Season! - Part II Continued.
Directly Behind Mowing Position
There are two options to mow with either mower;
directly behind the ATV, or in an offset position.
There is a learning curve for both the cutting options.
The operator will have to learn the cutting width,
turning radius, cutting paths and directions, and
cutting speeds best suited for the mowing conditions
for each mower.
Directly behind is the easiest option to learn.
Just point the ATV where you want to mow and go.
Some might say, mowing with an ATV (pulling a pull-behind
mower) will not provide an adequate or finish cut
result equal to a riding or ZTR mower due to the
ATV’s large wheels compacting the grass or the material
that is being cut. Our findings differ.
If operating any of the mowers in a directly behind
method, cutting material compaction, even in over
grown conditions, is not an issue unless you are
mowing in overly wet conditions or mowing too fast
for the mowers to keep up with the material entering
the deck. We found we had great results on
the cut. We even had several lawn care professionals
impressed with the finished results!
Offset Mowing Position
The offset mowing position allows the operator
a good view of the mower and what is being mowed.
With the unique design of the ATV Tongue, the offset
position can be adjusted an additional 1" to 14”
putting the mower well to the side of the ATV.
Operator likes and dislikes varied on both mowers
and in different mowing conditions. When operating
the Finish Cut, most of our testers indicated no
preference as either position allowed the tester
to mow at a relatively quick pace without a great
deal of looking back at the unit. On the other
hand, most preferred the offset position for operating
the Rough Cut in overgrown conditions. This
method keeps the ATV and operator out of the brush,
weeds, grass, or whatever is being cut and in a
clean cut path. Of course the clean cut path
can only be made by an
Mowing Pace vs. Cutting Efficiency:
The cutting power and efficiency of each mower
is very good.
Finish Cut mowing:
4 Acre Test Plot
Lawn with no Obstacles
Under normal mowing conditions, a lawn that has
been mowed every week or two (grass between 1” to
4”), would allow us to mow 5 to 10 mph with a very
clean finish cut. The only time we really
had to slow down was during the turns, around obstacles,
or on uneven and rough terrain. If you had
a relatively flat lawn with little or no obstacles,
you could easily cut at this quick pace for the
entire time it takes to mow. Any faster and
the mower deck would start to experience bounce
resulting in a wavy cut and putting unnecessary
stress (wear and tear) on the mower. To help eliminate
mower bounce on uneven or rough ground, we adjusted
our cutting speed by slowing down. This helped
to lessen the bounce and resulted in a cleaner finish
We recorded average mowing times on the 4 acre
test plot, consisting of lawn grass with
multiple obstacles, at just under 2 hours.
Our quickest record time was 1 hour and 20 minutes,
but some poor cutting efficiency was noticeable.
On the 4 acre test plot, consisting of lawn grass
with no obstacles, our average time was 1 hour 15
minutes. The quickest time was only a couple
minutes better, but that was with the operator pushing
the mowing speeds. A noticeable poor cutting
efficiency was the finished result.
The Finish Cut proved it could mow in
overgrown conditions, as well, all the while
maintaining a steady pace and still providing an
efficient clean cut. We found that we could easily
cut at a 5mph clip before experiencing clutch slippage
in the thick stuff. We were able to bog down
the Finish Cut mower in the rough 2ft tall
field grass, even with the mower set at its highest
cutting height. This was an extreme test of
the unit and clutch slippage was expected.
The Finish Cut is not made for the rough stuff.
This is where the Rough Cut mower shines.
Rough Cut mowing:
Rough Cut Working in Thick Stuff
The Rough Cut mower could handle everything we
threw at it. Clearing of a field/woods barrier
packed with thick brier, thistles, small saplings,
and lots of overgrown weeds was made easy with the
unit. It performed beyond our expectations
and made short work of every job we asked of it.
Weeds over 7 feet tall were no match. Saplings
of 2” diameter or less didn’t stand a chance.
Wet heavy field grass couldn’t slow it down.
Even a couple of hidden obstacles in the tall stuff
where chewed up and spit out with ease. (Well,
except for that one leg size log hidden in the field
grass). We chalked that up to operator error
by not looking for and clearing large obstacles
before mowing over them.
Can the Rough Cut be used as a finish mower?
If a finish cut lawn look is not a big concern,
then the rough cut would work fine for the dual
purpose. We found the mower provided a near finish
cut look. The mower's four tires are positioned
within the width of the deck to allow for mowing
close to objects. We would recommend
the optional floatation kit. It will help
to virtually eliminate mower scalping. We experienced
some turf scalping on moderately uneven turf.
We believe, with the addition of the optional floatation
kit, this scalping could be eliminated.
Our mowing speeds varied as was dictated by the
type of cutting material we were mowing and the
cutting height of the deck. We averaged a respectable
5mph in thick field grass with the cutting deck
around the 3” height. Overgrown conditions
had us slowing down and allowing the mower to catch
up with the amount of material entering the deck.
We raised the deck to the 5” or higher mark and
were able to increase our cutting speed. A
neglected overgrown field will require multiple
cuts to get a “finish cut” look, but for fields
where you just need to “knock it down”, one pass
We recorded average mowing times on our 4 acre
test plots, consisting of tall field grass and a
mixture of overgrown weeds with no obstacles, at
just over 2 hours. On the same test plots, our second
pass times were decreased to just under 2 hours.
Extreme brush cutting slowed us down to
a crawl, but that was expected. The unit still
provided an outstanding cut and allowed us to clear
an overgrown fence row in a relatively short time.
The Rough Cut can easily be pulled between 5 to
10mph on regular lawn cutting. Mower bounce,
on rough ground, was less obvious than on the Finish
Cut, but was still encountered at mowing speeds
of 10mphs or more. As with the Finish Cut mower
(to help eliminate mower bounce), we adjusted our
cutting speed by slowing down. We also lowered
the tire air pressure to around 5psi. This
really helped to lessen the bounce and resulted
in a cleaner cut. The Finish Cut uses slick
semi-pneumatic tires on the front which eliminated
us from using this technique (lowering tire air
pressure) on that mower.
Rough Cut in the Really Wet Stuff
Can the Rough Cut mower cut swampy areas?
Sure it can. But, will it float as advertised?
Floatation of the Rough Cut was questionable and
we found that it does not float very well.
Our test of the unit in a wetland area with field
grass, lots of sand and mud proved it will float
about as well as the ATV. The weight of the
unit will make it sink in the wet thick stuff and
if any water level is present the mower will suck
up too much water causing it to stall. We
believe the unit wouldn’t have passed our test even
if we had the additional floatation kit installed
and the cutting height adjusted to its highest level.
We notice that when turning corners, there was
a feeling like the back of the ATV was being pulled
or pushed (fishtailing or jackknifing) to the side,
instead of freely rounding the corner. We
found this was due to the weight of the mower vs.
the speed at which the corner was taken. The
mower would turn near zero turn radius and stop
all forward motion, but would be "whip-lashed" back
into motion when the ATV and mower straightened
out. The feeling was not noticed when turning
speeds were decreased.
The weight of the Rough Cut unit (approximately
520 lbs.) will push any ATV on hilly terrain.
If you must mow in moderately hilly terrain, caution
must be taken. We recommend that you mow in
the directly behind position and vertical to extremely
hilly conditions or parallel to any road side or
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