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Choosing a brush mower

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Go where a tractor can't

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Radio interview source: Wayne Swisher, president and CEO, Swisher, Inc.

There are parts of the yard where I won't go with the lawn mower. It's thick, weedy, and full of vegetation that would damage the mower blades if I rolled over it.

A walk-behind brush mower, also known as a brush cutter, is an excellent choice for cutting heavy grass, weeds, and even tree saplings. Where the lawn mower won't go, the brush mower fits right in. It will chomp small trees and thick shrubs to little pieces. A lot of people use brush mowers to maintain nature trails and keep them clear.

Wayne Swisher is the CEO and president of a major power equipment company, and says because of its narrow width and low center of gravity, a walk-behind brush mower can be used wherever tractors can't go.

"Our models have a very robust transmission that has five different speeds to choose from, to allow you to get into more difficult terrains and things, because often times your overgrowth may be on a hill or steep incline," Swisher says.

The brush mower will generally eat anything you can push over. That even includes trees with trunks up to two inches in diameter. It also gives you more versatility to get into tight areas, and under low-hanging branches. Super traction tires allow you to maneuver in awkward places where other machines won't go. A brush mower can clear up to two-thirds of an acre per hour and is self-propelled, so it easily rolls over the terrain, cutting a 24-inch swath.

Safety first

There are safety guards on the front and sides of the machine to eliminate airborne debris, but it's still a good idea to keep other people a safe distance away when you're operating the machine.

You can choose the horsepower according to your needs and how much you're willing to spend.

"Our most popular model on the walk-behind is the 11 1/2-horsepower Briggs & Stratton unit," Swisher says. "Different retailers sell units for different price ranges but you'll see units in the $1,299 range."

Learn more:

Brush cutter manuals: Before you shop for a brush cutter, browse the product manuals and instructions that come with models from several manufacturers.

 

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