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Mutton

Mower for quad bike

We have quite a lot of reeds in our fields and have found that the spread can be contained by topping them off and also dumping mulch on them (aka feeding sheep hay and them dropping it all over the reeds).
We've bought scythes and find them good - but have not been doing nearly enough due to lack of time etc.

(We don't want to eradicate the reeds as they are a wild life shelter and also a windbreak for the sheep. We just want to control how many.)

Anyway, wondering about a mower to go behind the quad bike. One with a variable height, or can be quite a few inches above the ground. (Is topping off mower the right term?). Have heard of machinery with its own motor for towing behind a quad bike.

So was wondering if anyone has any experience of these? (Assuming they exist)
Any good?
Cost?
Hire?
gregotyn

I have no personal experience but exactly what you want is available with its own motor to drive it, and your quad tows it. I have seen them at agricultural shows I will ask the question at work, as we have lads on hill farms working here who I hope will know the names of the machines. Failing that if no one knows I will be going to the Spring fair and Garden festival at the Welsh showground in May.
Reeds may be significant as wild life shelters, but they also harbour the snail, Limnia trunculata, (I think thats how you spell it), which is part of the liver fluke life cycle; liver fluke being a serious problem in sheep. 'Topping' is the right term.
dpack

my only possible contribution is that sounds like a good swap Laughing
Mutton

Well, luckily we don't seem to have fluke in our sheep. The ones we've eaten have had fluke free livers. Thanks for the info though. (We have done the double whammy wormer and fluke treatment in years when the vet/farm supplier has said "lots of fluke about")

Other than that, yup, hill farm sounds about right. Smile Hope one of the guys you know can comment.
wellington womble

I am debating whether to buy a quad and mower (and trailer) or whether to buy a garden tractor thingy with a mower that will tow a small trailer and perhaps a harrow. There's plenty out there, but starting from scratch having never used one means I don't really know what the right questions are. I'm leaning towards the mower at the moment, but I'm concerned it might limit my options more later.
Mutton

Can you hire one for a day and try it out at your place?

There is also the question of what sort of quad bike. We asked questions on here and finished up going for the meaty end of quadbikes, with four wheel drive, diff lock, the lot. It has once made a difference by towing an overloaded landrover (not ours, don't ask) up a slope out of one of our fields.
We are on a slope, it gets wet, the soil is fine, peaty and very slippy - can make wheels spin even when on concrete if said wheels are coated with the lubricating stuff.
There are all sorts of little sporty quadbikes that whizz around for fun.
Nick

When you say garden tractor with mower, do you mean a ride on? Or a towable mower? I'd go against the former, massively.
Mutton

Greg further question for your hill guys if possible - how well the mower performs on reeds.
We've used a reasonably meaty Stihl petrol powered brush cutter on them (sort of mid range really) and that tends to get clogged. The scythe, slicing in from the side, works better.
So mowers that don't get clogged and tangled by reeds.....Smile
tahir

I am debating whether to buy a quad and mower (and trailer) or whether to buy a garden tractor thingy with a mower that will tow a small trailer and perhaps a harrow. There's plenty out there, but starting from scratch having never used one means I don't really know what the right questions are. I'm leaning towards the mower at the moment, but I'm concerned it might limit my options more later.


You mean like this?

http://www.redbanduk.co.uk/shop/c-335-larger-residential-lawns/

Don't do it. You need an out front deck to be any use at all on roughish ground:

http://www.redbanduk.co.uk/shop/c-308-outfront-riders/

Yopu may be better with a quad and something like:

https://www.tysonmowers.co.uk/mowers-and-lawn-care/wheeled-grass-trimmers?gclid=CILq842NqsMCFQEGwwodlgIAEA
tahir

So mowers that don't get clogged and tangled by reeds.....Smile


The wheeled strimmer thing in my last post might suit
Mutton

Erm, no. Thanks for the thought but:

a) I have a long hate-relationship with strimmer reels - I can never get the blasters to put out the thread when "just" banging them on the ground and when I take them off to disentangle they never go back in place cleanly. Spend more time faffing with them than using them. OK, maybe it was a cheap strimmer but ....... Very Happy

b) We are talking reeds in a rough, tussocky, hilly 18 acres. I am not pulling something on little wheels across the fields. OK, yes, I could put it on the trailer (when we've bought it) behind the quad bike, but I'd rather have something to hitch directly to the quad.
Cathryn

Agri-Fab 4ft trailed rough cut mower. 14.5hp electric start Briggs engine, adjustable height and offset, can be used behind compact tractor, quad, ride on mower or 4x4. Comes serviced and with new battery and starter solenoid. 275+vat Between Crymych and Newcastle Emlyn


This maybe? On our local smallholder facebook site.
wellington womble

I am debating whether to buy a quad and mower (and trailer) or whether to buy a garden tractor thingy with a mower that will tow a small trailer and perhaps a harrow. There's plenty out there, but starting from scratch having never used one means I don't really know what the right questions are. I'm leaning towards the mower at the moment, but I'm concerned it might limit my options more later.

