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  1. #11
    Veteran Member BillyP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    I'm gonna stick my neck out here, again [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

    But it really does depend on what you'll be cutting. Tall thick unkept pasture is gonna be rough with a 5ft cutter (the first time for sure). If you keep it cut, I don't see a problem.

    I just realized I said the same thing as John_Mc. Sorry for the repeat but all the post are right, in certain situation.



  2. #12
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    "I'm gonna stick my neck out here, again

    But it really does depend on what you'll be cutting. Tall thick unkept pasture is gonna be rough with a 5ft cutter (the first time for sure). If you keep it cut, I don't see a problem."

    Not sticking your neck out.. it is good advice. Tall thick grass is just about the hardest thing to mow. I mowed a buddies pasture for him while his tractor was down, and I just used his 4' hog ( he only has a ford 1210... so only 4' hog ).
    Figured it would be faster w' the 4'..... He hadn't mowed his horse pasture all year.. grass was bermuda / bahai mix, and knee to waist tall.... Even on the 4' hog, and had to use 2nd range on my NH 1920..... Yet i can mow the tall stemmy stuff easilly in 3rd range on my 5' hog...

    Soundguy

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    Thanks to all for the guidance!

    Right now that 2 acres has no grass...just weeds under trees, and mostly thorns and light brush...

    It seems that a 5' rotary cutter, standard duty, is what makes sense. So I expect that in a couple months I will be the proud new owner of one.

    At this point I plan on getting the chain guard(s) as an option...Not sure which brand it will be at this point.

    If I were expecting to cut heavy, tall grass I think I would go with the 4' as JohnMIII suggests. But I don't expect to be working the cutter that hard.

    THanks for the help...I think I am pointed in the right direction now [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Guess that leaves one more heavy cutter out there for you guys with the big tractors [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #14
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    I think that's the right call. I've got a 2910 too and have a 4' cutter (Woods 148xt or something like that), and it's pretty small and slow going. I'd go for 5' next time, and anytime I felt it was too big, I'd just cut a 4' swath and pretend it's a 4' mower again.

    Re weight, my recollection is that the lift capacity of the 3PH on the 2910 is around 1300lbs 24" behind the lift points. With the overhand of a mower, I think a 1000lb dead weight is likely too much and will at least leave you very light in the front. My backhoe, for example, is about 1000lbs and has a center of gravity much closer than a mower and it makes the front end real light.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    Henro:
    I recently ask a very similar question, but it pertained to whether to buy a pull, semi-pull, or 3pt 10' cutter to go on my 60hp tractor. If you want to avoid the weight problem all together, use a pull type cutter. Now, the question is whether a 5' cutter in pull type is made. These other guys might be able to tell you that. If not, I know I have seen cutters that have the engine built right into the mower (self powered) My neighbor has one that is a 5' cut and he uses it for fields and trails. Seems to work pretty good. Just a thought and possible other option. Also, from my perspective, safety first. Thats one of the primary reasons I went to the pull type cutter. I have a 6500lb tractor plus a front loader, and the 3pt 10 cutter comes in around 1500lbs. Granted, I was not concerned that the deck would pull me over, but on a grade if I have to use hp to lift the mover, in tall grass, with engine bogging down, on a grade, to me thats not safe. Again, to me safety first. Now, I am cutting on some pretty good hills, and if all you are doing is very flat mowing, it may not be as important. But, I have to agree with Mr. Miller, your asking alot of your tractor to pull 5' of cutter through heavey material, especially if you have some grade to deal with. Trust me, I am by no comparison an expert compared to these fellows on this board who know there stuff, some of which have responded to you. These are just my thoughts for what ever there worth.

  6. #16
    Gold Member FamilyFarm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    To the point of the tall thick grass . . . when I bought my tractor (BX22) and a 4' Fred Cain cutter, the first thing I tackled was 4 acres of Bahia that had grown for about 5 months spring - summer. I was so disappointed in the tractor at first, until I read others here talk about how tough the cutting can be in tall, thick grass. I didn't help myself by trying to cut too low the first pass. I finally got it cut, raked and stacked (would've produced a few bales!).
    Every other situation I have used the hog for has been great, but my patience was wearing thin that first encounter!

    Terry

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    Hey Henro,

    <font color="blue"> I figured that the medium duty would not take much if any more HP to turn it in free air than the lighter duty one, but that it might hold up better to limited physical abuse and maybe some storage abuse too over the decades </font>

    There is some polarization of opinion here, but I tend to agree with you. I have a BushHog SQ 600 which I like very much, turned by 19 PTO hp. It is a fairly light to medium duty unit (I've seen lighter), but it is definitely as heavy as my tractor wants to handle.

