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Thread: Brush mower

  1. #1
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    Brush mower

    Has anyone here made their on brush mower. I am thinking along the lines of a 32" cut mounted on the front of a zero turn mower. It would be powered by a 18-1/2 Kohler turning a 75 tooth #60 chain sprocket with two 1/2 by 4" by 12" long shear edge blades. Just kicking around ideas at this time. Thanks!

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    Re: Brush mower

    what size brush are you looking to cut? and will you get a zero turn buried in soft ground...

  3. #3
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    Re: Brush mower

    Up to 2" diameter would be fine anything larger I would cut then run over. Not concerned about traction if needed will double up drive tires. Have not ruled out mounting on front of garden tractor.

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    Re: Brush mower

    I rented a billy goat and that lasted about an hour before it blew the belt. This thing will be built like a tank. I never have to say I wish I would have built that stronger on any of my projects.

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    Re: Brush mower

    You need to re-evaluate your project. You are not going to be able to cut 2" brush with a garden tractor. A "real" brush hog on a 40 HP tractor doesn't cut 2" brush. It can cut it but not very easily. Here is one that I re-furbished. Put a new 1/8" steel deck on it and turned a pull behind into a 3 point.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by WFM; 02-23-2021 at 07:50 AM.

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    Re: Brush mower

    What is your cut width and blade dimensions?

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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    What is your cut width and blade dimensions?
    I have a 6ft wide brush hog for the back of my tractor, like the one wfm is showing, burt was bought new, it will easily handle 2 inch material, but its on a tractor with 50 hp engine, also I have a 7ft wide flail mower with cast steel duck feet blades that will take down 2 inch material.....no way will 18 hp be able to cut that thick material for long if at all...

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  10. #8
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    Re: Brush mower

    You'd better stock up on belts for it. Those brush mowers have shaft drive for a reason.
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  11. #9
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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    Has anyone here made their on brush mower. I am thinking along the lines of a 32" cut mounted on the front of a zero turn mower. It would be powered by a 18-1/2 Kohler turning a 75 tooth #60 chain sprocket with two 1/2 by 4" by 12" long shear edge blades. Just kicking around ideas at this time. Thanks!
    That's not going to cut anywhere near 2" material...not even 1". The standard rule of thumb for rotary cutters is 5hp for each foot of cut width, so you're in the right ballpark there, but there's a lot more to it than HP. That rule is for rotary cutters with a drive shaft and a gear box with either a slip clutch or shear pin turning a stump jumper and much heavier/longer blades that have a lot of momentum working in their favor...in fact, the entire drive train combines to put more mass behind the blades. A small, 400lb, light-duty 48" rotary cutter uses 18" x 3" x 1/2" blades that probably weigh 8lbs each and those are typically rated at 1" cut.

    I have a hydraulically powered rotary cutter for my skid steer (Kubota SVL90-2)...it's a 1,300lb cutter and is only rated for 3" material. Yes, it will cut thicker stuff if you're careful and go slowly, but I'm not comfortable beating on it that hard. Heck, even 2-3" stuff is pretty unpleasant to cut since I'm the one paying for wear and tear!

    It sounds like a fun project, but I think the first time you try cutting something even 1" thick it's going to either break something or stall.
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    Re: Brush mower

    The one thing you will find is that once you have the brush beat down, you will no longer have much use for the brush cutter. That is my experience after buying a Brush Hog. Now it just sits and only use a mower. I also have a Stihl brush saw, and really like that. It will give a good "CHIING" sound as it passes through 2 inch soft wood. Might stall on hardwood, so have to go slower.

    Regarding the brush hog, I have used the loader to bend over a 4 inch tree, then VEEERY slowly ran it through the Brush Hog. Shook like heck and made a hell of a racket, but once the trunk started to shred it chopped it up nicely. I won't do it again, mostly because it took so long.
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  13. #11
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    Re: Brush mower

    I am counting on the 42 pound flywheel and 1-15/16 driveshaft to provide momentum.

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    Re: Brush mower

    In 1946 My father in law had two meadows he ceased to use. By 1965 they were grown with Cherry trees. He hired a local fellow out of work to cut the Cherry trees. These trees were cut down & no one went near to do anything. He repeatedly offered them for sale, but no takers, then some people bought the land. I don't know what went wrong, but he bought it back. In 1987 he was ready to try again to sell it. He offered it to his daughter & I. Mrs B was indifferent. I wanted it! We remortgaged, & bought it before he could sell it to the public.

    By this time every Cherry stump had sprouted 10 sprouts. Each ran out 3 or four feet horizontal before turning vertical. They ranged in size up to 4" diameter.

    I bought a clunker utility tractor, then a beat up Bush Hog.

    On no day did I get a full day without breakage of tractor or hog. It took much of the summer to clear 8? acres.

    There were mishaps. Attempts to scout failed to find a surprising number of piles of old chicken wire the neighbors, paid by my privileged Norwegian father in law, had dumped at random spots. They of course, used the cheapest non galvanized chicken wire on his tennis court, so it had to be replaced every two years. They didn't know about landfills.


    These many years later, I have a bulldozer. Those years ago, I knew the best remedy was a bulldozer, but buying, or paying for one wasn't an option.

