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Drum Mower Questions


 
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Bill VA
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thinking about adding a small drum mower to mow hay in small areas, ie barnyard, orchard, closer to fence rows, etc - places I do not want to put my MF 1105 and Krone mower conditioner. The appealing thing about these drum mowers is their price and apparent ability to mow wet or dry grass.

I know these things are heavy and cut close and windrow the grass.

Of concern is - we have rocks and in some fields, half rotted pine stumps about 2-4 inches tall. Will hammering a rock, stump or other field obstacle trigger a break away and let the mower pivot backwards? I gather, there are no high shoe kits for these? How durable are these mowers. These fields with obstacles, no way wed be reckless in such a way that potential damage might occur, but Im curious how you folks with these drum mowers - how do they handle hitting and breaking away from an object. Our MF32 sickle mower surely cuts as low as a as the drum mower, but will break away easily. It just doesnt mow very well after a rain or heavy dew. I think a drum mower would fit my day job after hours schedule better than a sickle mower, with less maintenance too.

Any sage info is much appreciated.

Thanks!
Bill
 
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MJMJ
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Full disclosure, I dont own one and Im just basing this off of what Ive read. Im thinking of buying one myself so Ive been doing a decent amount of reading to make sure its what I want.
From what Ive seen, they all have break away systems and Ive never heard of any sort of problem caused by the break away failing or not breaking away soon enough. Im also pretty sure they all have shoe options to raise the cutting height. Im sure theyre all a little different, but similar. There may be some brands without that option, but all of the ones Ive looked into do.
 
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Traditional Farmer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a MC Rotary Scythe I used to knock out some half rotted small cedar stumps and other debris to turn an old pasture field into a hay field. Flail type mower with very heavy flails will also mow grass with water standing.Down side is its slow and takes a good amount of HP,was pulling it with an AC D19,72 HP and could have used more HP.
 
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GarryinNC
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Location: Davie County,NC

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There are no skid shoes on the drum mowers that I have seen. The convex covers on the bottom of the drums set the cutting height. The bottoms skid along in contact with the ground. The drum bottoms are on a bearing and are free to rotate in any direction. Cutting height is pretty much fixed.

Disc mowers are another story.

Garry
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote


From what I've read there are ways to get more height of cut with SOME drum mowers. You tube has some videos.
 
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MJMJ
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I should have clarified that what I called "skid shoes" are often nothing more than washers or spacers to lower the bottom of the drums, and the height gained isn't always very much. But most of the ones I've looked at have some sort of option. But for me, it is one of the draw backs to drum mowers, I'd prefer more options.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote



I have had two. I think that they last longer than a conventional disc mower because the gears are 16 inches off the ground. Cut height is adjusted with the top link changing the angle. Knives are quickly changed. The longest part is waiting for it to stop turning. The second one that I had was a three drum. It was too heavy.
 
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GarryinNC
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Maximum cutting height is achieved when the drums are level front to back.
 
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RayP(MI)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A washer shim can be added to the lower
disk to increase the mowing height.
Probably not worth the trouble

Does not play well in rocky fields. The
blades will deflect and return to cutting
position after impact. They are easily
dulled by rocks, but changing them out is
cheap and easy.

Mine has a snap latch which will release
on impact with a large obstruction.
Backing up will re-latch. I have only had
this happen a couple times in several
years of use.

My source of blades is TSC. They may not
be dependable on restocking. I usually
buy whatever they have. When I have a 10%
coupon. Blades are flat and double sided.
Nolan like disk mower blades which are
angled, not reversablr.

I am very happy with mine, would give it
a B+ grade. Has made my mowing far easier
than sickle bar mowers. I cant afford a
huge disk mower, and dont need one. You
can cut very fast with a drum. Cover a
lot if territory very quick.

Mine is a 190. Run on a MF 180.
Like the way hay rakes afterward.
 
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Hay hay hay
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:19 am    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have been mowing with Reese drum mowers for almost 20 years. The belt drive is much more forgiving on rocks and objects than a gear driven mower (disc). Pasture topping shoes are available, but I have never owned any. The basic height adjustment will give you several inches lift on a Reese mower. There is a very knowledgeable Reeese dealer in West VA. John (304) 358-7271. I like the foldback models, Reese 2070W.
 
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Gumby
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Drum Mower Questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ive had a Zetor 2 rotor drum mower for over 15 years. Not used much in the last 10-12 years as I kept it as a backup mower, with an old beater Vicon moco as my primary hay mower. The knives are easy to change once you get hang of it (only 6 blade total for the two drum model). Eats anything you run it over. Only had the break away hitch activate once or twice, but that was when mowing around a pond, which I dont recommend. Only cuts about 6 feet with each pass for this model. Belt driven. For smaller operations/hobby farming, the 2 roto is a decent, albeit slow method of mowing. You need a stout tractor to mount to, as it swings rearward for road position.
 
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