Flail Mowers?

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SteveHGraham
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Flail Mowers?

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:00 pm

Wondering if anyone here has experience with flail mowers.

I am continuing to look into strategies to keep my pasture under control and reduce weeds in my woods. Goats and Katahdin sheep have been suggested, but I don't know how many I'll need for 34 acres, and I hear conflicting things about them.

I have been bush-hogging this week, and I'm not too happy with the results. The long, leathery grass here resists cutting. Some of it cuts, and some of it just falls over.

Someone suggested a flail mower. This is a machine which is popular in Europe. It has a rotating cylinder with little steel things like mattocks on hinges. They cut grass and saplings. Supposedly, these things do everything a bush hog does, better. They say you can even cut grass short and even with one. I need something that does a good job with grass and won't blow up if I hit a branch.

Can anyone back this stuff up? I don't want to buy one of these things and then find out it's just hype.

Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

DavidF
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by DavidF » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:43 pm

Goats are not much good for grass, sheep are better, but I would look into borrowing or buying cows. Bush hogs work well and take less HP then a flail does, but if you are running them through tall grass they tend to just push it over and not cut it. A flail will pull the grass up into the housing and mulch it up a bit but you better look into the HP requirements and make sure your tractor can handle it first.
On my farm I have found that a zero turn mower is faster and does a way better job, but not cheap to purchase...

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Richard_W
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by Richard_W » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:44 pm

I hired a guy some years ago to do 12 acres and it looked almost like a golf course when he was done.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:10 pm

Place I worked in Alaska used to sell 'em, but industrial strength for excavators, not tractors. They would wack away anything up to 4" diameter. Worked quite well along the right of way along roads.
They were high maintenance though, but that has more to do with cutting larger diameter trees, and finding old small block Chevy's and big rocks.

I haven't been around any that were just used for cutting weeds & grass, but these had no problem with little stuff like that.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:56 pm

The mower I'm considering will supposedly work with 30-60 HP. I am at about 38, which is not all that high.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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ALCOSTEAM
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by ALCOSTEAM » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:48 pm

I got a 5' flail mower years ago when I bought a used tractor. Mainly used it for ballast till I put a backhoe on the tractor. Messed around using the flail mower a few times and never had any luck in getting it to work well. Over the years I had tried to sell the thing, then tried to give it away but anyone interested in it wanted the driveshaft and that I wanted to keep.
If you buy one new you might do ok but I would not take one if even for free, well maybe to put in the scrap pile.

curtis cutter
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by curtis cutter » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:08 am

I have a 5' flail, a 5' brush hog and a 6' brush hog. I wish I had not spent the money on the flail mower as it usually just collects dust and I mow maybe 40 acres. The 6' gets a work out on the 60 HP in the pasture but is primarily a field tractor and the 5' works well on the 30 HP tractor for smaller jobs that require a lot of shifting and tight corners. The best mower I ever had was an old hay chopper, which is basically a large flail mower with a suction fan and blower to distribute the grass cuttings which neither of the other types really do.
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

RONALD
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by RONALD » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:38 am

In 1966 we bought a Jeep CJ5 and a 60" Mott Towing Flail Mower with an 18HP Wisconsin engine mounted on top.

The mower shaft ran a around 3600 RPM, and you had to watch for harmonic vibrations of the shaft at certain RPM's.

There were about 168 blades on the shaft, and you would sit cross-legged with the Mott Blade Grinder in your hand doing each side of those 168 blades for an hour or more.

Mott Corp. was located in LaGrange, Illinois, and was not too far a drive to pick up parts.

It did a great job on alfalfa, corn, weeds, GARDEN HOSE, or a COIL of WIRE left on the grass!

Originally ten acres of Alfalfa became dotted with big trees that became impossible to maneuver around; it, and the Jeep, were sold on eBay.

I now have a 60" Ransomes 725, a 54" Kubota GR2110, and a 42" Gravely Zero Turn (BIG mistake buying a ZERO TURN, would not do that again)

Over the years had lots of smaller stuff, but bigger works better!

DavidF
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by DavidF » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:28 am

https://www.hustlerturf.com/products/super-104

This will "git er done" way faster than a tractor ever could... Hefty price tag though..

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:26 am

I wonder how many animals I would need to control the weeds. I'm not about to take charge of 20 critters, but I could deal with half a dozen.

The bush hog is a disappointment. It's fine for weeds, but it's not much of a mower. I have a 60" diesel mower, but I'm not about to wear it out on a huge pasture.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:03 pm

Maybe you need to sharpen up a set of blades on the brush hog to use with grass?
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

curtis cutter
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Re: Flail Mowers?

Post by curtis cutter » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:47 pm

I put my brush hog up in the air and sharpen the blades and it seems to cut grass just fine. I just disconnect the top link and PTO shaft and lift the back with my car lift. I use a right angle grinder and sharpen in place.

The two post lift was the best money I ever spent. (With the exception of an engagement ring...) Not only cars and light trucks but riding mowers as I have four chains to attach to the lift arms.

Working a rotation of the pasture with livestock means I mow about two to three acres at a time. Not all 40. The brush hog takes a little time but seems to cut well.
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

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