Brush cutter used on a hill: Field Mowers Brush Cutters  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Brush cutter used on a hill: Field Mowers Brush Cutters -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 10-24-2007, 22:12 Post: 147327
brokenarrow



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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Hey ya'll! I got a question. I plan to use my 6ft woods brush cutter next week but I have never used it on a steep hill. What I want to do, I will try to explain. Anyone who can fill me in a real word experiance,advice, please chime in. I dont want to miss something and have this turn tradgic!
I have a horse shoe ridge surrounding a wet (future pond) area. The ridge is pretty steep. It has around a 40 deg angle and less. We are talking about a 20 foot horizontal run and it drops anywhere from 10 foot to 14 foot. What I am cutting is just briars,rasberry/blackberry bushes and long over grown, uncontrolled weeds and grass.
This being understood, I was planning on backing down and cutting on the way up. Is this feasable? How much of an angle would you back down before it gets scary/dangerous?

I figured since I never used it on a steep slope may some of you can fill me in on the real seat expeiances of this kind of work.






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 10-24-2007, 23:09 Post: 147329
crunch



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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Can you back up from the bottom of the hill? I used to brush hog on steep hills for farmers when I was a kid. Keep looking forward and watch the nose of your tractor if you are going uphill. If you turn back to watch the chopper your front end may be airborne and you will never know it. The last thing you need is your tractor flipping over on top of you.






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 10-24-2007, 23:24 Post: 147330
candoarms

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Brokenarrow,

You have the right idea in mind.

You will NEVER want to drive your tractor along the side slope. Backing down the bank, and then cutting the weeds on the way up, is the proper way to attack this problem.

If you have a loader on, make sure you keep your bucket as close to the ground as possible, without striking the soil, or other objects that may be in your path.

Use the lowest gear you have. If you have a hydrostatic transmission, select the lowest speed setting.

NEVER -EVER depress the clutch when going up or down the hill. ALWAYS keep it in gear. Use the brakes if you need to slow down, but DO NOT DEPRESS THE CLUTCH. Use 4-wheel drive, and always keep your front-end pointed straight uphill.

WEAR YOUR SEATBELT.

By backing down the bank, it will be all but impossible to tip over backward, as the rotary mower will stop you once it hits the upper limit of the 3-point hitch. You'll lose traction long before you tip over backward.

Worst case scenario...........

You back down the bank and the tractor doesn't have enough traction to get you back up. If this happens, DO NOT attempt to attack the bank at an angle in an attempt to get yourself out of the jam. You'll have to tow the tractor out, keeping the nose of the tractor pointed straight uphill at all times.


Your tractor may not have enough traction to get back up the slope, but you will not tip over backward.



Joel






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 10-25-2007, 07:49 Post: 147334
earthwrks

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Put some weight in the FEL (wet dirt, rocks, etc.) and keep it low to the ground. Back down the hill cutting as you gothat way you're not getting brush stuck under the machine pulling on wires and filters or scratching the expensive parts. Keep the mower down on the way back up (doesn't matter if you keep it engaged). The mulched foliage and stubbled roots should provide traction and a bit of floatation if it's a bit wet. The reason for not lifting the cutter is that the weight will transfer better to the front where you'll need it---raising the cutter will will act like a counterweight and negate any weight in the FEL. Conversely, if you were backing up the hill front-end down, you would want the cutter raised to take advantage of the weight.

If you start to lose traction, don't try to get yourself out as you will likely bury it---try backing down the hill if you can, trun around and back up backward with the cutter raised.

I do a lot of this type of cutting and this has always worked for me, and I have no FEL.






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 10-25-2007, 09:19 Post: 147336
Murf

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Ok, I'm going to jump right in with both feet on this one!!!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try backing down a hill and driving back up!!! Did I mention NEVER do this? It's WAY TO DANGEROUS!!

You only ever want to negotiate a hill facing down-slope, this way if it loses traction and starts to slide you are at least not trying to learn how to steer in reverse at high speed at an awkward moment. Also, a nose downhill position puts the bulk of the weight where you want it, pointing downhill, not up where the difference in weight could cause you to turn halfway down, this almost always results in a barrel roll!

The only two safe ways to do it are;

1) reverse SLOWLY up the hill, stop at the top, and drive SLOWLY back down while cutting,

or (and the safest but slowest) 2) find the shallowest part of the slope, or a spot where you can easily circle around to the top, then SLOWLY drive down while cutting, and then circle back around to the top and cut the next swath.

In the second method you are limiting your work on the slope to half the time (down only) and in the safest possible direction, straight downhill, and facing downhill.