    Hayden and JohnMc have the ticket, <font color="blue"> I'd go for 5' next time, and anytime I felt it was too big, I'd just cut a 4' swath and pretend it's a 4' mower again. </font> tlphlps just takes a lighter first cut in the heavy struff. Slippy is uncomfortable on slopes (me too), but going up or down the slope might increase the comfort and safety of hill hogging.

    Like Bird and Wolbert said, you'll appreciate the extra width of a 5' over a 4' for much of what you do, especially once the vegetation is reasonably controlled. And for the heavier, tough stuff, there are things you can do (mentioned above) to ease into the finished product. I would suggest the heaviest 5' model your tractor can control on your flats and slopes, in expectation that the extra "duty" will translate into fewer repairs and longer implement life.

    OkieG

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    <font color="blue"> how much/thick of brush do you think a 22 PTO hp tractor can manage...? </font>

    John,
    I've seen the pictures you've posted of your brush hogging accomplishments. Unbelieveable, the kind of thick stuff you have gone through. I can see why your personal preference might be for relatively smaller, very heavy duty brush hogs.
    While I find my setup quite satisfactory for what I need to deal with, I'll be the first to admit it couldn't begin to phaze your jungle. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    OkieG

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    This is an older thread but I thought I would reply because: (1) I have a 2910 like Bill; (2) I have spent the plurality of my tractor time brush cuttering (everything from brush, to trees, to 10' tall grasses and cattails, to rocks, to buried iron fence posts, to rocks, to lawn, to air, to rocks, to mud, to water, and to rocks); (3) I bought the perfect size and weight cutter for the 2910; (4) I have the precise answer to Bill's primary question, which answer is 39.99%; and (5) I regret that no one has mentioned the potential connection between brush cutting and the Clancy Brothers.

    Sure, you must consider the width of the cutter, the weight, and what you are cutting. The general rule is simple: Buy the biggest and strongest and heaviest cutter your tractor will handle. (That's the rule for all implements, which are the things that do ALL the useful work. The tractor itself does nothing except pull SOMETHING ELSE, pump oil to SOMETHING ELSE and spin pto's to power SOMETHING ELSE. Why bother selecting the "perfect" tractor and then buying cheap or small or light SOMETHING ELSES, the things that accomplish the tasks at hand.)

    For the 2910, a four foot cutter is too small and a six foot too big. The five foot is ideal. Herewith, my CUT cutter width rule: a cutter should be the same width as your rear tires. Any smaller and you are wasting the size of your tractor. Any bigger and you won't be able to pull your cutter through openings (eg, trees) that your tractor can get through.

    That leaves weight, which is a function of the strength and durability of the cutter. Herewith, my CUT cutter weight rule: the maximum weight for a cutter is 39.99% of the base weight of the tractor including (unloaded) tires. Buy the heaviest cutter you can handle under this rule and you will, ipso facto, have bought the strongest, most powerful and most durable cutter you can handle. Don't worry about pto horsepower. So you bog down occasionally when cutting King Kong grass or sequoia gigantica. Any cutter will bog down when the underdeck is completely filled up with vegetable or mineral matter, no matter the pto or engine horsepower. You just lift up, jiggle, empty, and go on with with your cutting. This is FUN, FUN, FUN. Once your jungle has been tamed, regular maintenance will be much easier--and you will then become a candidate for clinical depression because you have nothing left to annihilate and vaporize. (At this point you must give up all drugs--but not sex or rock &amp; roll--else you may find yourself shredding your neighbor's rose garden at 2:00 am while belting out Clancy Brothers drinking tunes.)

    My perfect cutter satisfied these Rules of CutCutterdom. It is a Woods MD-160, which was the 5' medium duty model in Woods' prior line of rotary cutters. It weighs 685 lbs. Since I have Freedom Hitches (another no-brainer and an Intergalactic Pleasurable Tractoring Requirement), which themselves weigh over 100 lbs. and which extend implements further back from the tractor, the effective weight of the cutter on the 2910 is greater than would be the cutter alone on the 3ph.

    The 2910's 3ph can easily lift this cutter but the front is too light without the FEL on. If I had foam fill in my front tires, that would be the perfect front counterbalance to mow grasses without the FEL. (When cutting brush or backing over my steep creek banks, however, I always want my FEL on.)

    The "medium duty" 5' cutter of Woods' new Brushbull line at 1039 lbs. would be too heavy for a 2910. The Woods "standard duty" has been beefed up, and the 5' Brushbull 60 at 554 lbs would be the best Brushbull choice. The Bushhog 5' medium duty Model 285 may be just too heavy at 794 lbs.

    That's my tune and I'm sticking to it. Until I change my mind.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Rotary Cutter/Tractor Weight Rule of Thumb?

    glennmac,

    Thanks for taking the time to post a response to my question!

    As soon as I get the shingles on my shed project, I want to order a rotary cutter. Your input is a great help!

    I am going to buy a standard duty cutter [Woods or Landpride, probably] trying to keep the weight under 600 lbs.

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