James Whitelaw wrote:One of the big side benefits of creating trails (re-clearing old pony trails on our case) is that this creates opening in the forest that benefit birds. We’ve seen an uptick in the avian population the last few years. One night this summer I swear there were 10 owls surrounding our house one night hooting it up.
Eric Hanson wrote:Travis,
What in the world are your Kubota Farmers doing that requires 80 hp for 4 acres?!? I have 9 acres and for 13 years I used a 24hp subcompact (JD 2305). I splurged and now I have a 37hp JD 2038r and that is plenty!
Eric Hanson wrote:Travis,
I have two questions for you. First, is your winch a 3pt mounted one like you might find from wallenstein? Secondly, is your Kubota a subcompact or a small compact? I had a subcompact for years and it was great. And you are right about the implements, if you already have them, may as well size your tractor to them.
Eric Hanson wrote:Daron,
Regarding your potential grass paths, I have a tool that is almost tailor made for maintaining paths. That tool is called the flail mower.
Now just to be clear, the flail mower was designed to be attached to a rear PTO and 3 point hitch of a small diesel tractor and I realize that not everyone can afford a tractor, but self powered models exist and these can be pulled by a riding mower or small atv.
For those who don’t know, a flail mower st first look, appears similar to a tractor powered/mounted tiller. When I got my first one delivered the delivery guys thought it was in fact a 3 point tiller. I had to explain to them that it was actually a mower, but they didn’t seem to believe me. A flail mower works by flailing a set of cutter knives around a central barrel that runs perpendicular to the direction of the mower. The knives are designed so that they sweep forward in the direction of the tractor’s travel just as the lowest part of their roll.
Flail mowers excel because they combine the best qualities of a finish mower and a rough cut/bush hog. They will mow just about anything, including grass, sticks, woody vegetation, vines, etc. but unlike a rough cutter, they leave the mowed surface looking as good if not better than a finish mower. Whatever they cut, they really cut, shred, and generally obliterate so that the left over cuttings are minimal and all exhausted evenly out the back, so they don’t pile up like a finish mower that exhausts to the side.
I have used them in the woods because they are highly maneuverable (sticking out 2’ behind as opposed to 6’ or more for a rough cutter), and they handle weeds, grass, sticks and other woody material equally well. They are great on a trail as they mow weeds and leave them looking like fine grass.
I sold my old tractor along with all the implements. I now have a much larger tractor but I don’t have a flail mower yet and I miss it. I am looking at one that has a hydraulic side shifting offset, purposely designed to reach far too the side and keep the tractor out of the mowing path. A section of my trails runs right along the interface of some grassy area and a thick living hedge that is becoming invasive and will take over my grass land if not maintained. The ground itself is too rough for my riding mower and has a tendency to get neglected. An offset flail mower is absolutely perfect here as I can mow the grass on the trails, mow down some of the young invasive brush before it gets too big to mow, and best of all, as I mow parts of the hedge, the tractor and more importantly my face stay out of the brush.
I realize that a tractor plus the flail mower is expensive, but if you do have the tractor, the flail mower is a really great attachment. If you only have a riding mower, or 4 wheeler or similar ATV, a self-powered towable version might well do the trick as well.
Best of luck and happy mowing,