There comes a point where the old ride on mower reaches its limitations in terms of the workload that is expected of it in maintaining those rambling, park-like lawns. Not to mention the huge number of hours that need to be dedicated to performing this task when the lawns are actively growing.
Many of our customers come to us in this situation. They have a few options available to them. One is, of course, a larger mower; an out-front or mid mounted mower deck on a purpose built machine. Usually, these specialised machines represent quite an investment to purchase brand new, and second hand machines, with their heavy work history and myriad of wearing parts, are a bit of a gamble. Hobby farmers and small acreage owners can see the benefits and functionality of a small tractor. Firstly, with a grass cutting implement attached, a small tractor can replace the ride on mower; greater speed, power and cutting width being the main advantages. Combined with an AGMAX 4-in-1 front end loader and the ability to add other implements in place of the mower, a tractor is not just limited to cutting lawns. With the right attachments, it offers a complete landscaping and general small acreage maintenance package.
So, you’ve decided on a small tractor. But which grass cutting implement will best suit your purposes? Well, here are your options, folks.
There is no reason why a well set up and maintained slasher can’t produce an excellent lawn. What I like about them is that they are robust, simple implements that are easy to maintain and service. Size does matter! It is important to have a slasher that suits the size and HP of your tractor. Angles are important, too. Having your slasher set on a mild decline allows the slasher two cutting heights. This tends to put less load on the tractor and slasher, makes a low cut easier to perform. Having said this, slashers are limited as to how low they can cut and the quality of the finish, in lawn applications. They are primarily suited to cutting taller, heavier grass.
Often lawns need training. If they are repeatedly slashed higher up than usual, then, eventually they will bulk up and form crowns and will look very nice at a distance. So the ride on could be continued to be used for around the house and other key areas and the slasher used for the rest. A bit like a golf fairway, I guess.
View SOTA’s range of AGMAX Slashers here…
This is just like having an out-front or mid mounted mower, except it is attached to the tractor’s three point linkage. An advantage of this over other styles of mower is ease of adjustment, maintenance and servicing. They allow easy access to hard to get places and grease nipples. These machines do a beautiful job of lawns. Once properly set up they can be removed and put back on without adjustment. They are light and easy to attach/detach. They are a specialised machine though. They are unsuited to long, rank and/or heavy grass. There is, however, a machine that has the best of both worlds, and other applications to boot.
View SOTA’s range of Del Morino Finishing Mowers here…
Introducing the flail mower – a large number of blades and high revolutions make for a beautiful cut when using a flail mower for lawns. They can cut very low for that manicured look. Flail mowers destroy and mulch grass or weeds and cut brush up to 3/4 inch (2 cm) in diameter. Flail mowers also leave an even mat of mulch, which, due to its pulverized state, decomposes quickly. At least 25 hp is recommended for tall weeds and intermittent brush.
For thick brush, the front end loader (FEL) with a 4-in-1 bucket is useful. The jaws can be used to pull thick brush out by the roots or push it over with the blade. A slasher could probably handle some of the lighter stuff, but if you have an abundance thicket of 3/4” diameter or less, a flail mower is ideal.
These implements are outstanding for clearing undergrowth and fire breaks for bushfire management. This is particularly useful when fire bans are enforced. It additionally creates an anti-erosion mat that prevents water run-off problems. The removal of the fuel load from the land does more than just protect buildings from the risk of bushfire. It actually helps keep bush fires out of the crown of trees, reducing severity and hence, many deleterious environmental impacts that result from hot burns.
When making a decision on what grass cutting implement best suits your needs, remember the flail mower. Priced between a slasher and a finishing mower they offer a good compromise. For blocks with private bush, they could prove to be an invaluable tool for reducing the risk of bushfires.
View SOTA’s range of Del Morino Flail Mowers here…