Tractor Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,786 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Found this while searching for info on my flail mower...Good interesting read on bushhog safety, maintenance checks, walkouts before you start mowing, etc ---- Andy

Sorry this is long winded, but I thought it was worth taking the time to type up if someone might benefit from it.

I just did my first and probably last brush hog job of the season today. This evening I went out and mowed a small area near a couple of houses and got the scare of my life. The area I was mowing was mostly blackberry vines and small trees and I didn't notice anything on a walk through prior to mowing.

As luck would have it, I hit something while mowing and I thought my mower (72" woods) was going to come unglued at the seams. When I felt it hit, I immediately shut off the pto and the tractor to see if I damaged anything. The only thing I found, was a small chunk missing out of the end of the blade. After checking things out, I started looking around to see what I hit. Once I dug around a bit, I found a leaf spring from a car buried in the grass and figured I'd hit it. About that time, a couple of folks that heard the commotion came over to see what happened. While walking across the driveway, they found a piece of steel (1/2" plate about 5"x18") laying in the driveway.

We figured out the plate was what I hit and it landed in the driveway. When I hit it, it actually flew about thirty feet, hit the concrete driveway (leaving a pretty big chip in the concrete) and bounced up and hit the garage door (leaving three big gouges) and then landed on the driveway. The total distance was easily 75' from contact to resting place. I KNOW, that there was enough energy in the steel to easily kill someone if it had hit them.

Now here's what I learned today and would like to pass along to fellow tractor owners. 1. Brush hogging can be extremely dangerous! 2. Never brush hog closer than several hundred feet to a building or people on unfamiliar ground. 3. If you take money from someone for brush hogging, make sure you're licensed and insured. And last, but not least. I'm a licensed contractor with general liability insurance for $1,000,000, and I doubt I'll ever brush hog again for hire (unless it's a farm field). There's no way $50/hour is worth risking my liability insurance. If it weren't for someone upstairs watching out for me, this easily could've turned into an evening never to be forgotten.

I bought the brush hog for my business, now I'm really wishing I would've bought a flail mower. Since I tend to work in the urban/rural interface areas, it probably would've been a safer to go with the flail. Three hours later, I still get goose bumps as I type this up
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,592 Posts
Danger

Sure reminds you of the dangers involved with" ANY" spinning equipment.
 

·
EX Super Mod
Joined
·
5,317 Posts
I was at a plant one time and was in this guy office when i turn around and seen this railroad spike stuck it the wall at about 6'. I asked the guy why there was a spike stuck in the wall and he told me its there as a reminder to leave when they are brush hogging. He said he was at his desk one day and heard this noise look up and saw this railroad spike in the wall. After looking around he saw a hole in the wall behind him and a tractor brush hogging outside. It went though the outside wall of his office and stuck in the other wall right above his head this thing flew. So he keeps it as a reminder to leave when they are brush hogging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
Foolish question of the day, the brush hogs I remember seeing have a cut out in the rear for the cut material to come out. Is the object you hit more likely to come out that hole or will it come out anywhere? My mower at home will throw pine cones pretty much anywhere!!! I hate those things!!!!:argh:

Wouldn't a flail mower just throw things out the back just as bad???:confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,786 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, my hog is designed and does toss all of its trash and debris out of the back of the unit. The side walls and front chains/rubber shielding will help keep the stuff going out the back.

No a flail mower has tons of a little blades that are suspended by hangers and small chain pieces that spin around a central drum unit. At PTO speed, they extend out and are able to "flail" or cut the grass but due to their positioning and hanging mechanism, they are able to bounce off of objects and definately don't possess the ability to "lift" or "throw" heavy objects around. So much safer than rotary cutters as far as that perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
I have never looked at a flail mower up close, so thanks for the education. I wonder why more state DOT folks don't use flail mowers instead of brush hogs, they seem a lot safer. Most of the roads around us have a lot of cans, bottles and assorted garbage that would make gereat projectiles. Just thinkin out loud!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,786 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I just don't know. I think the maintenance is probably one consideration. With the daily pounding, I would imagine that they would be spending $$$$$ replacing blades (time consuming and labor-intensive process) and greasing bearings, etc. I know some departments still use the flail mowers in high-traffic areas, but I guess you cannot beat the 15ft bat wings for overall coverage effectiveness and efficiency. I did see one company that did produce a 10, 12, and 16' flail mower unit, so I don't know what the other disadvantages would be to use em.

Andy
 

·
EX Super Mod
Joined
·
5,317 Posts
They use them here in Baton Rouge in town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
About 25-30 years ago a friend of mines Father was bushhogging and heard something caught underneath it, so he got off with the tractor pto still engaged. A fence wire was wrapped around the blades and was sticking out far enough to wrap around his legs and pulled his legs into the bushhog. It cut both legs comepletely off above above the knees. He begged the medics when they got on the scene to just let him die. He was part owner of a bodyshop and pulled himself together and worked off a creeper to do the bodywork. I will never forget that should i ever do any bushhogging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
Durwood, that's another reminder!! My father always taught me to NEVER get off the tractor without shutting off the PTO, for reasons just like that!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Good advice. I read some of those accidental death reports and it kinda makes me stop and pause and catch my breath. Sometimes you gonna wonder what it must be like to see someone die in that horrific way such as these. It does make you stop and place SAFETY squarely at the top of your list - AT ALL TIMES.

Good info here. Heed it.

-LC
:lucky: :lucky: :lucky:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top