Offset Flail Mower on Subcompact Tractor

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Maschio Flail Mower

The Maschio Weekend Warrior Side Offset Flail Mower is a very versatile piece of equipment. Is it right for your situation? We hope to answer that question and more in this article on our video by the same title and linked below.

So why are they called Flail mowers?

The mowers consist of a drum that spins with attached flails, sometimes referred to as blades. Without going too far off topic, I feel it wouldn’t be fair to not explain the name a bit more. Flails are an old agricultural tool used in the threshing process. Flails consisted of a long stick connected to a shorter stick by a small chain. They were used to beat the grains to separate them from the stalks.

By having the flails attached to the drums in such a way that they are free to swing, flail mowers tend to be safer than rotary cutters (aka brush/bush hogs). When a flail mower encounters an immovable object (rock, stump, etc.), the blades breakaway instead of throwing the object from the mower. We’ve definitely experienced objects flying out from the underneath our rotary cutters!

The flail mower spins in a reverse direction sort of like a rear tine tiller does. This action tends to lift the grass up before it cuts it. It also tends to keep the grass inside the mower longer giving you more of a mulching effect. This reduces the amount of stuff you’ll see flying out as well.

Did someone say Hydraulics?

An offset flail mower requires additional hydraulic connections which many of us don’t have available at the rear of our tractors. In addition to raising the mower up and down as you would with a typical 3-point mower, the offset configuration requires you to be able to both tilt and extend the head of the mower. By removing the FEL and running extra long hydraulic lines, we created a ‘poor man’s rear SCV’ that gives us the additional functions we needed. We worked with Discount Hydraulic Hose to develop a kit with all the required parts for this approach. About $100 for the kit, after applying code TTWT for the 5% discount.

Discount Hydraulic Hose dot Com

While this works great for occasional use, we are working on a better (although more expensive) solution. More information on that later. When we need hydraulic fittings, hoses, adapters, etc., Discount Hydraulic Hose is our choice. Remember to use coupon code TTWT for 5% off your purchase at checkout!

So how did Johnny do?

Overall this experiment was successful. We were able to trim around trees and other objects that otherwise would have caused us trouble. The 53″ FIXED Maschio Flail Mower would work well for a sub-compact tractor like Johnny or even the Kubota BX series. The offset flail may be a bit much though. I think the smaller 47″ Maschio Offset Flail Mower unit might be manageable on a subcompact due to it being slightly lighter. Johnny had a little trouble lifting the unit we tested, and when fully extended, the 1025r was a bit tipsy. We plan to try it with the 2038r when we get a chance. We expect it will be a good fit on this tractor. You can check out the larger unit we tested with Johnny or the others linked directly above by visiting Agfolks.com. Remember to use coupon code TTWT and you’ll save an extra 5% on their already great prices!

Summary

We really enjoyed trying out this offset flail mower on Johnny. We see several advantages of going with a fail mower over another style of mower.

  • Flail mowers tend to be safer given their design and rotation of the drum.
  • Flail mowers keep the grass in the chamber longer seemingly giving you more mulch
  • You can cut lower than you would with a rotary cutter

The cut quality was not affected by the tractor having first mashed down the grass in front of the mower. This really surprise us and I think makes a strong case for going with the fixed flail mower from Maschio.

While I may not recommend an offset for a sub-compact the size of Johnny, if you’ve got a pond bank or a steep ditch you could manage it with that 4′ version. Once you get up into the large frame 2 series tractors, you won’t have any problems. We’d love to hear your thoughts after seeing our video and reading the article!

13 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Tim,

    After watching your channel for a couple of years, I made the leap into a B2601 with loader.
    Given that the B is about 250lbs heavier than the 1025r, do you think that is enough more to confidently handle a 48” version?

    • I think you’ll be ok with the 48”.
      For a bit more stability, you could fill your rear tires with Rimguard .
      Remember, you will need two hydraulic scv’s in the rear.

  2. Thanks. I was fortunate that the dealer loaded the tires, but they used RV antifreeze instead of something heavier like RimGuard. I was hoping to use an implement like this, so I optioned the tractor with twin rear remotes.

    It you would like to include a B in your videos sometime, let me know. I’m not more than 3hrs or so from southern Indy

  3. I enjoyed your offset mower demonstration, but for safety sake please turn on your flashers when working off the side of the road.

    Dale Gilhousen

  4. Update: I purchased this implement. In its stock form with loaded tires, this is too much weight for the 2601 to handle in combination with a slope of more than about 5 degrees. I am now buying wheel spacers to increase stability.

    Works great in the field and on the fence lines, though

    • Thanks for the feedback. The next step would be to add wheel weights to the left side.
      Also, I found that I can keep the mower ‘down’ on the right end to help with stability. I would not feel as comfortable doing this over a pond bank, but it helped on the road ditch.

      Keep us informed on the progress. Hopefully you can get enough weight on the left to help it feel more balanced.

  5. Out in the field or turned up trimming the fence line, it was fine. And yes, having it on the ground added a measure of comfort.

    Reviewing the specs again, I think this is predominantly due to the overall width being 1-2” wider but 5” higher at the axle center

    • You can see it at several different sizes at Agfolks.com …and they have a less expensive fixed (not articulating) version too.

  6. Put a 1 metre mower on my JD1026. It’s okay on flat ground where you can keep it flush to the surface. In rougher, hilly terrain the three-point wasn’t robust enough to handle all the weight to one side and broke in various places. In the end, i replaced it all with something up to the task. Also, it needs a lot of counterweights if you can’t keep it flush going up hill.

  7. Tim, I have a 2038r that I will be putting this offset flail mower on but have no rear scv . Can you recommend the best product/ solution to add two Scv’s. The extra joystick you seem to have looks quite handy. Thank you

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