Do I need a flail or a rotary mower for my tractor or excavator?
There are two configurations of US Mower Brush Mowers. This equipment has overlapping abilities but significantly different capacity and ideal applications.
US Mower Flail Mowers
Flail Mowers have a long shaft (sometimes called a drum) with blades mounted around and along it. In operation with the head on the ground the blades travel vertically. This configuration looks a bit like a rototiller.
Excavator Flail Mowers are well suited to general brush cutting for materials including grass, brambles, shrubs and trees up to 3-4” in diameter. Cut materials are reduced to a smaller more uniform chip size and distributed evenly across the cut path. This cut material typically acts as a light mulch that easily breaks down in contact with soil. The short lengths produced can be important for drainage applications where long grass or reed cuttings might clog structures. Debris thrown is generally small and largely deflected to ground. These factors allow operation in much closer situations. Flail Mowers are ideal for mowing trails, parks, open residential areas, drainage features, embankments and roadsides.
Limitations of Flail Mowers include higher purchase price for a given capability, higher wear parts costs, less suitability for service in primitive conditions and lower gross productivity.
US Mower Rotary Mowers
Rotary Mowers have blades attached to a bar or disc that rotate horizontally when the head is in contact with the ground. This basic configuration is familiar from lawn mowers and PTO driven brush hogs.
Excavator Rotary Mowers excel at heavy clearing work in the toughest conditions. While able to mow grass, ideal applications include commercial level productivity for forestry work, fire breaks, rural or remote roadsides and reclamation clearing. These brush cutters are productive on material up to around 8” in diameter. Rotary Mowers allow the operator to control the chip size produced. This is an important consideration for contract commercial work since smaller chips require more horsepower hours for processing the same volume of material. Rotary Mowers are relatively simple rugged machines. Normal service requirements are practical in remote field locations with hand tools. Wear part service is fast and cheap with only two blades.
Limitations of rotary mowers include the large minimum chip size and the danger of throwing rock or metal debris. U.S. Mower does not recommend or manufacture rotary mowers for excavators under about 18,000 lbs for safety reasons. Operator protection is very important for this type of equipment. Inquire with your equipment dealer about forestry protection options. This equipment is not suited to inexperienced or casual users and sensitivity is required regarding the proximity of people, houses, vehicles, infrastructure and livestock.