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  1. #1
    Silver Member Gadgetnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    137
    Location
    San Juan Islands, Washington
    Tractor
    Walker Mower MD (Kubota,) BobCat ToolCat 5600 Turbo rev. C, John Deere tractor

    Default Boom Flail Mower

    Very Useful New Tool

    The first tool I used on a ToolCat was a flail mower on the ToolCat demo on my property last Fall. I liked the idea of the flail mower but felt the Bobcat version was a bit heavy for my needs. I ended up buying the Bobcat 60" BrushCat and the 72" near finish mower and have been happy with both of them.

    But this Spring I realized a need for a different kind of mower: one for all the contours around here. We have an eight acre lake on our property with a gentle slope down to the water. Closer to the water, the combination of grade + soft ground has been just about impossible to mow with my Walker ZTR, the John Deere riding lawn mower, or the Bobcat. The closest I got was going straight down the slope in the ToolCat with the Bobcat 72 inch near finish mower; but that's straight in-- you do one cut, then move the ToolCat over and do it again-- and with all that weight on the front tires I tended to get stuck in soft ground.

    I'd been eyeing a boom mower. I bought this boom mower from Skidsteer Solutions. The mower weighs 820 pounds, has about a ten foot reach to the passenger side, with a 36" mowing head with hammer flail knives on a rotor. You can see specs a lot of photos and movies on the mower in action on the SS website: SkidSteer Solutions' Boom Flail Mower

    The mower works with the high flow hydraulics of ToolCat C Turbo. The boom mower has two hydraulic swing points on the boom arm, and the mowing head rotates 360 degrees to mow at any angle you want. I tend to mow at high throttle and flow but lower the ToolCat throttle to move the mower's boom arm. The boom arm has a breakaway feature that allows it to bend back and cut off in case you were to hit an obstruction.

    I'm very happy with this attachment with both finished grass and with chopping brush down. If I roll the flail mower on the ground, it cuts and mulches the grass and I'm happy with a finished cut that looks acceptable next to my traditionally mowed grass. I also use the mower to mow down saplings, woody weeds and it does great.

    In addition to mowing down a contour, such as the pond edge, since you can tilt the mowing deck to any angle, I also mow up contours, such as the steep hillside of a valley my driveway passes through.

    Ten feet is only ten feet; to some extent you are limited by the side to side tippiness of the ToolCat. If I'm driving on a flat, stable surface, mowing with the boom fully out at the furthest extention is no problem. But as I've tried to gain a greater range into the pond, I've mowed going across the downslope a bit, but not much. If you're driving across a hill with the mower hanging out ten feet further downhill, your seat of the pants will tell you not to get carried away.

    I don't know why-- I guess for Bobcat proprietary reasons?-- this mower is not controlled through the ToolCat's console mounted auxiliary directional control buttons. This boom mower comes with its own handheld remote to control all the functions. For the time being I just fed the wire harness along the boom then through my ToolCat window, but soon I will take the time to install the wiring in a more permanent way.

    But beyond all this I guess my favorite feature so far is vertical trimming. See my next post. Cheers, Gadgetnut











    Gadgetnut
    Walker Mower MD, John Deere Tractor
    Bobcat ToolCat 5600 Turbo rev. C

  2. #2
    Silver Member Gadgetnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    137
    Location
    San Juan Islands, Washington
    Tractor
    Walker Mower MD (Kubota,) BobCat ToolCat 5600 Turbo rev. C, John Deere tractor

    Default Re: Boom Flail Mower

    I came across this old thread of mine, and I thought I'd bump the photos to the top again. This is one versatile tool. I'm going to use this mower today to mow vertically along the fenceline, trim back some intruding tree branches at the eight foot high level, mow along the falling slope of my driveway, and finally mow along the sloping lake edge.
    Gadgetnut
    Walker Mower MD, John Deere Tractor
    Bobcat ToolCat 5600 Turbo rev. C

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    360
    Location
    Central Idaho Mtns
    Tractor
    BX-23

    Default Re: Boom Flail Mower

    Wow...nice machinery...and great pics. Thanks.

    With regard to control using the aux. buttons in the TC, I did a brief investigation into this...the 7-pin connector isn't strictly proprietary...it's an implementation of the "CAN bus". Googling this will give you more info than you ever wanted. Suffice it to say that this bus has more in common with the USB port on your computer than the connector on your fifth wheel. I'm a little surprised that somebody hasn't come out with a "bridging" technology that plugs into the TC's 7-pin. Some TC's also have a 14-pin connector for "older" attachments. This is much more of a "dumb" interface as far as I can tell....but has the advantage of simplicity.

    If one had the desire, they might could obtain a PC-based CAN bus analyzer and plug it into the TC's connector (prolly have to build your own adapter) and then capture the data that the TC is sending when the control buttons in the cab are actuated. At that point one could conceivably build a "protocol bridge" that'd convert the CAN bus commands to something that'd emulate the controller that Skid Steer Sol. makes. (Quick-Attach has a similar controller for their snow blowers and some other stuff.)

    Anyway...back to the topic at hand!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Boom Flail Mower

    Thanks for the bump on the thread and great pics.
    Looking forward to hearing how your projects went today.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Boom Flail Mower

    does that sucker throw things at you by any chance?

    we've got the bobcat flails locally but the distributor is a bit reticent to sell them cause of safety issues.

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