There are a multitude of mower attachments available on the market, so it’s easy to pick the wrong one for your application. For example: You wouldn’t use a rotary cutter to achieve a smooth, precise cut needed for a golf course, and a mid-mount mower wouldn’t efficiently handle cutting through thick, heavy brush. We think you get the idea, but let’s break it down below.
Rear-Mount Finish Mowers
Three-point, or rear-mount, finish mowers are pulled behind compact tractors for jobs that require covering large, open estates or athletic fields. The machine’s three-point arm assembly allows for greater float travel, which is especially beneficial on hilly terrain. The three-point arm also allows an operator to change attachments quickly and easily. These mowers feature the same deck adjustments as a ground contour-following deck, with casters at each end of a fabricated mounting beam. However, shims are used to adjust cutting-height settings. Rear-mount finish mowers are available with two different discharge options. A standard discharge chute releases waste material at the side of the mower deck. Full rear-discharge chutes release grass clippings evenly out of the back of the mower deck, ideal for when mowing commercial properties. Rear chutes also reduce cleanup time after mowing since the clippings are not disbursed onto driveways, sidewalks or decorative planting beds.
Also referred to as belly mowers, mid-mount mowers are ideal for mowing turf and creating a professionally manicured look. These mowers are ideal for jobs in residential and commercial environments; the mower head is mounted in the center of the tractor, underneath the operator. Typically available on sub-compact or small compact tractors, mid-mount systems provide high-quality cuts and allow increased maneuverability in tight environments. The most common cutting widths range from 54 to 72 in. Mid-mount mowers not only reduce turf scalping but deliver a high-quality cut over flat or rolling terrain. There are two different types of mounting linkage systems used with mid-mount mowers: ground contour following and full floating. A ground contour system relies on caster wheels and the tractor’s front axle to guide the mower deck across terrain, whereas a full-floating system suspends the mower deck underneath the tractor. Both of these designs provide landscape professionals, commercial contractors and homeowners with high-quality cuts for a professionally manicured look.
Rotary Cutter Mowers
Three-point rotary cutters are rear-mounted, powerful mower attachments ideal for jobs that require cutting through overgrown vegetation, such as heavy brush in industrial sites, pastures, public parks, roadsides and waterways. Adjusting rotary cutters is achieved through a single or dual tail wheel, to which shims are added or removed to establish the desired cutting height. Some tail wheels are attached through a beam with preset holes drilled in the beam, used for height control. Side-to-side movement is controlled by a three-point tilt adjustment, and the full float control comes from the travel of the three-point assembly. Rotary cutters are a great machine to use when trying to regain control of an overgrown area. After using a rotary cutter to mow the brush down, landscapers and contractors will be able to finish mow the property or can till the area to begin reseeding for new growth.
Keith Gribbins is managing editor of Compact Equipment, based in Brecksville, Ohio.