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Self-powered, Cat 0, bush hog for garden tractor?


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#1 zuren OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 02:57 PM

I was poking around on another forum and found that a guy put together a self-powered, 3 pt. bush hog that he was able to connect to his Power King.  I'm curious if anyone has done something similar?

 

I have areas overrun with buckthorn that I would like to tame and keep under control.  Some of the stuff is pretty big but much of it is less than 1" in diameter.  There are many towable options (eg, Swisher mowers) but they are expensive and I want something that connects to the 3 pt.  Something in the 42" to 48" should be sized right for a large garden tractor like a Power King.

 

Thanks! 



#2 tater195 ONLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 03:15 PM

I have dabbled in that kind of stuff. If you wanted a true brush hog type set up with swing blades and a stump jumper, You will have a bunch of money tied up in parts, or a lot of time fabbing them yourself. A modified mower deck probably wont get you the blade to deck clearance needed to cut the tall stuff. I would go with the heaviest blades you can find. The cheap MTD stuff will bend and twist too easy on saplings. I would recommend an electric clutch with an easily accessible on/off switch also. 


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#3 zuren OFFLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 12:09 PM

I have dabbled in that kind of stuff. If you wanted a true brush hog type set up with swing blades and a stump jumper, You will have a bunch of money tied up in parts, or a lot of time fabbing them yourself. A modified mower deck probably wont get you the blade to deck clearance needed to cut the tall stuff. I would go with the heaviest blades you can find. The cheap MTD stuff will bend and twist too easy on saplings. I would recommend an electric clutch with an easily accessible on/off switch also. 

 

Thanks for the reply.  I'm new to the world of brush hogs, the parts, and the lingo so I've already learned something (stump jumpers).  I have more to learn...

 

As you have pointed out, I'm trying to weigh what it would take and cost to "create my own" versus buy something ready to go or needs minimal adapting.  I'm also trying to decide which is the better approach:

 

1.  Adapt a towable brush hog to a 3 point hitch

There are lots of modern units out there, as well as older units like the Bush Hog GT48 or Honda RM-752A.  The examples I've found are $500+ for used, and $1000+ for new.

 

2.  Adapt an engine to a 3 pt, PTO driven brush hog

Typically, these are Cat. 1 hitches so the hitch, spindle, and motor would all need to be adapted. The 48" units I have found are about $500.

 

I have no experience with the towable units (made to go behind an ATV or tractor with no PTO) so I'm not sure how robust they are or if they have stump jumper features.  Many seem to have a control box that comes up to the operator for starting (if electric start), throttle, and killing the engine.  I have considered a walk-behind brush hog since I could get into more places but I continually read how dangerous they are and if you encounter a stand of multiple saplings of sufficient diameter, it drives up them (rather than through them) as you wrestle with the machine.  That doesn't sound like fun.

 

What would be the minimum engine size for a project like this?  It seems that the heavier duty Swisher mowers are 14-15HP.  That Bush Hog I found has a 13HP Honda so it seems that 13-15HP is the usable range.

 

Thanks!



#4 tater195 ONLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 02:00 PM

13-15 hp range should work. The bigger the stuff you are cutting, the slower you will need to travel. Having alot of rotating mass is the key. It takes a little more HP to get it spinning, but it wont slow the rpm down as much when it hits the heavy stuff.

 

It might be easier to find a sickle bar and put a tiller motor on it.



#5 zuren OFFLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 02:31 PM

It might be easier to find a sickle bar and put a tiller motor on it.

 

I thought sickle bars were mostly for hay and tall weeds?  My use is 98% woody brush (buckthorn and any collateral woody damage in the way) with weeds and grass mixed in.



#6 tater195 ONLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 02:55 PM

the sickle bar could handle 1" green saplings. I dont think a home brew belt drive brush hog would handle that as good. Anything bigger would require a real tractor sized brush hog and several passes to get it knocked down. After that you should be able to keep it in shape with a GT. It might be quicker, easier and cheaper to rent a tractor or pay to have it done






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