Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ned5485, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 130

    I have a lake/pond to mow around, but it has not kept up very well. Just by chance I drove past a Troy Bilt Sickle Mower for sale today. It seems like an ideal machine for my needs and appears to be in good shape and had little use.

    I have never seen a machine like this for sale, and obviously have not used one. I am sure some of you guys have experience with a similar machine, if not the same machine. I am wondering what your opinions are? I was told it is difficult to impossible to find parts. But, do they work well? What are the pros/cons? Anyone have an idea about the value? Anyone know what they cost when new? Do any companies currently make a similar machine?

  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

  3. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    We have one up at our farm in upstate, NY- it's got to be around a 1994 model year or so. It works great for grasses and weeds, even small saplings- BUT does not like rocks! We've lost a bunch of teeth on them over the years, parts are a huge PITA to find for it, as troy-bilt stopped making them years ago. If its in decent shape and the price is right, I'd buy it!
  4. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,676

    My unlce has a troy bilt one that I have used before. The thing works great but its breaks very easily. Some teeth are broken and everything else just takes a beating from the vibration.
  5. hackalot

    hackalot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I have used BCS sickle bar mowers and brush mowers for cutting overgrown and unmaintained areas. Pros & cons to both, if the growth is to high the disadvantage with the sickle bar is you will have long clippings because it is just cutting like a scissor, whereas the brushcutter is just a rotary mower on steroids. If you have slopes, you will be manhandling the units as they both are going to want to go to the low point. My BCS has a differential so I can lock out either power wheel when I need it. My sickle bar has a 45" cut, but the high wheel and brushcutters are generally 26". You will have more maintenance on the sickle bar if the area is not clean ( branches, rocks, etc.). I have also used high wheeled mowers(yazoo, billy goat & roof) they will give you the best cut and are lighter( easier to handle). I never used one, but a hydro commerical wb might be your best bet.

    I now use a Kut Kwick slope mower which is pretty much a tank with 6' of mowing decks. I will go right thru Wild Flora Rose bushes, small pines and dense honeysuckle bushes and not look back. Good luck with whatever you do.
  6. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    FWIW Jari still makes a line of sickle bar walk behind mowers, with cutter bars ranging from 16" on up. It will handle up to about 1" saplings. With suitable skids to keep it out of the rocks and pocket gopher hills, it has a place if you get a job clearing trail edges, where the terrain is too steep or tight for a tractor or riding mower.
  7. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,324

    What does "sickle" actually look like? I've heard of "sickle mowers" all of my life but if I've ever actually seen any sickle, I didn't know what I was looking at. Is it anything like crabgrass?
  8. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    There's two possibilities: Either you are pulling my leg, or you are serious.

    It makes sense in a way: A bush mower is for mowing bush. An lawn mower is for mowing lawn.

    But a reel mower is not for mowing reels. Nor is a flail mower used for mowing flails.

    A sickle mower has a front end that looks like a hedge trimmer on steroids. There is a base set of guides like 4" long teeth. Behind them is a set of shorter teeth on a bar that is shuttled back and forth fast. The net effect is a multiple parallel scissors. Google sickle mower on Youtube.

    (On a related similar tack: If olive oil comes form olives, and corn oil comes from corn, where does baby oil come from...)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  9. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,324

    :) I was just yankin' your chain a little.

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