View Full Version : Brush Mower

05-13-2005, 07:58 PM
Getting ready to make the move from Texas to New Hampshire. My house is 1500 ft up and surrounded by all woods 80 acres. I need to be able to maintain the sides of the drive to keep the undergrowth out for good drainage and maintain the side hills. Also, there is a ton of work to do to clear the surrounding woods around the house that is grown with alot of small sapplings and bush.
So the question is, does anyone have experience with the DR Field and Brush Mower. I chose this product because I can also hook up a 30 in. blower in the winter. I have searched and haven't really found anything that appears to be as powerfull, versatile and feature rich. I haven't bought anything so I'm looking for some candid thoughts to help me get started.
I have several bordering properties that I will be able to plow and mow for income. There is no yard grass just keeping the woods back!

05-13-2005, 09:55 PM
Ferris also makes a brush mower. Have never used one so I cant tell you good or bad. Also not sure if they have attachments either.

05-13-2005, 10:03 PM
Nothing comes close to a Gravely 2 wheel tractor with a 30" mower, or a sickle mower. You can also get a variety of snow plows and snow blowers for the Gravely. While Gravely no longer makes these, they do supply parts for all the 2 wheel tractors made, even ones from the 1940's. Lots of these tractors and attachments are available, used, up in New England.
Prices for Gravelys and attachments are a real bargain. Please, do not waste your money on one of the currently available brush mowers until you have had a chance to look at some of the old Gravely equipment. A 6.6hp Gravely can easily outwork any of these "new" machines, no matter what horsepower they have on them.

05-14-2005, 02:29 AM
For 80 acres your going to need a compact tractor with a 3pt brush hog. You will need something with power to cut 2" to 3" brush. The Dr walkebehind is for little jobs, like 1" brush. I would't buy one. They are good for tall grass and light brush.

The Dr snowblower is a joke. With the amount of snow fall your are going to get in NH. A 4x4 compact tractor with a snow blower is going to be your best friend.

You are going to end up spending at least $20,000 for a tractor, loader, snowblower and brush hog.

Get the right tool for the job.

05-14-2005, 12:08 PM
A little more clarification. The 80 acres is all heavy woods on the side of a 3k ft. mountain with about a 30 degree continuous incline, so the only job I'll be doing is around the general house the edges of the drive and side hills where the drainage ditches are.
Regarding the blower, I would like to use it for the edges to keep the snow back after plowing and the immediate area around the house. Limited space for packing snow
The DR 17HP is reported to cut down up to 2.5 in saplings and cut through just about any brush or long grass. That's why I'm asking to see if anyone has any experience with the product.
I'm going to use my F-250 for plowing the main drive.

05-14-2005, 12:41 PM
I would get a nice two stage snow blower. The Dr is a single stage. It won't blow wet snow or ice. Anything else won't get far.

05-14-2005, 02:16 PM
look at a BCS, they are italian made and are very high quality. They are very close to the old gravely like mentioned before. Quite a few attachments are available such as a brush cutter, snowblower, tiller, chipper, sickle bar mower and plows. All gear drive and attachments are changed with just two nuts.

05-14-2005, 09:52 PM
Larry, thanks for the input. I checked out all the BCS products and it reminds me of the type of gear my dad had many moons ago. I checked around and the closest dealer looks to be in Lebanon NH which isn't too far from Twin Mountain. Given the snowthrower that can be attached and the mechanics, it appears to be pretty stout. I also liked the sickle bar option for cleaning out the woods. Now I just need to find out some competitive pricing for the options. Unless I find something else, I'm probably going for the 732 or the 852.
Gives me snow throwing, undergrowth management and the ability to use the rotary mower for the grounds. I appreciate the suggestion

05-14-2005, 10:27 PM
I'll second the BCS motion. They're great machines and it sounds like it might be a good fit for you.

The gravely's are great also but they aren't made any more and they never did have as many implements available as there are for BCS. Also, many of the attachments they do have in common, just work better on the BCS. The BCS, as well as other modern 2 wheel tractors, can be used with the attachment in the front or back(the handle bars rotate). Tillers and other ground working gear work much better behind the tractor.

I'd love a CUT, but they're way too expensive and there are few places on my property that are safe to operate a CUT. I live on a hill that's up to 30 degrees, which I mow weekly. The stock tires wouldn't hold, so I put on ATV tires. Now, I can mow even the 30degree parts, I just have to be careful when the ground is wet. The tires are very aggressive and will tear the soil. Since I bought these tires, I've found ones that may be better suited, but these work fine as long as I'm carefull.

Your initial question was about brush mowers. I've got a 31" brush mower for my BCS. I mowed a piece of property last fall with had brush taller than me(I'm 6 foot), and hidden stumps and uneven ground. I was able to slice through everything I came across. I was able to crawl over all of the ground and only got hung up on one hidden stump. I was able to use the instant reverse and back off right away.

Here are the attachments that I have already. These are only a small portion of what's available: 38" finish mower(w/bagger), 31" brush mower, 30" tiller, cart(1200lb capacity), 36" dozer blade, chipper/shredder, 28" snower blower

Well, I'm just getting back to this and see that you're already interested in BCS. Look on ebay. Curently, there's a 735 and 850 listed. I needed instant gratification, and bought bought new, from a dealer. There is an outstanding dealer just outside of Frankfurt KY, who sold me my 850(earthtoolsbcs.com). The dealer at bcsshop.com would be closer, but I don't think anyone can beat Joel at earthtools on price/knowledge/experience. I actually drove nearly 7 hours to pick up the equipment. Shipping wasn't that much , but Joel went over all the equipment with me. I even tried out most of it around his shop.

