Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:49 am

That's a little high, unless it is in mint condition. If it has been used at all, the sections may need to be replaced. That's about $50 in parts right there. I'd start my BRO at $300, if it really is in excellent condition. Your excellent may be different than his. :D
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Bus Driver » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:22 am

Never have owned nor used a flail mower. So my conclusions/opinions may well be in error.
Mowing of roadsides of public roads here is by contractors. One assumes that they bid a fixed price for the season to include a specific number of passes on a specified number of miles of roadway. The equipment used is a tractor in the 55- 75 hp size range with flail mower behind and sickle to the side. They travel far too fast to do a quality job. I suspect that the flail they use is not serviced often, not well maintained. Their results are poor.
Looks like the flail advantages are that it does not discharge to the side-- the clippings just fall down. And debris that is struck is not thrown far. My big rotary once broke a blade which tore through the 11 gauge housing and traveled 47 feet after that. A flail cutter is much smaller and lighter.
My guess is that a flail mower is a high maintenance item.
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Posco » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:10 am

Don McCombs wrote:That's a little high, unless it is in mint condition. If it has been used at all, the sections may need to be replaced. That's about $50 in parts right there. I'd start my BRO at $300, if it really is in excellent condition. Your excellent may be different than his. :D


By the looks of the pics he had posted I'd say very good condition. I'm new at this (Cubber) and I've taken on a hoarders mentality. It will be a year or two before I need the thing and it will wind up taking up space in my already full garage. Ignorance of availability is what breeds my fear.

Parts are readily at hand?
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Eugene » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:11 am

Bus Driver wrote:My guess is that a flail mower is a high maintenance item.
My experience, belly mounted flail mower is much easier to mount and dismount than belly mounted rotary mower decks. And easier to work on.

Belt and knives last about 2 seasons. Knives sharpened at end of first season. I save some of the used knives when the set is replaced. Replacing a full set of knives takes about 2 hours to dismount mower, turn upside down, replace knives, remount.

Typically when I check knife condition, I find some bent out of shape and some knives damaged to the point they can not be sharpened. These are replaced with the saved used knives.
I have an excuse. CRS.
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:23 am

Posco wrote:Parts are readily at hand?

Yes, for sickle sections, guards, rivets, pitmans and belts. For other parts, good used ones are very commonly available on this site and eBay.
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Buzzard Wing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:36 pm

Bus Driver, in the scheme of things if the flail mower was kept lubed there is really no big difference in the maintenance. Sharpening is a 20 minute job with the factory sharpener and does not need to be sharpened very often, unless you run over a lot of rocks. Same problem with rotary mower, but chunks missing out of one of the blades will throw it out of balance. One of the reasons the highway guys use them is that it doesn't 'throw' anything. So I can use it 25' above passing tour groups at the fort and the worst they will get is possibly some dust if the wind is right (wrong). Surely rare, but you can kill an innocent bystander with a rotary mower and a Bud bottle.

One place I normally mow with a flail I mowed with the C-2 the other week. The thick grass clippings went right in the tire tracks. Enough that it may kill the grass underneath. I could remove the right side cover, but except for that one spot it really isn't usually a problem. Can't figure why the grass so thick there??

A flail will pick up some previous clippings and sorta chop them (first picture), but mostly it just lays the new clippings down where it cuts them. I surely wouldn't hesitate to use one on a 'lawn'. Then again I wouldn't hesitate to use the C-2 on a lawn either. Only Bill Hudson would notice the difference. His lawn is perfect!

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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:37 pm

Buzzard Wing wrote:Can't figure why the grass so thick there??

Maybe that's where the latrine was. :D
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Buzzard Wing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Nope Don, it's the somewhat shaded edge of where they landed logs, sandy soil but there is water near that edge. Just that one corner is very lush turf grass. Not sad about killing some of it at all.... the time I spend looking at is is mostly from a tractor and I have more mowing than I can handle. That small section will make any mower whimper.
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby bythepond88 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:20 am

Buzzard Wing wrote:somewhat shaded
Buzzard Wing wrote:there is water near that edge


That's probably the explanation - more water for the grass. I know that the grass grows thicker and longer under the trees and near the edge of my pond.
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby ghennessy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:40 am

Thanks for all the anecdotal stories and input; much appreciated.

:thanx:
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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Bill Hudson » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:20 am

Buzzard Wing wrote:... Only Bill Hudson would notice the difference. His lawn is perfect! ...


Larry,

Thanks for your kind comments. The results of fertilizer, weed control, and timely (and often) mowing. Quality seat time at its best.

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Re: Mott Flail Mowers - Experience, Opinions?

Postby Buzzard Wing » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:33 am

Yep Bill, your lawn is a work of art! Your hard work shows.

Now if I can just get the outer works to be turf grass instead of weeds and 'hay' grass. The first picture above was after a complete clearing and seeding last fall of the 'advanced redoubt'. The second picture is of the outer works what needs work. May try york raking and seeding in a few weeks. Seems the state gave us some bags of seed.
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