    What I am trying to say is think years ahead. I don't believe your ZTR has enough iron to mount a hog. A hog is a destructive force. Powering a hog from a lawn mower is not likely to succeed.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Brush mower

    here you go...

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  18. #14
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    Re: Brush mower

    It is much more gruesome when a Bush Hog does it. Often it involves bits of steel Bush Hog parts flying through the air.

    I once lost two blades, two blade holder bolts. Never did find one of the 10 lb blades. Either it is underground, or it flew 150 feet to bury itself in swamp.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Brush mower

    Well there was some useful info here. I'm now thinking more along the lines of mounting it on the front of my David Bradley walk behind tractor. I did the calculations and came up with 70 lbs rotating mass for the hub and blade assembly. The next question is 1" or 1-1/4" bolts to hold the blades to the flywheel. I might be dropping the cut from 32" to 30".
    Last edited by arcflash; 02-26-2021 at 04:23 PM.

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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    Well there was some useful info here. I'm now thinking more along the lines of mounting it on the front of my David Bradley walk behind tractor. I did the calculations and came up with 70 lbs rotating mass for the hub and blade assembly. The next question is 1" or 1-1/4" bolts to hold the blades to the flywheel. I might be dropping the cut from 32" to 30".
    dont forget the kevlar boots so when it blows apart and large pieces of steel come flying back at you, you dont loose too much flesh....and if you think your going to be able to hold onto and control it..your out of your mind...on a decent size tractor the brush hog bounces around.....now your getting into the ..just because you can but shouldnt area...of being highly dangerous...and im nor just busting on you for the hell of it...

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    Re: Brush mower

    I have an old Rhino 72" that dates back about 30(?)yrs. Back when they were HEAVY. I used to back over up to 6' tall Cedar trees with it. Chewed them up pretty nice. But I wore out a set of clutch plates on the driveshaft in about 2 days

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    Re: Brush mower

    I started backin' over them when I about tore the steps off the tractor

  23. #19
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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    Well there was some useful info here. I'm now thinking more along the lines of mounting it on the front of my David Bradley walk behind tractor. I did the calculations and came up with 70 lbs rotating mass for the hub and blade assembly. The next question is 1" or 1-1/4" bolts to hold the blades to the flywheel. I might be dropping the cut from 32" to 30".
    What HP engine does this David Bradley have?
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  25. #20
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    Re: Brush mower

    I did a lot of things the hard way in youth. Thinking back, I'd have been better off using a chain than a Bush Hog. Wrap a chain around a cluster of Cherry trees, pull. Those that stayed in the chain, drag them to a pile.

    The way I did it was destructive! A hog is built for small brush, usually 1" stumps. I used a worn out medium duty hog to chew up 4" trees one at a time. It cost a fortune! I repaired again & again.

    Clearing a field is best done utilizing fire. Burn the stuff you remove. In my situation I could have saved time, and a fortune cutting each tree with a chain saw. If i had waited a year, or burned as is, there would not have been machine destruction.

    I can't accurately say how much I spent. I bought a tractor in 1987 I paid $1100. I ran it here 5, maybe 6 hours. I fixed several problems, replaced some parts.

    A few weeks later I found a used Bush Hog I could afford. I was ignorant, I bought one with a clutch. Mine had no shear pins.

    24 years later, I own three brush mowers, but still use the battered Bush Hog 105. We have been through a lot, we both still work. The B275 IH utility tractor is still in the shed. These days, it powers the wood splitter, little else.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Brush mower

    You couldn't give me a brush hog with shear pins. I hate them. Same with the tractor..............I prefer a tractor with a clutch actuated PTO. Those clutches save a lot of expensive parts from breaking. Even my older mower conditioners have clutch packs on the reel and auger drive. Plug a machine, and it can get real expensive real fast if everything tries to keep turning against a solid mass of crop stuck in the machine.

    Not that shear pins don't work, mind you..............they're just a solid PITA to keep replacing when the going gets tough, and you're working the brush hog hard, or you run into something that's hidden in the grass/brush.

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  29. #22
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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    What HP engine does this David Bradley have?
    I"m going to put a hf 6-1/2 hp on it.

  30. #23
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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    I"m going to put a hf 6-1/2 hp on it.
    IMO that will have to work hard just to get it up to speed let alone do the work.
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    Re: Brush mower

    The DR brush mower is a walk behind. I've no idea when they first built them, but they sold well for decades. By 2000? the old ones couldn't meet safety regulations, so my former brother in law was tasked with developing a new design. These have powerful engines, a rugged driveline, but still are limited to small brush.

    He had become an employee gradually. The owner of the company wanted to start up to build a walk behind dump truck, (a glorified power wheelbarrow) They call it the Power Wagon. My sister still owns the prototype of that. The new company began in Manchester VT, but expanding to have a production facility wasn't possible with the regulation & opposition in Manchester. They moved to Vergennes VT.

    The company has been bought a few times since then.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  32. #25
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    Re: Brush mower

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    IMO that will have to work hard just to get it up to speed let alone do the work.
    Did you read the thread? The cutting unit will be powered by an 18-1/2 hp as called out on first post.

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