B3200HSD, and B3300SU. The B3300SU is nice, but it does not have a mid pto, so I would have to use a rotary cutter. But, it has 25 pto hp which is much better than the B2920 (21) and B3200HSD (23).

    You say that the MMM is a finish mower, while you can cut anything with a rotary cutter. That has some advantages since I have some brush and low weedy plants to clear, but if they are not a "finish" mower, how well do they work on a regular grass lawn? It seems to me they are pretty much the same in construction, so I would assume they both do a pretty decent job of mowing a regular lawn, but I could be wrong. For me, the rotary might actually offer an advantage in some places where I might not be able to drive a tractor through, but I could back the rotary cutter up into the area to cut it. (Or, is that something you're not supposed to do with a rotary cutter?)

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    Oct 2013
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    TN
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    kubota b2920

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    If you didn't have the mid PTO you could still run a rear finish mower or rotary cutter aka bush hog off the rear PTO. Not sure how much better the cut is for the finish mower but you might want to have both as well. The rotary cutter can cut things like sticks, tall grass/weeds or saplings to a certain diameter depending on how heavy duty it is and doing this with the finish mower might tear it up. The blades on the rotary cutter are much larger/thicker and are dull. You would be able to back into the area to cut with either one.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    First, don't confuse a rotary cutter with a finishing mower.
    Rotary cutters are field mowers (commonly referred to as "Bush Hogs" which is actually a manufacturer of rotary cutters as well as other equipment).
    You won't find a mid-mount rotary cutter. You may need one if you buy that 40 acres.
    A mid-mount mower is a finishing mower...also referred to as a grooming mower. These mowers are built for lawn mowing, not field mowing.
    Finishing mowers can be mid-mount or mounted on the 3PH. My finishing mower is a 72" built by Woods Equipment. It does a great job. Rear mount finishing mowers (abbreviated as RFM) are much easier to hook up then a mid-mount and can be used on any tractor that is the correct category. Mid-mount mowers are specific to a tractor manufacturer and even specific model of the same brand.
    If your mowing are has many obstacles, the mid-mount mower (abbreviated as MMM) is the better choice....for open areas, the RFM is the better choice.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    Thanks. I am studying advertising materials and starting to get a better idea of the various differences. Also, from what I have heard, it sounds like a RFM is cheaper and I suspect there are quite a few on the used market. Since my current gas garden tractor and 50 inch deck do an acceptable job mowing (even though even that is a bit large for some areas), I am thinking that what I should do is concentrate on the TLB and use my current garden tractor for mowing, at least until if finally dies completely. (It has been in the shop a lot, and even now I need to weld one of the support wheels back onto the deck because it ripped off last year.)

    Also, given that I don't know what my mowing needs will be on the next property, but that I will certainly need at least a 60" to 72" mower, and maybe even larger, and given that I need a backhoe and loader now, I am thinking that the bigger the tractor, the better. (As suggested by mowtownbrowne.) When I look at the other attachments that I want, such as a tiller for a garden and perhaps to renovate at least 1/2 acre of lawn, and a post hole digger, and the fact that I will almost certainly need at least a 60" to 72" mower in the future, I am thinking that the B3300SU might be my best choice with a backhoe and loader, but forget about the mower. Maybe I could even look at a B26 with a backhoe and loader, although that is probably overkill, although a lot of large mowers do seem to want at least 30 pto hp. But, for the $2100 to $2800 that a MMM will cost me (MSRP), I could probably buy a used post hole digger and a used tiller, and maybe even a used RFM. It could certainly be used to buy a real nice gas garden tractor or even low-end zero turn mower, to cover the grass cutting.

    One quick question that I have about a tractor with a backhoe. For example, one backhoe says that the travel clearance is 80 inches. This is higher than my garage door opening. I assume that before I enter the garage I can extend the backhoe a few inches, or feet, to lower that height down by a few inches so that it will clear the garage door opening. Is this correct? (Once I'm in the garage, I have plenty of overhead room.) Also, how hard is it to remove and reattach backhoes, front end loaders, RFM, tillers, etc?

  8. #8
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
    Thanks. I am studying advertising materials and starting to get a better idea of the various differences. Also, from what I have heard, it sounds like a RFM is cheaper and I suspect there are quite a few on the used market. Since my current gas garden tractor and 50 inch deck do an acceptable job mowing (even though even that is a bit large for some areas), I am thinking that what I should do is concentrate on the TLB and use my current garden tractor for mowing, at least until if finally dies completely. (It has been in the shop a lot, and even now I need to weld one of the support wheels back onto the deck because it ripped off last year.)

    Also, given that I don't know what my mowing needs will be on the next property, but that I will certainly need at least a 60" to 72" mower, and maybe even larger, and given that I need a backhoe and loader now, I am thinking that the bigger the tractor, the better. (As suggested by mowtownbrowne.) When I look at the other attachments that I want, such as a tiller for a garden and perhaps to renovate at least 1/2 acre of lawn, and a post hole digger, and the fact that I will almost certainly need at least a 60" to 72" mower in the future, I am thinking that the B3300SU might be my best choice with a backhoe and loader, but forget about the mower. Maybe I could even look at a B26 with a backhoe and loader, although that is probably overkill, although a lot of large mowers do seem to want at least 30 pto hp. But, for the $2100 to $2800 that a MMM will cost me (MSRP), I could probably buy a used post hole digger and a used tiller, and maybe even a used RFM. It could certainly be used to buy a real nice gas garden tractor or even low-end zero turn mower, to cover the grass cutting.

    One quick question that I have about a tractor with a backhoe. For example, one backhoe says that the travel clearance is 80 inches. This is higher than my garage door opening. I assume that before I enter the garage I can extend the backhoe a few inches, or feet, to lower that height down by a few inches so that it will clear the garage door opening. Is this correct? (Once I'm in the garage, I have plenty of overhead room.) Also, how hard is it to remove and reattach backhoes, front end loaders, RFM, tillers, etc?
    What year and model is your Simplicity? One quick question that I have about a tractor with a backhoe. For example, one backhoe says that the travel clearance is 80 inches. This is higher than my garage door opening. I assume that before I enter the garage I can extend the backhoe a few inches, or feet, to lower that height down by a few inches so that it will clear the garage door opening. That's what I do when the BH is on but make sure you remember its there
    Murph ------------

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    Sorry about that. I said Simplicity, but it is actually a "Scott". It looks exactly like a Simplicity in style and color, and I think it is made by Simplicity for Scott, but it is a Scott tractor. I don't know the year, but I would guess it is about mid 90's.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Mid-mount mower vs rotary cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
    Sorry about that. I said Simplicity, but it is actually a "Scott". It looks exactly like a Simplicity in style and color, and I think it is made by Simplicity for Scott, but it is a Scott tractor. I don't know the year, but I would guess it is about mid 90's.
    They are all owned by Briggs. Does your deck float like a simplicity deck?
    Murph ------------

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