Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower 
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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5264
Paul



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

I need some help! I have a JD670 with a 413 rotary cutter. I mow a combined total of 8 acres of pasture, divided by three pastures. Some of it is rough terrain and get bounced around and I have a few tight turns. The rotary cutter does a barely adequate job in mowing and I am considering selling it and getting another mower. Should I get a belly mount? How about a flail mower? How about a 3pt rear discharge? Am I making a mistake in selling the rotary? I try to keep the blades sharp. I have no one to ask in the wilds of Alaska, so I'm looking to anyone for input. I reviewed old messages on this forum, but didn't find alot about how the other mowers tolerate rough areas. Any ideas? Thanks..






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5267
MichaelSnyder

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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

Paul,Stay away from a belly mower if your Rotary mower is bouncing around. Belly mowers are designed more for even surfaces, and they definitely don't like rocks and such. The amount of adjustable mower height is also minimal, compared to a rotary mower. You didn't really give a reason why the 413 was barely adequate. Is it chopping or hacking the grass?If you are considering a new mower, and the 413 is paid for, I would recommend keeping it, at least until you are satisfied with the new one. Might pay to rent a different type mowerif you have availability to a rental place. Our state (PA) uses Flail mowers on the sides of the roads, they seem to go through anything but seem to leave the looking a little Hacked.Personnally, I still like the old fashioned Sickle bar type mowers, although they can be very dangerous. Wish I could help more, I'm sure you'll get good advise from the other readersSmile






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5268
DougH



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

It depends, in part, on what you are cutting. I have a 6' belly mower and it has a hard time with the industrial strength thistle and cow parsnips that we have in southern Wisconsin. I wind up with a lot of still standing or where the thistle is really thick, they just get mashed down. It works fairly well for most grasses, but there are some strains of really tough grass that it has a hard time with. This is the first mowing of the year.My brother-in-law has a rotary [king kutter 5' $499] and it does a better job with the the thistle and other heavy duty stuff. The belly mower gives better results in the lawn areas. We had the fields cut with a flail mower last year and it did not seem to do as good a job as the rotary. But that is just my perception.






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5270
Mike



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

Just my 2 cents worth. I've got a Land Pride rear discharge mower; it does a great job on the "wifes" yard, and I still use it in the pasture and high (3 to 4 ft.) grass. It really takes a beating, rocks and gravel, twigs and branches, mole hills, ruts and even run over a couple small stumps and exposed roots. So far it has kept going.






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5272
GVinIL



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

Paul,The mowers you are considering each have their own distinct advantages AND disadvantages. If your terrain is rough, especially if there are rocks involved, stay away from the belly mowers. Belly mowers do a great job (better than anything else) on grasses where the land if flat -- and are great for a tight turn radius. Rough terrain, rocks, sticks, etc. are the downfall to a belly mower -- the blades will dull rapidly due to the fact that they are not as substantial as the blades found on the other types of mowers. In addition to this, if the terrain is rough there will be the chance of the blades scalping the ground -- which doesn't really hurt the ground, but it tears up a belly mower if done on a continuing basis.The flail mower, in my opinion, is a good compromise. The blades are substantial so they will withstand abuse. Since the blades are not rigidly connected, they do not transfer the shock to the gearbox or PTO if something solid is hit. Additionally, since they mount closer behind a tractor than a rotary cutter, they allow a fairly tight turn radius -- allbeit not as good as a belly mower would, but much better than a rotary cutter or rear discharge. As with any mower, the key to getting a clean cut with a flail mower is keeping the blades sharp.The rear discharge and rotary cutters are both proven cutters, and the heavier versions will withstand a lot of abuse -- but as mentioned before, won't allow the tight turns that you mentioned as being a requirement.I would agree with one of the other respondents that if your mower is still operationally OK, hold on to it until you are sure the other one will work for you. My preference would be to rent one first, or work out a trial period with the dealer to make sure you're satisfied.Hope this is of some help. Good luck with your decision!






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5273
droz



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

Can you explain how a flail mower works and how a rotary works. I have the midmount and am considering another one for rougher terrain but don't quite understand the differences. Thanks.






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5274
Paul



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

The reason I thought it wasn't adequate was it left a number of areas uncut for whatever reason. (i.e. a little too wet, mashing from the tires, etc.) A day after mowing, they stand back up again. The rotary just doesn't seem to "lift" the grass enough to cut. Also, because of the rough areas, it is really prone to scalping becase, I presume, of the short wheebase of the tractor. I can manuever to avoid those spots, but it certainly takes more time to finish the job. It also has a problem getting a good, clean cut on the especially lush areas where our horses "fertilize". I do have a flex harrow to keep the manure knocked down and spread it out, but I can't be doing it every day.






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5279
Jack in Il



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

FINISH MOWERS are intended for what their name says----fine, finish cutting of lawns----not tall weeds nor brush. Generally 3 spindles turn the blades that rotate in a horizontal plane. The blades usually are "wing-tipped" to provide suction to lift the grass somewhat to produce a level cut of downed grass. Some finish mowers are mid-mounted, some rear 3 point hitch mounted. The rear mounts can be side discharge or rear discharge. Most will take down taller grass in 2 or more passes but they are really intended to manicure lawns that you mow every week or so. ROTARY CUTTERS (sometimes called "bush hogs" or "brush hogs") are intended for rough cut mowing that can include tall grass, tall weeds, and small saplings----they do not generally produce a smooth, level, "golf-course" cut. They are rear mounted, rear PTO driven, and usually have a single spindle that rotates a set of swinging bar blades in a horizontal plane. The blades are pivoted to provide shock protection to the drive line and components. You can get "wing-tip" blades or flat blades. Flat blades work best in cutting heavy brush or saplings, but both types will do it. FLAIL MOWERS are constructed with a multitude (60 or more) of small "L-shaped" knives that are pivot mounted to a horizontal rotating shaft driven by the rear PTO. The flail is covered almost completely with a "scroll" shield. Normally the flail knives cut forward and upward throwing the cut material up under the shield where it is then directed back down and to the rear. This mower is touted for its safety since the material is not discharged in a way that could hit bystanders. Thus it is often used to mow schoolyards, parks, roadsides, etc. If driven slowly it can do a better job of cutting tall grass than a finish mower. It is not intended to cut saplings nor brush. Sharpening or replacing the blades on a flail is a big hassle compared to other types of mowers because there are so many blades to deal with. In pastures with tall grass (say over 10 inches) it is not usually possible with any type of mower to make a one pass cut and have the final result look like a beautifully manicured golf course. The flail can usually come the closest to doing a good job in this situation. Hope this helps.






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 06-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 5297
Alan



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 Rotary cutter vs mid or rear mower

I have no experience with a belly mower on my Kubota B2710, but I really like my 3-point finishing mower (Rhino FM60) for the lawn. It costs much less than the belly mower and is easy to put on and take off. I can back it up under trees, where you would have to drive the whole tractor with a belly mower. I don't know how it could cut any sharper - I don't feel it lacks any in this area.The finishing mower is very expensive and I would not subject it to the stuff my Rhino SE5 rotary cutter goes through. I used it on my rough pasture, not really because the ground is all that uneven, but because the weeds, brush, saplings,and grass are sometimes taller than the tractor. It doesn't bog down at all and does a good job. Of course it doesn't look like your lawn, but its a big improvement.If your trying to cut it like a lawn, maybe you should plow it up and blade it so that it is smoother. Then you can used the belly mower.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers Forum

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