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Flail Mowers for Tractors

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Flail Mowers For Tractors

What is a Flail Mower?

A flail mower is a PTO-driven, 3-point attachment used predominantly for clearing brush, much like a brush hog. But unlike a brush hog which spins its cutting blade horizontally, a flail mower’s blades stagger across a revolving drum parallel to your tractor’s axel, giving you 24 to 60 cutting blades across, depending on the size of your mower.

Those blades are attached by a bolt that serves as a hinge, allowing the blades to flail if necessary. So, the momentum of the drum provides the cutting power, but if they encounter an immovable object, they’ll give to save your blade and your mower from damage.

Just like any other tractor mower, cut height and cut capacity depend on the size of the attachment. With a flail mower, you’ll adjust the cut height with a rear roller and with your top-link position. If you have a hydraulic top link, you can adjust the cut height on the fly.

The most important feature that sets flail mowers apart from brush hogs is their ability to offset—many flail mowers are designed to manually or hydraulically reach past the footprint of your tractor, so you can mow fencelines, treelines, along buildings, roadsides, or whatever you need to mow that you can’t get right up alongside with your tractor. 

The most popular flail mower that we sell is the Del Morino Funny Top, and it uses a manual offset.

Advantages of a Flail Mower Over a Brush Hog?

Reach

Flail mowers are more expensive than a brush hog. Period. But that cost comes with some advantages. The first and perhaps most important is their offset feature. A brush hog will be sized to the width of your tractor and mow exactly what is behind you. 

In contrast, some flail mowers can reach up to four feet past the wheels of your tractor, allowing you to drive where it’s safest and easiest, but still get your brush cut. 

Cut Quality

We compared the cut of a brush hog and a flail mower in the same tall grass and brush. The flail mower chopped the material much finer than the brush hog. Both did a good job overall, and the brush hog did it at a lower cost. However, the flail mower was the superior cutter.

Angle

Flail mowers don’t just offset, they can also tilt to cut a ditch bank or pond embankment, opening up all sorts of places to mow that your brush hog just can’t safely go.

Blade Types for Flail Mowers

There are two blade types on a flail mower—hammer blades and Y-blades. Far and away we sell more of and prefer hammer blades. Their beefier design is meant for thicker brush cutting, and since most of us have land clearing to do and we want our mower to handle the toughest conditions, a hammer blade is a better multi-purpose blade. 

We’ve taken hammer blades onto our lawn too, and have been shocked at how nice of a mow, we’ve achieved. Even after years of use on those blades. We’ve smashed rocks with our hammer blades and kept right on mowing.

All flail mower blades are easily replaceable, as they’re attached by nut and bolt. You can switch from one style to the other if you’ve cleared out your thick brush the first year and will be in maintenance mode every year from now out. 

But we think you’ll be happy with hammer blades from the start.

Offset Flail Mowers

The base model flail mowers won’t offset; we recommend going one series up to something like the Funny Top that can offset manually. This means you set your offset before you get on your tractor, and mow in that fixed position. You just pull a pin and push the mower and replace the pin. It takes thirty seconds.

Stepping up in the Del Morino or IronCraft series (to something like the Funny Super) will gain you the ability to offset by hydraulics, so you can now adjust your mower’s position on the fly, right from your seat. Of course, this means your tractor needs a rear remote to operate this function. If you don’t have that, we recommend shopping kits from our partner Summit Hydraulics

Save 5% on any kit you buy from them by using code GWT at checkout.

Ditch Bank Flail Mowers

An even more unique feature of some tractor flail mowers is a tilt feature to mow pond banks and ditch banks, or roadside embankments while you drive safely on flat, firm ground. Angle the mower up or down, and adjust on the fly for different pitches. You might see these being by municipal tractors mowing alongside county roads or highways

Again a hydraulic function is needed to tilt your mower, but these will only be available on mowers that already use hydraulics to offset, and with the use ofa hydraulic multiplier from Summit Hydraulics, you don’t need more than one rear remote to operate both functions. 

Remember to save 5% on any purchase from Summit by using code GWT at checkout.

Additionally, the tilt ability allows you to position the mower upright to trim hedges and treelines.

Del Morino and IronCraft Flail Mowers For Sale

We have two lines of flail mowers for sale, Del Morino and IronCraft. Del Morino makes bright red products, proud of their Italian heritage. We’ve sold tons and tons of Del Morino because they make such a high-quality, reliable cutter. 

They also offer a wide range of flail mowers for tractors, from the most popular Funny Top to Funny Super, Centurion Super, Flipper, and Flipper Super.

IronCraft makes a lot of attachments, and we sell them all. They continue to impress us with their price point that beats the competition without sacrificing quality.

How to Size Your Flail Mower for Your Tractor

You can run a small flail mower like the Del Morino Funny Top on a subcompact tractor like the John Deere 1025R. But larger flail mowers, like the Flipper Super, start to get very big and are meant for mid-size utility tractors with 60 hp+. 

Attachment weight compared to machine weight is an especially important consideration if you’re offsetting and tilting way beyond your tractor’s footprint. You want a big, heavy machine to stay planted on the ground as you mow.

A flail mower will pretty much never be sized wider than your tractor, because you rely on the offset to gain that extra mowing width. 

You’ll need to consider your 3-Point lift capacity and remember that it is rated for 24” behind the 3-Point, and a flail mower can sit significantly further behind than that.

Look at your tractor’s PTO horsepower, not engine horsepower, when checking on ratings to decide which series of flail mower will work for your tractor.

Worry-Free Guarantee On Our Flail Mowers

We know there’s a lot to figure out with tractors and attachments. If you need help picking an attachment for your tractor, just send us an email before you make a purchase, and we’ll give you our recommendation. We guarantee it will work for you.

If you have further questions about our products and services, check out our FAQs here.

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