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Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower

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I've been looking for a slightly wider flail mower for grass cutting for quite some time - the current one that I use (A Buchner) is a 5 foot cut and was was originally 'front mounted' on a Buchner four wheel drive 'bank mower'. I converted it to mount on a tractor 'three point linkage' years back. It works very well and will gobble up almost anything you drive it over, but as it was originally intended to go on the front of a vehicle, the flail spins the wrong way and throws all the cuttings over your back as you use it  :bugeye:

Now new ones are an astronomical price, apart from some very cheap imports made from old bean cans and good for perhaps two seasons  :( So I've been keeping an eye on them on eBay. Well used but working examples have been fetching 1K5 and are usually miles away making transport expensive and difficult.

This one popped up only 50 miles away as 'spares or repairs', which as you probably are aware is more my sort of thing  :lol: Close examination of pictures and interogation of the seller revealed a very well made (and UK made) 'Turner Turbomower' that in recent years has been driven into the ground.

Stoutly constructed from 10 mm plate these things are in essence extremely simple. A PTO shaft from the tractor, spinning at 540 rpm drives a 90 degree gear box, that in turn, via belts, drives the flail shaft. On the shaft are the individual flail elements that swing on pivots to do the actual cutting. At the rear is a 6" diameter roller that runs on the ground setting the cutting height.

To the front are sturdy steel flaps that hang down on pivots to stop anything being thrown forwards, and a rubber skirt to the rear for the same purpose.

As declared by the seller the bearings are shot, both on the roller and the flail shaft. In addition the pto shaft is wonky, the roller has a big dent in it, and the steel flaps and their support bar are bent all over the place.

In all a bit of a basket case, but so long as the 90 degree gear box has survived all eminently re-buildable and mainly needing time rather than money. Talking of which, against stiff competition from 13 other bidders it was mine for 371 - a price I was very happy to pay.

So I set off early Saturday morning to collect it with the big 17 foot Ifor Williams trailer - journey was going spiffingly until some poor chap rolled his lorry a little in front of me and I ended up going down totally unexplored local narrow lanes through villages where the Normans were still pillaging, eventually emerging onto wider roads 2 hours later  :bang:

Never mind - she's now home, and will sit on the trailer until a bit of floor space is cleared up in the workshop - this will probably be a winter project so don't expect updates very soon.

First pictures from the eBay advert:

And then some I've taken now it's back here:

Nice one, I did not realise they were so valuable. I used to design those things in an other life. Worth checking the gear box mounting to the main body , sometimes cracking starts , esp. at welds.

Looks like an interesting project. It amazes me that some people could actually use a machine in that sort of condition.
Do you not find that the tractor wheels flatten the grass/weeds whatever, before the mower gets there?
My green machine can fit a flail at the front, and it worked well as it was wider than the wheel track. ( Hired one to try - some of the weeds were above cab height.)
The twin rotor one I normally use is hindered by being narrower than the wheels so those weeds do not get chopped down very well.
I now know I should have bought a triple rotor. :hammer:

It's being used to keep a field in fettle rather than break new ground  :ddb: I have to say my current flail leaves a much better finish than your picture.

Generally I'll mow when I move the sheep off a field, as for some reason their appetite doesn't seem whetted by rushes and thistles and they leave them sticking out of the ground !

When the grass is growing rampantly I'll also cut it to about a 4" staple, as much longer than that they won't eat.  :(

Obviously yes you are running on the grass that you are about to mow, and unless you have a front mounted three point mount and pto drive you have little choice.


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