Flail mowers or Rotary cutters?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by yukonpeat, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. yukonpeat

    yukonpeat LawnSite Member
    from bc
    Messages: 4

    What would be best for dyke mowing? How about for blackberry bushes? I am looking at taking a contract and not sure what would be the best set-up. Does one brand stand out as being more reliable?

    Any Help you guys could offer would be great.

  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    The Flail mowers I think are better because they can handle a larger variety of material and uneven ground. I checked on them 3 years ago after being contacted by the Forest Service on mulching high fuel areas. This is what I learned. 1. You can spend an ungodly amount of money on Flail Mowers. I priced a Brown Bear at 25K. These machine can mulch 8" trees, probably more machine than you would need. 2. Loftness makes a much more affordable machine around 8K, can't process 8" trees but would probably work well for your application. 3. You will want to check hydraulic flow compatibility. 4. Depending on the terrain, foam filled tires with steel tracks maybe the best answer. The cut shrubs and trees (depending on variety and density of growth) will chew up tires and rubber tracks. 5. Be sure to check hydraulic flow on your machine. The more the better, hopefully you have high flow on your machine. Mowers need high GPM to be commercially viable. 6. They are a maintaince item, the blades will need to be replaced on a frequency that will be determined by the type of material cut and your ability to stay out of the dirt. A cab is a bonus due to debris flying around not to mention the dust kicked up by mowing. The issue with a bush hog type mower (like Ammbusher)is on unmaintained areas you can wreck havoc with the blades and hydrualic motor, they do well on relatively flat large areas with fewer obstructions. The flail mowers have blades that are on a hinge (some are solid mount) and are more forgiving on obstructions. Hope this helps.
  3. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I heard today that Bobcat was coming out with a large flail mower. I mentioned that I was looking at purchasing a 90" Brushcat (currently have a 60" Brushcat). He stated that the performance of the 90" Brushcat has had some issues. I would guess that the issues would be if the 90" model wasn't utilized on a high-flow machine, 20 GPM is the bottom end of the flow window with 32 on the high end.

    I've had great results with my 60" Brushcat on my 773T (~17 GPM aux. flow). Mows willows and alders like no tomorrow. On long grass (overgrown field about 2'-3' tall), I would sometimes travel to fast and bog down the blades. Works good on larger material also, I've used mine on up to 4" diameter trees. The rotary mowers do extend quite a bit in front of the machine (lots of leverage) and may not work well on machines with light lifting capacities.

    The flail mowers I checked out on the internet covered brush or trees of 3/4", 1-1/2", and 3" depending on manufacturer. The only thing that worries me about the flail mower is the cost of blade replacement. The 60" SkidFlail has 42 cutters. The pair of blades for my 60" Brushcat is ~$130, plus you can reverse the flow to utilize both edges of the blade before replacement.

    I would recommend to try both and see how the final cut results look and how fast the machine can process an area. BTW, my 60" Brushcat was $5,500.

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