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Question about Finish mowers, probably asked a million times...


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#1 jdlineman OFFLINE  

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Posted October 13, 2011 - 08:46 PM

i'm possibly inhereting a JD 650. 16 engine Hp, 15 pto hp (roughly). how big of a finish mower can i use? my ground is flat and generally speaking i'll just be mowing my yard with it.

another section of my property has 2-3' high grassy brush it's not woody brush at all almost looks like hay or timothy mixed with golden rod. would a finish mower be able to knock that down to a decent heigth to maintain and turn it eventually into yard?

i was hoping for a 5' finish mower, seeing as how there was a 5' belly mower on it before, it just rotted apart and to find a replacement is a bit pricey.

#2 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted October 13, 2011 - 09:02 PM

I have a Yanmar 187D....pretty much same hp as yours. I use a 42" landpride bush hog and a 4ft landpride finish mower on mine. Some one will know better but 1 ft per 4hp seems to be what I have read some where. Mine would probably run a 5ft finish mower but would struggle if grass was high. Will see what everyone else says. Mine too had a 5ft belly mower optition.

#3 grnspot110 ONLINE  

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Posted October 13, 2011 - 09:13 PM

I agree, a 5' might be a struggle if the grass is very high.

I run a 5' on my 790 w/25 pto HP. A 5' bush cutter will work it in heavy stuff. ~~ grnspot

#4 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 09:40 AM

This is coming from the bigger tractors, but should addapt to LG's as well. Generally you need 4-5 hp per foot of cut WITH A BUSHHOG type cutter. Since they are designed to cut (and recut) heavy brush and small trees, they take more power.

Usually, finish mowers take less hp to run. Blades are sharper, only cut the grass once (instead of smashing it several times before it leaves the case), and what you cut is less dense. I have never seen a hp/cut ratio for finish mowers, but would guess it would be 3-4 hp/foot.

For example, my Deere 2320 can support (according to Deere) a 4 foot bushhog, but can support a 6 foot finish mower. We run a 5 foot mid-mount finish mower and it only bogs mildly in VERY high, thick grass.

Not sure how the diesel/gas engine torque would affect the hp/foot ratios for a gas cutter, but the relationship between finish mower/bushhog/foot would be similar.

#5 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 01:59 PM

Tennblue59 you are right...that 4 hp per foot was for a bush hog......

I know they made a 5ft belly mower for my yanmar and it is supposedly around 16hp at the pto......

I think it would also be based on whether the acreage was cut regularly ....if he keeps it cut short the 5ft would probably work well.....if he allows the grass to grow up tall the tractors performance and hp may become an issue

I have never had anything above the 4ft finish mower on mine so I can only speak for that size...... I do see these tractors for sale regularly with 5ft finish mowers behind them.

#6 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 02:35 PM

The Massey 1010 diesel (16 engine HP) pulls a 60" finish mower easily. Now if the grass is a foot tall, it would have to go kind of slow.

#7 jdlineman OFFLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 07:37 PM

yeah i'll just be mowing my yard with it probably once a week, at worste everyother week with a busy work schedule. at most my grass might get 5-6" high in west-central pa. the 650 is diesel, so i don't know if the torque would be much different compared to a gas engine. thanks for the advice guys! just out of curiousity, what are the benefits to a flail mower, compared to a brush hog or sickle-bar?

#8 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 08:20 PM

The torque of the diesel is awesome, much better than gasoline engines of the same displacement. From what I hear, flails aren't good in tall grass, and they take gobs of power to run due to the high rpm's of the swinging blades.

#9 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 09:41 PM

Flails do take some horsepower, but they also have more rotating mass than a bushhog, so once you get them going, they don't bog as bad. Also the blades cut as they, well, flail around (sorry!), while a bushhog tends to smash what it hits (bushhog blade is more chisel than blade - if you sharpen them, they don't last as long...). Also, flails don't recirculate the cut product in the housing (taking power), but propel it outward. IIR, you can run a flail that is bigger than a bushhog with the same power level.

Where flails shine is when there are breakable things or people around while you are cutting. The rotating bar of a bushhog has a HUGE amount of energy in it, and can launch a rock, branch, golfball (ask me how I know...), etc a long way with a lot of force. There are several OSHA reports of DEATHS of people struck by bushhog projectiles.

Flails have much less energy in each spur, so you don't get missles launched out of them as bad.

They also don't make the swirl knots and cut better than a bushhog.

#10 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2011 - 10:18 PM

Tennblue....you sure got the missile part right about a rotary bush hog! I've launched rock chunks larger than softballs for 30 to 40 yards. Flails do cut much nicer than a bush hog like you said. Our state road departments use several flails. They do a good job. I gotta agree, a flail is better when used near life or breakable property.
Both my 10' and my 18' batwing bush hogs have launched rocks that almost hit me while driving the tractor pulling them!

#11 546cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2011 - 08:30 PM

I built this 60" trail mower from stuff I had around my shop. It has a 15 hp. Briggs electric start. The deck was made from a small truck cap with the side doors. Just cut it to what I needed. Made a frame around it with 1" angle and added 3/16" plates where the spindles go through for support. Used rear tractor tires and a crank from a piece of farm equipment for the rear adjustment. The frame I built with 2" square tubing and the rest you can see in the pictures. It mows great and being open all the way around it doesn't leave wind rows and doesn't clog in the tall stuff either. I've used if for 5 or 6 years now.
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#12 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2011 - 06:34 AM

I like your mower, 546cowboy. Nice job on it!

#13 1978murray OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2011 - 08:33 AM

we run a newholland tc33d with 6' finish mower. The tractor is rated at 33hp and it sometime stuggles in high grass




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