When is a Disc Mower the Right Choice for your Operation?

by / Monday, 30 October 2017 / Published in Tractor Tools Direct

When is a Disc Mower the Right Choice for your Operation?

At Tractor Tools Direct we pride ourselves in not only selling top-quality small farm equipment but also in providing the information our customers need to make wise purchases. Having already covered the pro and cons of drum and sickle bar mowers in our two previous newsletters, we will conclude our discussion of mower choices with disc mowers.

Detail view of disc mower cutting discs.

Disc mowers were invented as a logical progression from the sickle bar design. Instead of blades moving back and forth on the cutter bar though, they are mounted on several small discs that rotate at high speeds, mounted on top of the cutter bar. Generally, there are 2 free-swinging blades bolted to each disc. The discs are driven either by a shaft or gears that are inside the cutter bar. Like with a sickle bar, the cutter bar essentially slides along the ground, which is what controls the cutting height.

The advantages of a disc mower are:

  • No clogging. Disc mowers handle thick and lodged hay with ease.
  • High cutting speeds. If you have the horsepower, there is almost no limit to how fast you can drive through the field. Speeds of up to 15 mph or more are feasible, though very few tractors can do this safely.
  • Ease of transition. Hydraulic lift allows you to go from working to transport and back again without leaving the tractor seat. This is a time-saving feature when mowing several small fields.

There are some situations, however, when you might want to steer clear of a disc mower.

Their disadvantages are:

  • Need for hydraulics. If your tractor does not have hydraulics, you won’t be able to lift the cutter bar vertically to get through gates and other narrow areas.
  • Weight. You have the horsepower and the hydraulics, but your tractor is lightweight. This can be a safety hazard because of the much heavier cutter bar compared to a sickle bar mower. When the mower is in the vertical transport position it can tip the whole tractor over unexpectedly.
  • Expense of repair. If you frequently mow in places where you might hit something solid like a boulder, old fence post, etc. Disc mowers, when damaged, can be extremely expensive to repair.

This concludes our series on the advantages and disadvantages of drum, sickle bar and disc mowers and how to choose the best one for your operation. Hopefully, the information will make the task of purchasing a mower a little less daunting since we know there are so many sizes and models available! If you have further questions or need a refresher on other types of mowers please visit our Buyer’s Guide  http://tractortoolsdirect.com/buyers-guide/ or give us a call today at 260-225-3429.


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