I've learned a lot since I first got the equipment. I'd be happy to answer any questions about it.

05-15-2005, 12:32 AM
SGT, interesting you found this. I found your response from 2004 when a guy was looking into a Billygoat. I'm new to the forum so I'm feeling my way through. How can I contact you so we can discuss. I would like to get some of your experience as you have used what I need.

05-15-2005, 06:50 AM
Feel free to PM me. Yes, I've made some posts about this before. On here and other Forum's. tractorbynet.com has some great info about 2 wheel tractors also. I found your post because I'm always looking for new info.

I've been trying to figure out the best(read cheapest) way to aerate. I bought a pull-behind craftsman unit and have been trying to modify it for the tractor. This would work fine on lessor slopes, but as I mentioned in the last post, my property is fairly steep. I think I just found the solution last night. bcsshop.com has an aerator accesory listed. It replaces the wheels so I think it should work great on my hill because the tractor actually becomes the aerator. It would have great traction and be very maneuverable.

This is the beauty of the 2 wheel tractors. Not only can they do nearly everything a CUT can do(on a smaller scale). But they can do things that you'd never dream of doing with a CUT. I borrowed my dad's tractor and had a hard enough time on the flatter spots. I actually rolled his snapper rear engine rider. The BCS has never even hinted of tipping. If you get too steep(past 35 degrees) it may throw some smoke because the oil gets places it shouldn't. It's not a picnic mowing on a 30 degree slope. It gets hard if you're bagging because the extra weight of the bag and the grass(the bag holds a LOT of grass) is trying to pull you down the hill. So you have to keep on the "up-hill" brake. I don't think that even a commercial walkbehind would be able to mow this hill. It's recommended that you climb the hill with the wb. This wouldn't work on my hill because it's terraced. You'd get hung up at every transition. I'm able to mow across with the BCS.

a satisfied customer

05-15-2005, 01:59 PM
sgt, I can't seem to PM you or send an e-mail. Get a pop up that says no access. Tried to contact the adminstrator and that e-mail was rejected also. Not sure how to get this done so we can get off the thread. Possibly you can e-mail me so I can get your e-mail address.

05-15-2005, 05:23 PM
sgt, I can't seem to PM you or send an e-mail. Get a pop up that says no access. Tried to contact the adminstrator and that e-mail was rejected also. Not sure how to get this done so we can get off the thread. Possibly you can e-mail me so I can get your e-mail address.

I think it is because you are new. I believe you have 30 days or something before you have these privileges. Go to the top of the home page and go to support if you need to talk to an administrator.

I believe I am going to check out the website that was posted to see what a bcs is.

05-16-2005, 07:36 AM
sgt, I can't seem to PM you or send an e-mail. Get a pop up that says no access. Tried to contact the adminstrator and that e-mail was rejected also. Not sure how to get this done so we can get off the thread. Possibly you can e-mail me so I can get your e-mail address.

Try editing your profile and options. I was just looking at mine and changed the setting for emails. Try to email me again.

05-16-2005, 01:04 PM
I have a 17HP 30 In DR for the past year. It does a good job for general brush clearing in the Missouri woods. I am not sure I would agree about cutting a 2 1/2 inch sapling but 1 to 1 1/2 inch have never given me a problem. If you do get into something too large it is usually pretty easy to lift the deck and avoid any damage.

I also use it to cut brush on the back of a dam with a slope of up to 35 degrees. It gets teh job done but on the steepest area is really tippy. I generally work it straight up and then reverse back down or try to make a pass in a large arc. Either way it is a tough job.

In a lot of places it is quicker and easier to use than my tractor and brush hog because it gets into tighter places. It is great for making trails through the woods.

My opinoin is that it is built OK and for my use will last a long time.

I would reccomend you find a dealer who will rent one to you prior to purchase to make sure it does what you want. I rented one from a local dealer (Stamm's Rental - Warrenton, MO) and immediately bought one.

Good Luck.

06-02-2005, 12:42 AM
You could also get an articulated "micro" tractor like a Goldoni or Carraro that will handle slopes and stuff.

BTW, I have the BCS 948 Diesel (Lambrodini 3LD510) and a bunch of attachements. Brush mower is good. I got mine (tractor and attachements) from Joel in earthtoolsbcs in kentucky. Joel definitely knows his stuff.

In my opinion two wheel tractors just don't scale beyond say an acre. It's just too much busy work when you could be doing something else. They are great for getting into tight spaces. Don't expect to till east cost virgin clay sod though. That's what i used an 8 foot spader for behind a 100 HP tractor.

The key to using two wheel tractors is balancing (of the tractor vs. the attachement) and traction. I am finding lack of traction to be a major pain in the rear. I have put over 150 lbs of weights on mine and it still spinning its wheels when i was trying to pull this toolbar cultivator. I am going to try duel tires soon and see how that works. Dunno, unless you are mowing 59 degree slopes that have 10 feet of clearance and shear cliffs 1 mile deep on each side, an articulated italian 4 wheel tractor would be much more versatile than a two wheel tractor. Look at goldoni, carraror, ferrari brand tractors. There is an outfit near you (Oesco Inc in Massachusetts) that imports goldonis (4 and 2 wheels).

I don't mean to start a war here, but a DR mower is a toy compared to even the wimpy BCS 2 wheel tractors. If you want a heavy duty 2 wheel tractor look at Goldoni 140 and 150 series or Ferrari 72S (I think). BCS even in its largest tiller is not as heavy duty for say tillage operations as these other 2 wheel tractors.

hope this helps,

--ed in Northern VA.