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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2012
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    196
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    Ft mill, sc
    Tractor
    Deere 5065e MFWD

    Default Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    I am close to purchasing a 5065e, 4WD with 77 inch outside rear tire width. I want to buy a Bush Hog 296, 6 foot cutter. Is it dumb to have a cutter that won't cover your tire track? I will be 2.5 inches short on each side. I will be cutting logging roads and some food plots and fire break. Some tight spots needing 3 point turn arounds. I can't see that it will matter. I will have to run the tires down the edges and won't cut to the tire track edge but not an issue. Any experience that would suggest a 7 foot cutter (84 inches>77)?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2011
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    585
    Location
    Westmoreland County PA
    Tractor
    Fords

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    If you were planning on mowing fields, then you would really want the 7' model. It might also depend how close you want to mow to objects along the logging roads. Are you going to have to run over something to get close enough with a 6' mower? Another option would be to offset the 6' mower so it clears the tire on one side (by adjusting your sway bars).

    Personally, I would always want the mower to be a little wider than the tractor.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2012
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    777
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    I bought a rotary cutter initially that was 5 feet with an old JD about the width of yours. It was fine for cutting roads, because little grows in the tracks anyway and the cutter easily covered the middle. In cutting fields, the tires mash down the weeds so that the cutter doesn't cut them as well - but that's true for any size cutter. If you get something like the big bat-wing jobs the tire mash is less noticeable because it's a smaller portion of the cut, but it's there. It never really bothered me that much. The big thing with the bigger cutter is that it simply takes less time to cut a large area. For forest roads, fire breaks and tight areas, I would say you're fine with a six footer. I'd even check out the used market in your area. I've had really good luck there.

    I now have a JD CUT and the cutter is relatively larger... But it all works the same.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    18,056
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M8540HDC, L5740HSTC, BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 425&1025R, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    I don't see a problem with your intended uses, we used a six foot cutter on our Massey Ferguson 375 for cutting and maintaining paths for years and while a tight fit, worked OK and no it didn't cover the tracks.

    A seven foot single spindle is an odd size to me and I would prefer to just go to a twin spindle eight foot, but you don't need that. A seven foot is usually going to have dual tail wheels and will making turning around, maneuvering in tight spaces more difficult than with a single tail wheel six footer.

    I now use a Land Pride RCR2672 with my L5740 and turning around or maneuvering in our woods especially with the FEL on can be a real bear, I would hate to think of trying it with a larger tractor and mower.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    May 2011
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    797
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    I put a 5'er behind my tractor and the trails still end up being 6' wide. Now for mowing brush in reverse it would be better to go a bit wider than the tractor but that's the only time I really wanted a 6 or 7' one. I found I could smear and fold over the brush with the bucket going forward and then the mower would chop anything still sticking up.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  6. #6
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Sacramento
    Tractor
    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    Quote Originally Posted by Rmd8136 View Post
    I am close to purchasing a 5065e, 4WD with 77 inch outside rear tire width. I want to buy a Bush Hog 296, 6 foot cutter. Is it dumb to have a cutter that won't cover your tire track? I will be 2.5 inches short on each side. I will be cutting logging roads and some food plots and fire break. Some tight spots needing 3 point turn arounds. I can't see that it will matter. I will have to run the tires down the edges and won't cut to the tire track edge but not an issue. Any experience that would suggest a 7 foot cutter (84 inches>77)?
    No need to cover the tracks with the mower. Get the 72" size.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    768
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    If you are mowing close to obstacles such as fence lines, posts, trees, etc. The mower needs to extend beyond the width of the tires.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2009
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    S. W. Virginia
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    Quote Originally Posted by flusher View Post
    No need to cover the tracks with the mower. Get the 72" size.
    Agreed. In fact a single spindle cutter is designed to go between the wheel tracks for an optimum cut. I'm not sure where the whole notion of having a cutter wider than your tractor came from, but as per the design of the cutter that is incorrect. The reason for this is so the cutter is cutting undisturbed grass. With this setup if you go around the field the proper way the inside tire will still mash down the grass for the next pass, but the rotation of the blades will pick it back up, the outside tire is always in cut grass.

    I use a 5' bush hog on my 5203. The cutter works better on that tractor than my Ford NAA or B3200. The distance between my front tires is right at 5', so it's real easy to judge where you are cutting and get a full swath each time with very little overlap. If I need to cut up close to something I just swing it over to one side using the sway links.

    So I say go with the 6', a single spindle 7' is a really large, heavy and long cutter. They also take a disproportionate amount of power due to the really long blades.

    This is an illustration provided in the manuals for JD single spindle cutters describing cutting technique and wheel spacing:
    Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width-w14653-gif
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  9. #9
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    768
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    Frankfort, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    Quote Originally Posted by Verticaltrx View Post
    Agreed. In fact a single spindle cutter is designed to go between the wheel tracks for an optimum cut. I'm not sure where the whole notion of having a cutter wider than your tractor came from, but as per the design of the cutter that is incorrect. The reason for this is so the cutter is cutting undisturbed grass. With this setup if you go around the field the proper way the inside tire will still mash down the grass for the next pass, but the rotation of the blades will pick it back up, the outside tire is always in cut grass.

    I use a 5' bush hog on my 5203. The cutter works better on that tractor than my Ford NAA or B3200. The distance between my front tires is right at 5', so it's real easy to judge where you are cutting and get a full swath each time with very little overlap. If I need to cut up close to something I just swing it over to one side using the sway links.

    So I say go with the 6', a single spindle 7' is a really large, heavy and long cutter. They also take a disproportionate amount of power due to the really long blades.

    This is an illustration provided in the manuals for JD single spindle cutters describing cutting technique and wheel spacing:
    Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width-w14653-gif
    If this is true why do all commercial mowers, zero turns, lawn tractors, etc. Have mowers that extend beyond the wheels? Also, why would you ever use a batwing if this is the case?

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2009
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    S. W. Virginia
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: Advice on bush hog width vs rear tire width

    Quote Originally Posted by KYDan View Post
    If this is true why do all commercial mowers, zero turns, lawn tractors, etc. Have mowers that extend beyond the wheels? Also, why would you ever use a batwing if this is the case?
    Multiple spindle spindle cutters rotate the blades in a manner that will take out both tire tracks. We have a Woods BW180 15' batwing and it provides an excellent cut, as does our Deere 1008 twin spindle 10'. Finishing mowers (and the others you listed) are a whole different ballgame due to the shorter grass height.

    Things have changed over the years, I was just informing folks of how these cutters were originally designed to operate. Many of the new high tip-speed single spindle cutters will do a satisfactory job covering both tires, but not as good as they could if operated like they were originally intended. I'll also add, most folks don't care about cut quality when it comes to bush hogging, if it knocks it down that's all that matters to them.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

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