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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm new to the forum, but not to operating equipment. I'm just not happy with the finish mower I purchased. Purchased a Branson tractor (I like it) this fall and a Tar River 5 foot finish mower (BFM 105). It was back ordered, so didn't get to try it out until this spring. Note I have been in contact with the company owner, but want the input of some folks with experience using a finish mower. Per the manual (and the company owner) it should cut a 58" width. No matter what I do, I can't get more than 48". Here are the details of my quest... The grass is NOT a jungle. Has some dandelions in it, which part of the issue. I changed the cutting height up-down. Changed the tractor ground speed. Changed the PTO speed to align with engine rpm to get 540. Sharpened the blades. (Manual says leave a blunt edge of 1/32 in.) Switch the mower to my Ford 2600, which has agricultural tires, thinking the industrial tires on the Branson were mashing the grass down too much, such that the grass wasn't vertical when hit with the mower blades. None of that has made any difference. It still gives me 48" and l get dandelion stems sticking up. My bushog gives a cleaner (5 ft) cut... and of course the garden tractor mower does better. Thinking I should have put the money towards a zero turn machine to cut my 3+ acres. BTW... I knew it wasn't top of the line, but expected better. Maybe I'm missing something, like the back of the mower should be higher or lower than the front. Appreciate any thoughts.
 

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Your experience is pretty much the norm with 3 point mount PTO finish mowers. You can spend a lot more, but I have yet to see one that gives a mowed lawn finish comparable to a purpose built lawn mower.

When these three point mowers are used the lawn should not be more than 4" high and with close grained thick green turf. Sparse, dry or weedy lawns will look like a bad haircut on a good day, and it goes downhill from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks (RC) for the reply. I understand your thoughts, but I have viewed many YouTube videos with a variety of different brand finish mowers and they all cut better than this one. They are getting acceptable mowing... under different conditions. I really don't expect a golf course, but at least the quoted cutting width. Speaking of that... came across a video of an Agmate finish mower sold by Agri Supply. After close examination, on Agmate and Agri Supply websites, that mower is (other than green -Agmate vs red - Tar River) the same mower... right down to the grease point decals. Same specs... 58" cutting width. ... And 8 glowing reviews from purchasers on the Agmate website. I'd bet my next paycheck that they are both made by Belco Mfg (makes Tar River.) One reviewer did mention he would like to have better blades. So... something is just not right... Wish I could communicate with one of those owner/reviewers.
 

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Howdy Snuffy, welcome to the tractor forum.

From your posts, I suspect that you are dealing with a type of grass that lays down when run over by the tractor tires, and doesn't spring back up completely for the mower to cut it? I have this type problem on occasion with a tall spindly grass. How high are you cutting? A couple of things you might try: 1) Try "high lift" blades on the mower, and 2) set your cutting height lower.
 
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Just a couple of thoughts......a friend of mine bought a popular and expensive 0turn last summer and he also has a problem with dandelion stems after mowing......he has sparse dry grass. My new JD rider with factory blades does basically the same cut. When I feel I've had enough use out of the factory blades, I'm switching to mulching blades because I think they create more lift. Were the wrong blades supplied with your mower? and lastly (and I hate to mention this) is it possible the blades are reversed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The type of blade may be an issue... looking into that aspect. But (as usual the first question... is it plugged in?) and yes the blades on in properly. Fin up and bevel down. BTW... called Agri Supply... that Agmate mower is made in China - so probably the Tar River also. Which I don't have a problem with... isn't everything? And probably 90% of diesel engines come from South Korea. I just want it to cut as described, and the Agmate does if reviewer/owners are to be believed. So, something isn't right. If there is an Agmate and/or Tar River owner out there, would appreciate some user input.
 
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