Choosing a rotary cutter | Living the Country Life

Choosing a rotary cutter

When you have rough vegetation to mow, you want a machine that cuts quickly and efficiently. A rotary cutter will keep brush at bay where your lawn mower can't.
Photo courtesy Bush Hog

Radio interview source: Jack Harrington, Product Manager, Bush Hog

For homeowners who are strugglingt o cut through brush and weeds, a rotary cutter may be a good investment. It attaches to the back of the tractor and clears the area with little effort.
Jack Harrington is the product manager at Bush Hog. He says rotary cutter blades are driven from the PTO, so it's important to match the implement to tractor size and horsepower. 
Cut material is discharged toward the rear of the machine. You'll find safety shielding at the front and back of the implement, which may be belting, chains, or a combination of the two. Harrington says chains are more expensive, but more durable.
"The chain shielding will last much longer, and there's another benefit to the chain shielding," he says. "If you're in tall, stemmy material, the chains normally will allow the material to flow into the cutter better than a front rubber belting which would tend to bend the growth over. The blades then are forced to pick that up, and sometimes it's more difficult to pick that material up with a rubber belting on the front of it."
Rotary mowers are capable of cutting much higher grass, but don't cut it too low. The lowest recommended height is three-inches, so make adjustments. 
"I'm going to refer to a 7-foot cutter or less in diameter," says Harrington. "The front of the cutter is adjusted by use of the tractor hydraulics. It's hooked to the three-point hitch of the tractor, so the operator would adjust the height with his tractor hydraulic system. The rear of the cutter then is adjusted usually with one-or-two bolts that can set the rear tail wheel of the cutter on the ground at the preferred cutting height."
These machines have single-or-double-spindles, and come in deck widths ranging from 48-to-84-inches. Expect to pay from $1,600 to $5,000 for a new unit. 

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