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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    361
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    Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 5055e

    Default Brushhogging 101

    I've brushhogged with a DR-walk behind mower for years. Hands-down, it is my very favorite piece of mechanized equipment. If you haven't ever used one, they're the slickest device, as they're balanced nicely, geared perfectly and unstoppable no matter the slope. Problem for me is, I've developed an intolerance to poison ivy in the last year. So, trapsing through the woods has gotten more challenging.

    I'm thinking about borrowing a friend's 4' brush hog and trying it out, but don't want to damage the thing. My question is: can brush hogs sustain frequent knicks with rocks? I have plenty of rocks in the woods and would do my best to keep the blade elevated, but am sure I'll hit a few.

  2. #2
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,796
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    Your going to hit a few rocks now and then and in most cases it will just ride over them. With that siad it all depends upon where the rock and blade meet, I guess.

    I've run my bush hog for a number of years, go in low gear and just enjoy the ride. Usually the blade pan will ride up onto the rock or object and over it. The blades will normally slip enough not to damage themselves.

    A 4' bush hog is normally a light duty rotary cutter and care should be taken when using them.

    That is my 2 cents...

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    16,299
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    How big of rocks are you talking about and are they firmly anchored?

    I run a four foot "bush hog" as well as two ten foot ones and the four foot is pretty light duty and therefore much easier to damage, but the worse you should get is some nicks in the blades which can be fixed with a 4" angle grinder.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  4. #4
    Veteran Member DmansPadge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,678
    Location
    Orange, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2620, Toro 2000 Series Z Master

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    If you get a hold of a big one you can ding a blade up pretty good... but look at the blades before you start... most cutters that have been used much probably have some pretty rough looking blades on them anyway and you'll have a frame of reference in your mind if you hit something you think might have hurt them.

    I agree a lot of 4' cutters are fairly light duty but it will vary by make and model. I have had 2 different Modern cutters. The one I have now is the "XL" series (I think) and although their lightest model it is still built quite a bit heavier than an old 5' Bush Hog (brand) I had been using. And the first Modern cutter I had (sold with another tractor) was the "Competitor" series and was very well built. Made with the same construction of the 5 and 6 footers and was galvanized dipped.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    418
    Location
    Woodbury, CT
    Tractor
    B3030

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    I run a DR a lot in the club I belong to, I have to say that I love to get on my tractor and run my rotary cutter after about 3 minutes of running the DR, you will never look back in my opinion.

    Relative to toughness I probably have the cheapest rotary cutter ever produced on the planet, it is a 4' farm force from TSC, I paid like $350 for it about 6 years ago.

    I have hammered some crazy stuff with that thing, surveying monuments, rocks, stumps, fence posts, you name it and I have gotten on it pretty good. She keeps on cutting like a champ with no visible sign of damage other than some good nicks in the blades. The blades are not made to be razor sharp anyway. As others note the cutter rides up over stuff pretty well. I am yet to break the shear pin. I am also quick to get the PTO off the ground.

    Getting to know where you're cutting takes time but I find that you develop a routine and over time you run over less stuff, probably becuase you either move it, trim it or level it.

    I also cut a lot of poison ivy, I am careful to where gloves when I touch the cutter and I wash it with soap and a scrubber when I am done.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    361
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 5055e

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    Thanks for the tip, AMR. And the encouragement. I'm going to go check out TSC and see if my dealer has anything used. The market on craisglist these days is pretty soft, but bet it will pick up as spring approaches.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Tractor
    Kubuta B-7500

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    You may also want to look at the brand Howse it is far from heavy duty but I have hit more rocks than I can count and the things keeps cutting I even hit one rock ledge that is firmly anchored in the ground it stalled the tractor the blades formed a 45 degree angle not a straight line I pushed the blade back into place started up the tractor engaged the PTO let the brush hog wind up and off I went cutting some more.

  8. #8
    Silver Member Denwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    208
    Location
    Blaine WA
    Tractor
    Kubota B20

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    I'm thinking about borrowing a friend's 4' brush hog and trying it out, but don't want to damage the thing. My question is: can brush hogs sustain frequent knicks with rocks? I have plenty of rocks in the woods and would do my best to keep the blade elevated, but am sure I'll hit a few.[/QUOTE]

    BXOwner,
    A note of caution from someone who just bought a tractor with a busted PTO, because the previous owner ran over a rock with the brush cutter. The caution is that you might not just mess up the cutter.

    I've seen two things mentioned in other posts around this general subject. One is to ensure that the "shear pin" is actually something that will shear. There are stories of "butter bolts" being replaced with case hardened unbreakem bolts that resulted in something much more expensive breaking.

    The other recommend is that one install a slip clutch between the PTO (I'm gonna' when I get mine fixed!) and the mower or other equipment that might short stop.

    FWIW,
    Dennis
    Last edited by Denwa; 03-02-2010 at 11:28 PM. Reason: edit did not display properly
    Dennis - Blaine WA - NX7D
    91' Kubota B20 - FL420 - BH750 - 3' brush mower wanted
    JD LX130 Lawn Mower
    BMW R100GSPD R100/7 R100RT
    32RL Alpenlite w/ 06' Ford 350 4x2 (or is that 2x4)

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    337
    Location
    St. Marys County, Md.
    Tractor
    Kobuta B2920

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    I don't think you have much to worry about. There are a number of features built into most bushhogs to try to protect them from rocks and debris.

    First off, the blades on my 4 ft bush hog have a swivel attachment to the blade spinner, so if they strike a object, the blade will pivot back and around the object. The blades are only held extended by centrifical force, so once it clears the object it can and will pivot back.

    Next is that there is usually a stump jumper built into the hub assembly that allows it to pass over stumps or other debris.

    Finally, they all have a shear bolt in the PTO shaft assembly, if you just really wack something, it should break the shear bolt and not damage the tractor transmission.

    Larry
    Kubota B2920 tractor with RimGuard in the wheels
    Kubota LA364 Front End Loader
    LandPride RTR0550 Reverse Tilling 50 inch Tiller
    Woods RB72 inch rear blade
    Woods HC54 rotory cutter
    LandPride QH15 Series Category 1 Quick Hitch

  10. #10
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    3,265
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Brushhogging 101

    Another term for a brush hog is a "rock buster" or "gravel maker" ;-) Mine is a medium duty one and many unseen rocks have been turned into gravel. I have to sharpen my blades every few years

    I've done many miles of forest trails with a DR Mower. They are wonderful machines, however I much prefer when the trail is wide enough to get the tractor through!

    However, if you are highly susceptible to posion ivy, please realize that a brush hog will throw up dust and debris that you might contact or breathe.

    Ken

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