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  1. #11
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    Currently tractor-less

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    I've got a 6' finish mower behind a 4300.. about 27-28 PTO HP. The only time I slow down is deep, think grass. I don't really have to, I guess, but you can hear the engine lugging down a bit, and it seems kinder to the equipment to downshift a gear rather than make it work so hard. As for the 2" saplings with a finish mower, I've done up to about 1" without a problem.. I woud guess that 2" wouldn't be a big problem, but I don't know that for a fact. But, in general, the 28 HP and the 6' mower work just fine. I've never had a problem that couldn't be solved by going just a tad slower, and I can count those times on the fingers of one hand. Normally you just set the speed to whatever the terrain dictates (so you don't get bounced around too much) and then just go for it. HTH.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    913
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    Currently tractor-less

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    Maybe this mostly comes back to what my cousin once told me. He said, sure, you can use small tractors, geared way down, and do most the things larger tractors do.. just more slowly. Most farmers can't waste the time to do things slowly. So they need the bigger machines. The rest of us have fun on our tractors, don't particularly mind how fast we get a job done, and so can easily use the smaller tractors.

    I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, but in general I thought he made a good point.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    2,518
    Location
    Capital District, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Satoh S650G, MF135, MF165, JD5205

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    <font color=blue>…As for the 2" saplings with a finish mower, I've done up to about 1" without a problem.. I woud guess that 2" wouldn't be a big problem, but I don't know that for a fact….</font color=blue>

    Yow Bob…!!!

    Stop abusing that poor implement… [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img] [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    Those finish mowers just don’t have the blade thickness, gearbox output shaft size, &amp; deck/skirt metal proper thickness to hold up to that type of “rough” operation reserved for “rotary cutters”…

    I know it sounds kinda backwards… but for less than ½ the average price of a finish mower ($1200)… you can do most of all the above and then some, with a basic rotary cutter ($550.)… and after a few cuts… from a distance, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference…

    Please… treat that finish mower of yours with more TLC… [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    913
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    Currently tractor-less

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    Hi John,

    <font color=blue>Those finish mowers just don’t have the blade thickness, gearbox output shaft size, &amp; deck/skirt metal proper thickness to hold up to that type of “rough” operation reserved for “rotary cutters”…</font color=blue>

    Well, it's only an occassional little sapling growing around a tree or two.. is this really going to hurt it? You can't even hear a sound when it chops it off.

    I had previously asked folks if I should get a brush-hog (is it brush hog or bush hog? I've never been sure...) But everyone told me the bush hog would do a crummy job on the lawn so stick with the finish mower. I dunno... I'm dumb.. ask Franz.. he's met me. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  5. #15
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    502
    Tractor
    L3410

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    A 6' brush cutter on a 22-25hp pto is marginal for heavy, tall grass (as per prior posts). You can cut 2/3's widths (4') when your engine lugs, but if such is necessary very often, it kind of defeats the point of a 6' cutter. As to 2" saplings, forget a finishing mower, and the blades on many "light duty" brush cutters won't do too well (and neither will the unit, after a while). I've a 5' heavy duty brush cutter on an L3410 GST (28.5hp pto), and have handled lots of 2-3" saplings, very heavy brush, vines and the like without problems - but my engine will require a low gear in the heavy grass I cut once a month. Once I get the property fully "civilized" (without small stumps, brush, irregular ground), and have the time to mow it more often than monthly, I'm graduating to a 6' medium to light duty unit.
    Basically, I'd recommend you consider a bit more pto power if a heavy duty 5' cutter, or a light duty 6' cutter in heavy weeds/grass, is intended, especially if you're going the HST route. You can eke by with less, of course.

  6. #16
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,391
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    <font color=blue>is it brush hog or bush hog? I've never been sure</font color=blue>

    Bush Hog = A popular Brand name.

    brush hog = generic brush hog, rotary cutter, shredder, rough cut mower, or slasher (depending on what part of the world you live in).[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  7. #17
    Platinum Member cmhyland's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Posts
    636
    Location
    Woodstock Valley, CT
    Tractor
    2000 Kubota B2910

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    Rick,
    You missed something, If Msft made a 6 ft rotary cutter it would require a 750hp tractor to run it....

    Just a little fun at Bill Gates and Pete Balmer's expense....

    Regards,
    Chris

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Tractor
    Branson 3520

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    Great thread. Anyone have a good recommendation for a 5' heavy duty cutter that does not cost the arm and a leg it would lop off, given the chance? Does the gear box hp need to match the tractor pto hp? Finally, is a slip clutch worth the added expense? Thanks for all the great info! I have 13 acres, of which I will clear about 8 acres. It was clearcut 20 years ago and I live in Virginia, so you can imagine what it looks like. If you really want to see it, go to: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~jas5n/adair1.htm And by the way, I'm really much better looking than the guy in the picture--it must have been the camera!

  9. #19
    Elite Member rockyridgefarm's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    4,455
    Location
    Road 4310
    Tractor
    Deere 4310 HST MFWD

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    <font color=blue>Does the gear box hp need to match the tractor pto hp</font color=blue>

    GearBox HP= max hp before destroying gearbox

    Min Tractor HP= HP range of tractor (PTO HP and aprox weight range)

    slip clutch is cheaper than onerhaul

    Hey, with a guy looking like that running around, you won't need to worry about varmints[img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #20
    Elite Member rockyridgefarm's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    4,455
    Location
    Road 4310
    Tractor
    Deere 4310 HST MFWD

    Default Re: HP needed for mowing

    Oh, Beautiful place! (but you knew that; its in Virginia[img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img])

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