What can you mow with a flail mower?
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Thread: What can you mow with a flail mower?

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    What can you mow with a flail mower?

    I've got a real mess around my place - honeysuckle and fallen trees. The trees are mainly due to the Emerald Ash Borer destruction. I'm trying to figure out what I can do with equipment that I either own or that my 3520 can power. Or, should I just hire someone with a Fecon Head (aka Forestry Mulcher) on a skid steer to make short work of it.

    I'd be interested to hear from you guys with flail mowers to see what kind of stuff you have or can cut with your mowers? I've done some reading on the subject here and on that other tractor forum, but I really haven't seen anyone that's dealt with the kind of stuff I have here. Just to give you an idea, here's a couple of pictures....

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    The honeysuckle ranges anywhere from pencil thick to several inches. I'd be interested in being able to mow down anything up to about 2" - 2.5" with the flail. Is that doable?

    I don't mind going slow, as long as it would cut it. And, I have no illusions that the flail mower would cut/grind up the fallen tree in the second picture. I have a chipper for stuff like that. And I have a tree puller to pull out the bigger honeysuckle. I'm looking at clearing about 2.5 acres initially.

    I had a forestry mulcher guy out here yesterday. He's thinking that what I want done right now (but still more in the future) would be a two day project. We're looking at roughly $2100 per day for an operator and the equipment - $4200 plus sales tax total. Or, I found an operable Deere 25-A flail mower for $900 at a dealer in NW OH.

    Appreciate any input.
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    I dunno. Woodmax says their flail mowers can chomp on stiff up to 1" diameter. Land Pride says 1.5" for their's.

    I'd look and see if any local skidsteer rental places have a forestry mulcher available. Those things will eat a 10" tree. Rental would still be a lot cheaper than what they are talking about charging you. I can rent a skidsteer for $600/week in my area.
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    At work I ran a boom arm mower with both a flail and rotary cutter. My opinion, being brief, is a flail is more for grass where a rotary cutter is more for brush.

    Your pic - I would choose the rotary mower (bush hog).
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    I dunno. Woodmax says their flail mowers can chomp on stiff up to 1" diameter. Land Pride says 1.5" for their's.

    I'd look and see if any local skidsteer rental places have a forestry mulcher available. Those things will eat a 10" tree. Rental would still be a lot cheaper than what they are talking about charging you. I can rent a skidsteer for $600/week in my area.
    I've checked on the rental. Of course, none of the "usual rental places" (Home Depot, local tool rentals, etc.) have the forestry mulcher head. I did find the Cat dealer up north of me does rent what I need, but it ain't cheap either. You need the super high flow hydraulic machine, not just a standard skidsteer. Also, the ones that they rent with the mulcher also have a reinforced cage to protect you from falling trees. The whole shootin' match is about $900 per day (or about $5,000 for a week), plus liability insurance and a few other odds and ends. Plus, a $175 each way delivery fee. Since I've never operated one of these before, I'm sure there's a learning curve on it. Of course, I have watched a bunch of YouBoob videos, so I guess that makes me an expert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    At work I ran a boom arm mower with both a flail and rotary cutter. My opinion, being brief, is a flail is more for grass where a rotary cutter is more for brush.

    Your pic - I would choose the rotary mower (bush hog).
    The Township (and the County too) has a flail on a hydraulic arm that they use for trimming back the honeysuckle along roads. It's got big teeth/blades on it and really does a job cutting that stuff up. Unfortunately, even though I'm a high-powered local elected official, the Township Road Superintendent won't let me borrow it for a few days to use around my place.

    I've thought about a bush hog too, but they also have stated limitations on what they'll cut. Also, the flails tend to throw less stuff out of them, so I'm trying limit the projectile factor.
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    I've got a Woodmax flail mower, and it does good up to around 1-1.5". I hit a 2-2.5" tree once by accident (it was laid flat on the ground but my tire made it stand up). It stopped the mower. I had to cut it out of the mower by hand. On the smaller brush it does a reasonably good job mulching it if you do an extra pass or two. AFAIK for your size tractor there isn't a mower that can handle 2"+ diameter trees. So I'd probably consider using a chainsaw for the bigger stuff, and a flail or rotary cutter for the <= 1". If it's too intermixed to allow for that, then I think a skidsteer with that mulching head is required.


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    I have a JD 390 behind a ~50 HP tractor,,

    If I hit something bigger than one inch,, the flail tries to shake my eye teeth out!!

    I have a 12 HP Gravely with a 30" single blade rotary mower,, it has a slip clutch,,
    I will cut 1 1/2" green stuff with that,, but not dead, dry stuff,, and not locust,,,

    So, my JD 390 seldom hits anything other than grass,,,

    I would push that honeysuckle out with my loader bucket,, one or two plants at a time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    At work I ran a boom arm mower with both a flail and rotary cutter. My opinion, being brief, is a flail is more for grass where a rotary cutter is more for brush.

    Your pic - I would choose the rotary mower (bush hog).
    Personally, I would choose neither. I would go for a pulverizer. While you couldn't really run one on a CUT very well, a skidsteer would work very well. they have huge initial cost so it's best to rent a skidsteer with one attached.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnH123 View Post
    Personally, I would choose neither. I would go for a pulverizer. While you couldn't really run one on a CUT very well, a skidsteer would work very well. they have huge initial cost so it's best to rent a skidsteer with one attached.
    Don't know what your referring to as a pulverizer. The only pulverizer I know of is used on soil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big View Post
    Don't know what your referring to as a pulverizer. The only pulverizer I know of is used on soil.
    My bad. I meant mulcher...




    Last edited by johnH123; 01-29-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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