Hey guys. I have a JD 970(30hp) and a JD 3720 (35hp) and looking for a rotary cutter. I would like 6 ft, and all of the above cutters are rated for minimum 30hp. For all of you more experienced than I, which one would you choose and why?
I have a 3520 - which is 30 PTO HP compared to the 35 PTO HP that your 3720 is supposed to have. I'm probably going to stay with a 5 foot cutter for a few reasons. Those include 1) potentially better matched to my tractor, 2) easier to maneuver, 3) overall cost. There is a used MX-6 for sale locally that's a pretty good price that I'm considering though.
Are you buying new?
All three of the cutters that you've listed would be ones that I'd have no hesitation owning. I had a lengthy phone call with the sales guy at one of the Deere dealers a couple of weeks ago. We discussed the MX-5 and the BB60 and BB600X. I don't have my notes handy for price, but the Woods mowers were pretty pricey. Also, I wanted the safety chains on them and that was an option on the Woods but is standard on the MX. IIRC, the chains were somewhere around $500.
The heavier Woods unit did have a heavier duty gear box on it. The Woods also weighed more than the MX.
In perusing posts here and on another forum, I found plenty of folks who loved their MX cutters as well as plenty of folks that loved their Woods BB cutters. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three listed. It's all going to come down to what specs do you want and how much do you want to spend.
If you're going used, I did read where some of the earlier MX cutters (at least for MX5, I wasn't searching for MX6) had potential issues with gearboxes made in China and in Spain. I think the MX6 and MX5 use the same gear box.
Here is my recent experience over the past year with a cabbed 3520. I also have a 3032E for reference.
I ran a Frontier RC2060 and then tried a Rhino 172, which weighed 820 lbs. The Rhino was a 6 ft mower, and 30" longer than the Deere mx5 I ultimately chose for the 3520. The mx5 weighed virtually the same as the Rhino 172, but the additional length of the Rhino was very noticeable, particularly in rough steep terrain.
I did add (10) 42 lb. suitcase weights to the front of the 3520(I have no loader, yet….) and the weights settled the 3520 down. The mx5 feels and acts drastically different, both when mowing, and when raised up in transport mode.
So do you have a FEL or front suitcase weights? What kind of terrain do you mow? Flat or hilly or ?
Long story short I chose a mx5 due to it's heavier build, but yet short compact size. It mows great, feels good, and I don't feel like I need a 6 ft. cutter so I get more square ft. done per hour. We do have compact utility tractors, and they should be paired up with the best implements in order to work at their best.
I believe you have plenty of pto hp to run a 6 ft. cutter 90% of the time. I have personally done it with the 3520, the Rhino 172 required 40 pto hp, and it ran the 172 perfectly. The weight of the mower will be a factor more than anything else.
So I would choose a Frontier RC2060, Deere mx5, and lastly a Frontier RC2072 possibly if you mow grass, weeds and no trees on flat ground only.
A couple other things about the Deere mx5 I chose. The 2018 model I got has a fine splined input shaft on the gearbox, which allows driveshaft removal with the push of a button. So no shear bolt, the driveshaft comes off with no tools, and I store mine in the barn out of the weather. It also has a slipper clutch.
The mx5 also has two layers of steel in it's upper deck, which is strong and hides dents. The hitch is very well thought out, works perfectly over uneven terrain, and is imatch compatible.
If buying used, the MX6 with made in Spain gear boxes failed and JD would not stand behind them. So I would NOT buy a JD brush cutter.
I worked a couple summers at a YMCA camp. They had a JD4310 ehydro and 6' cutter. I felt the cutter was too big, like the tail wagging the dog. I would buy a 5' cutter.
I have a Woods Cadet 72, which is a 6' cutter. I use it on my JD 2030 which has 60PTO HP. No problem!
The Cadet 72 has the Woods easy to change blade pins. I like them. The cadet is beat to death, but still mows. I want to replace it with a Wood BrushBull BB720.
Searching for BB720, I found a like new (rare for a brush cutter) Woods BB72, so I bought it. When I checked the blades, I found they had changed to pins with nuts from the their easy to change pins. So I am still watching for a BB720 in the used market.