You mean like this?

http://www.redbanduk.co.uk/shop/c-335-larger-residential-lawns/

Don't do it. You need an out front deck to be any use at all on roughish ground:

http://www.redbanduk.co.uk/shop/c-308-outfront-riders/

Yopu may be better with a quad and something like:

https://www.tysonmowers.co.uk/mowers-and-lawn-care/wheeled-grass-trimmers?gclid=CILq842NqsMCFQEGwwodlgIAEA

That was the sort of thing I was thinking of. A front deck, you reckon? I'll bear that in mind. The land is all flat, and not horrendous, but it's definitely a field and not a lawn. I shouldn't need much access in the winter, so 4x4 isn't really necessary. I just want a small machine to get down between the rows of potential trees to mow and a trailer to cart prunings, logs and mulch and stuff about. The rows will be close together, so I won't be able to get a vehicle down there. I may need to harrow occasionally. I have a petrol strimmer already and I'm planning to leave enough space around the perimeter to get a tractor in to do the hedges. Quads look a bit fancy for me!
Nick

A ride on will not work. The ground needs to be level to cut, it will drag and scuff, and your grass, if a field will be tougher to cut. Trust me, I've already made that mistake. And you'll die of boredom on it. They go at walking pace. sean

One like this?


wellington womble

A ride on will not work. The ground needs to be level to cut, it will drag and scuff, and your grass, if a field will be tougher to cut. Trust me, I've already made that mistake. And you'll die of boredom on it. They go at walking pace.

Really? Bother. I don't mind the walking pace, but the rest sounds a pain. I'd just bet they're more expensive as well.
Mutton

Agri-Fab 4ft trailed rough cut mower. 14.5hp electric start Briggs engine, adjustable height and offset, can be used behind compact tractor, quad, ride on mower or 4x4. Comes serviced and with new battery and starter solenoid. 275+vat Between Crymych and Newcastle Emlyn


This maybe? On our local smallholder facebook site.

Found it new (no link to your smallholder site). Briggs and Stratton is certainly a good name for reliable when it comes to powerful lawnmowers.

Other thought someone just mentioned to me - flail mowers. As in strimmer done with a steel chain not a nylon cord.

Anyone got any experience of that, especially when fighting reeds?
alison

A ride on will not work. The ground needs to be level to cut, it will drag and scuff, and your grass, if a field will be tougher to cut. Trust me, I've already made that mistake. And you'll die of boredom on it. They go at walking pace.

....and they are really noisy, so even with ear defenders on over the headphones you can't listen to books on tape very easily
wellington womble

That clinches it then. If you can't knit or listen to audiobooks, even I would be bored! I suppose quads purr along quietly and sedately, then? Nick

That clinches it then. If you can't knit or listen to audiobooks, even I would be bored! I suppose quads purr along quietly and sedately, then?

No, they can belt along and are more fun. But, my quad is quieter than my ride on was.
alison

That clinches it then. If you can't knit or listen to audiobooks, even I would be bored! I suppose quads purr along quietly and sedately, then?

No, they can belt along and are more fun. But, my quad is quieter than my ride on was.

Agree with noise on this.
gregotyn

Been to see my local man and he says Teagle made raised mower is not in this year's catalogue. I would suggest that you contact then and find out if still made and if not do they have any of last year's stock or know of any around, either in stock or secondhand at one of their dealers. It is the type that you tow behind a quad bike and has its own motor to drive the blades. I hope you can find one, I will keep my ear out and ask the salesman/boss here to ask around. My local man is also looking. Mutton

Thank you for that greg gregotyn

Any joy with the raised topper/mower, Mutton? Mutton

Nope.

Not found anything from farm machinery people - Teagle not doing it anymore. Haven't gone eBaying for second hand as was hoping to hire and try then buy. I guess I could buy and re-sell if didn't work for us, but all a lot of effort. Shelved this for the moment but will return to it.
Cathryn

We looked at toppers and weed wipers for behind the quad when we went to the Sheep show last year. Maybe worth visiting the agricultural shows and getting them to demo what they have?

I will try and dig out the details of the one we are buying (I have no idea when we will get around to it). Please nag me if I forget. We looked at quite a few but this one looked straightforward and uncomplicated. (Trans: I could use it. Joy! Smile )
Cathryn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li83VPABdVs

This weed wiper. It looked as if it would work well and suspect taht the mower would be as equally efficient.
Mutton

Thanks, but no. We're not using herbicide on our fields. Its a clever idea but we have a lot of wild flowers, some indicative that there has been no herbicide or artificial fertilizer used on our fields in a long time, also a complex mix of grasses. We just don't want to play with herbicides. Cathryn

No, I realised that and applaud it. It was more about the quality of this company's machinery.

(We want one like this because it is small and can be selective.)
Mutton

OH did a search - don't know why we always get different results but anyway he's found some. Not necessarily that near to us, but its a start.

http://chapman.co.uk/flail-mower.html
and
http://www.hondaquadbikes.com/product.php/155/wessex_af___afc_series_flail_mowers
gregotyn

Both of those mowers/toppers in the links seem a bit low for what you wanted, which was to top reeds(Although I may not have read far enough). I had an idea that a standard quad mower could still work if you lowered the wheels and the drawbar so that the mowing part is higher off the ground and achieving your reed chomping height. Not a big job. Mutton

I think what I call top, and you call top, are probably a bit different then. Smile

I was meaning cut to within about six inches of the ground, ideally mowing at a time of year when nothing else was that tall (other than gorse). In terms of topping, knocking off just the flower heads would be good too, come to think about it. Once we have knocked back the excess reeds, being able to skim the margins of what we are keeping, to stop them spreading back out would be useful.

Not seen a standard quad mower as such (other than what OH found) - can't picture what you are saying as haven't seen a mower in person.
gregotyn

One of the Teagle mowers was a quad towed mower/topper with its own engine that had a raised cutting height, which I don't know but think that height was variable; Teagle appear to have stopped making those.
I now see exactly what you want to do and will make another enquiry at my local man's yard and see if he knows if what you want is available. I didn't realise that you wanted to top so 'low' as 6" and thought were looking to top at about the flower head height. I'll ask he can find a 'normal' quad towed topper and see how high it will top to, and if needs be he could build a set of wheels to go underneath so that it would raise up to cut just the flower heads as well as the 6" height you want for basic topping. I will see him tomorrow as he has a new small chainsaw for me. I hope I have it right this time!
gregotyn

Still waiting to see the local man, and ask the question!
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