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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    JD870

    Default Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    I have a lot of briers in a pasture that has been unmowered for years. They are about 1/2" at the base at most and the grass is about 1 1/2' high. Will the finish mower handle it without busting it up or do I really need a bush hog?? Thanks, Rich

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    SW Alabama
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    NH TC-33D

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    In my opinion if you take it slow and it's just briars it will cut them ok. I use mine to clean briars from time to time with no problems.

    A rotary cutter would be the tool of choice but we all must use what we have.

    Once you get it cut the first time it'll get better with each cut if you do it regularly.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    You gotta do what you gotta do.. but 1.5' tall grass is hard in and of itself on a finish mower... briars are that much harder as well.

    I personally wouldn't subject my mower to it.. but if it's all ya got.. then go at it slow.. let the mower cut and clear.. might use 1st gear, and half passes maybee. ( half width or half height )

    good luck

    Soundguy

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Springfield, MO
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    JD 4410

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    Rent a brush cutter for a day and save the abuse to your mower.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2004
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    126
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    Colorado
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    4710

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    Anything that isnt "lawn grass" the finish mowers wont handle well. I had a frontier 84 inch finish mower, in mowing our fields for 3 hours, the blades were shot, bent, etc. If you need to mow heavy duty stuff, rent a rotary cutter. Save your finish mower for grass.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    19,390
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    I ruined a Wheel Horse lawn tractor trying to do that. That was a pretty tough little tractor too!

    I wouldn't do it. I'd either rent a rotary cutter, buy one if you're going to have to cut this again or contract the job out for the first time. If there aren't too many briars, you might even knock them down with a weed whacker if you have one of those heads that looks like a circular saw. That does a pretty good job...just be careful!

    Once the briars are down...if the rest is all grass and nothing else, set your mower as high as possible and make partial passes if necessary.

    If you've never cut this area before, you probably don't know what's under that grass (rocks, stumps, etc.). Anything heavier then grass could damage your mower.
    As long as you know the risks...well, make your decision. But I doubt if I'd do this job with a finishing mower. I would not do it if that finishing mower was a belly mount. Too much money to replace one of them.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2003
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    950
    Location
    Theresa, NY
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    NH2120 RTV500 Bobcat S250 Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    I've got a Bush Hog finish mower that I used pretty hard the first year or two I had it till I got the field in back of my house mowed down. The only thing I did to it was break a belt. The blades on it seemed pretty thick so I figured I'd try it. Take a look at the blades on yours, and make a call. You might want to try lowering the mower down onto the briars if you can.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2005
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    366
    Location
    The Real Central PA
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    BX25D, JD 820

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    My 2 cents...

    I can't speak to the Frontier finish mower in particular, but I have a Woods RM660 72" rfm that I used to use to mow the fields, until I got new blades on the old no-name bush-hog. I've mowed grass that high with the Woods, and I don't think you need to fear damaging the gearbox or driveshaft, etc, even on those briars, if the Frontier is similar. However, I would take it very easy, make several passes, starting as high as I could, and take half passes. Most important, know what's on the ground before you lower the mower. The one thing that would likely damage the driveline or deck is a rock sticking up somewhere that you don't expect it. And since you're in PA like me, I'll bet there's at least one in that pasture. Even if there's not a rock, there's probably at least one groundhog hole with the dirt and stones piled up around it. That's the kind of thing you don't want to hit with your rfm!

    I do think you should expect to prematurely wear, if not damage your blades, because they just are not designed for that purpose. But, blades are surely cheaper than a bush-hog. Also, if you want a decent cut with the rfm, you're going to need to keep the pasture mowed often and relatively short, no more than six inches mowed and about eight inches before mowing. That can get to be a drag if you're pasture is big, like my fields (5-6 acres). With the brush hog, you can let the field get away from you a little more and still get a decent cut.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    107
    Location
    Verona KY
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 mfwd

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    I have a frontier 60" and have mowed a few briars.

    FIrst, Frontier is made by Woods, and is the same machine. Check the Frontier manual, the part numbers are Woods part numbers. My JD dealer doesn't stock any parts, I go to a Woods dealer and he usually has them on the shelf.

    I don't recommend cutting briars with a finish mower. It causes the belt to slip and will break it, $50. The blades also take a hit, 3 X $20.

    Don't take a chance on breaking something in the gearbox (I don't know, probably $200)

    When I was clearing my lot a neighbor saw I was having a bit of a time and came over with a 6' bush hog, the briars were gone in 30 minutes. Borrow or rent a bush hog and save yourself some $$.

    Just my $0.02.

    Bud

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Western NY
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    John Deere 4410

    Default Re: Will a Frontier 72" finish mower handle briers OK?

    I agree with the majority. I have a 6' finish mower and a 5' rotary cutter. I have cut down a lot of briers and they can even knock the heck out of a rotary cutter. If they are dense and thick, don't ruin a good finish mower. It's not worth it.

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