Also, if at all possible, wait until past noon to do it whenever possible, you absolutely want to be sure there is no dew or moisture left on the slope. For maximum traction you want it as dry as possible. If you cannot manage to achieve much traction, and you have them, put snow chains on the back wheels for extra grip.

Finally, pay attention to the 'seat of the pants pucker-factor' if you don't feel comfortable, don't do it!! You cannot pay full attention to something when you're that nervous.

Best of luck.






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 10-25-2007, 09:29 Post: 147337
candoarms

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF TRACTOR SAFETY.

See the link below.

Joel






Link:   TRACTOR SAFETY 

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 10-25-2007, 10:00 Post: 147342
mobilus



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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Murf, I have to respectfully disagree. I think Joel and EW are on point here. I do a lot (I mean a lot of bush hogging) and there are times when you need to cut all the way down to the bottom of the slope, and backing down is the only way to do it. I also believe that there is a world of difference between a gear tranny and an HST in tackling slopes. I'm way more comfortable on a tractor with HST when bush-hogging. In the end, my advice is to take your time, learn to read the lay of the land and how your equipment handles it. As previously stated, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. There have been several times that I have had to tell customers that my equipment, my real job, and my life are worth much more to me than the possibility of an accident caused by trying to do something beyond reason and capability.






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 10-25-2007, 10:17 Post: 147343
Murf

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

I might point out an excerpt from "The Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety" that Joel linked to, under the section "Hillsides" they say this;

"If you have to go up a slope, it is best to back up.".

Or is Kubota wrong too?

With all due respect, you might well have some bush-hogging experience, but that doesn't mean that the way it's done is right, or the best way to do it.

If we are here to inform people, it is best they be informed the RIGHT way to do it.

Best of luck.






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 10-25-2007, 10:30 Post: 147345
mobilus



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 Brush cutter used on a hill

Murf, just because I disagree doesn't mean that I want to get into any urinary jousting here.

And yes, Kubota can be wrong...so can any other brand. These guides are based on the tech writers' knowledge and varying degrees of experience, so they're not gospel.

If you cut a pond with sloping sides, how do you do it?






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 10-25-2007, 10:52 Post: 147347
candoarms

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 Brush cutter used on a hill

To all,

There are many factors to consider here. I don't mean to mislead anyone, and I sure as heck don't want to be responsible for someone getting hurt due to my advice on this subject.

We're talking about a subject that is often debated, and rightly so. This is not to be taken lightly. A lot of planning and preparation should be involved. I take my hat off to those who explore the problem before getting on the tractor and tackling it.

In this case, the brush mower is mounted on the rear of the tractor. A pond is located at the bottom of the hill. driving downhill, nose-first, with the mower behind, is not going to get the job done. The mower has to be able to get to the weeds, or there's no sense in even driving down the hill to begin with. So, now we have a few limitations to consider.

Backing down this hill is the ONLY way to get the job done. Now....whether or not this is a good idea is a subject worthy of considerable debate, and I welcome feedback from all sides.

This is a dangerous undertaking. For the inexperienced first-timer, there are many factors to consider.

I suggested that the mower not be used except on the way back up the hill, for several reasons......

1. While backing down the hill, the driver's attention must remain focused on one thing......getting down the hill safely. If the mower is in operation, the operator's attention to the most important task is divided between two tasks. Not a good idea.

2. Should the mower strike something, the inexperienced operator might instinctively depress the clutch. What may have been a uneventful downhill trip to that point in time, suddenly turns into very dangerous, and possibly deadly, free-fall.

That said, the proper way to handle this situation is to disengage the PTO. DO NOT DEPRESS THE CLUTCH! This takes practice, experience, and attention to detail. Reaching for the clutch is a bad habit, and it must be overcome before tackling hillsides.

3. The tractor's front tires are generally quite a bit smaller than the rear tires. When going downhill nose-first, the smallest washout will greatly affect the front tires and the handling. Again, it takes a lot of experience and self-control to prevent a serious accident from taking place.

A front tire will drop into a washout quite a bit further than a rear wheel would. Going downhill, by backing down, will allow the rear tire to hit the washout first. This will also alert the operator to the fact that his front tire is about to hit the same washout. It's always better to have some warning before these things happen.

Nobody is wrong. We all have certain points to make. Taking part in this discussion is the most important thing, and the feedback received by everyone here is very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Joel






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Field Mowers Brush Cutters Forum

Thread 147327 Filter by Poster:
brokenarrow 3 | candoarms 4 | crunch 3 | earthwrks 4 | kskwash 1 | kthompson 2 | mobilus 5 | Murf 3 | randywatson 1 |




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