Facing a long, hot summer of brush-hogging pastures, the time may be here for a new King Kutter. Or perhaps a 4’ Lift Mower. Or maybe you should have your old mower serviced with new parts. Whether you’re running a horse farm or row-cropping operation or are involved in another piece of agriculture entirely, servicing mowers is an ongoing necessity, particularly on smaller locations where you’re probably switching implements on and off the same tractor.
Several considerations come to mind when making the investment — which can save you a lot of time and money going forward. Agri Supply offers a wide variety of top-quality rotary mowers and accessories built to work with any number of tractors, both size, and model. Below are keys to consider when shopping around this season.
First Consideration: Size
Bigger, smaller, or stick with the same? Agri Supply allows you to sort through the various options while making sure you don’t over- or under-buy for your operation. If you’re unsure of what size to get, or unfamiliar with the process, grab a tape measure and head outside. Get a measurement of the brush, saplings, and other materials you’ll be mowing over and find the largest diameter you’ll be handling. Rotary mowers are rated on their Cut Capacity Max, which means the maximum diameter of the material. When perusing Agri Supply, you’ll want to note that number, whether it’s 1, 2 or more inches.
Also, get a measurement of your tractor’s rear tread width and make sure the mower you get is wide enough to hang just a little outside so as not to miss materials over which you’ll be driving. You’ll also want to factor in the PTO horsepower of your tractor when considering this purchase.
Second Consideration: Brand
Another factor to consider is brand, mainly if you’ll be relying on a local mechanic if something goes wrong. Do-it-themselfers already have their own preferences, but it wouldn’t hurt to look up reviews online of the brands, such as King Kutter, Kodiak, or Oregon. This is particularly important if you’re new to the process and have little experience with mowers.
Agri Supply carries a wide variety of parts, implements, and other accessories. Do some homework on the differences in warranty and recommended maintenance requirements. If you’ll be taking the unit in for servicing, having a brand your mechanic understands will be helpful and less costly in the long run. If you are handy with your maintenance, then brand reviews might be of more importance to you than your implement dealer’s sales pitch. With the Agri-Direct Mail Order Center and customer service line, you might very well be able to get a great brand regardless of local offerings in-store.
Third Consideration: New or Used
This question often arises mid-way through the search as neighbors offer to trade or sell you an old model of their own. If you do buy used, make sure you have a thorough inspection of the model. The issue at hand will primarily be one of usage. If you’re an experienced hay producer with swaths of acreage, chances are you know some friends who have a unit for sale.
That said, the prices on newer models are surprisingly low, and it might make just as much sense to shop around. The number of hours used and the condition of the machine will matter. If you do buy used, make sure to note the brand and access to parts. Agri Supply offers a wide range of support parts for mowers and farm machinery in general, and it’s wise to take note of different prices in advance as a used model comes without warranty, and you might be doing your repair work.
Fourth Consideration: Price
The price you’re willing to pay depends mainly on the purposes for which you’ll be using the mower. A 5’ Rotary Cut Mower 3 Point Category 1 might be available for as low as $953 and makes for a great machine when mowing large lawns or golf courses. With a cutting width of 54-21/64,” it’s recommended for tractors with 22-50 horsepower and can handle brush up to one inch in diameter. Meanwhile, the 12’ Flex Wing Rotary Cutter Model 1912 by Titan is built to handle brush up to 2 inches in diameter and may cost $11,000. With 144” cutting width and 151” overall width, Flex Wing comes equipped with safety items including driveline shields, clutch shields, chain discharge shields, and towing chains. A mid-price option might be the Kodiak Heavy Duty Rotary Cutter, 10 foot at $4,700, which provides an impressive 3-inch cutting capacity. With a cutting width of 116”, the unit has a total weight of 1,540 pounds and sports a cutting height of 2 to 10 inches.
Cut to the chase
As with any purchase, there are a lot of considerations to be had when purchasing a rotary mower or farming equipment in general. Doing a little online research might surprise the old-school folks as more and more information becomes available on the Internet. While Grandpa was pretty much limited to the parts down at the local hardware store, today’s farmers can order from anywhere in the world and often get quicker delivery. Whether new or used, big or small, knowing what you’re looking for can make all the difference in achieving the right price.
This article was published on behalf of Agri Supply. Brian Boyce is an award-winning writer living on a farm in west-central Indiana.