Flail Mower Maintenance and review – Should We Sharpen the Hammers?

Foreign [Music] [Applause] Hey it's Brock here from Rock Hill Farms And you guys might have noticed I've Left this machio Flail Mower riding Around on the back of the tractor for a Few weeks now I've actually used it a Lot I put it through some pretty tough Conditions But I've got some projects coming up Over the next week that are going to Require me to use some different Implements so today I decided that Before taking this off and setting it in The shed I would go over it do some Basic maintenance assess the condition Of the Hammers see if any of those need Replaced or sharpened or what the case Is I mean for all I know I could have a Bunch of busted Hammer blades down there and not even Know it and just do any maintenance that It needs before putting it up I'm still Holding off a little bit on giving a Full review and probably the most Interesting video I'll make is a Comparison between a Flail Mower and a Brush cutter but I've seen so many of Those comparisons and I want to make Sure before I do it I have a lot of Hours on this not eight hours or 10 Hours running it but a substantial

Amount of time so the first thing I want To look at is those Hammers and I've Been kind of debating the best way to Access the underside of this Obviously I don't want to just lift it Up and crawl under it that's not safe I was originally thinking That I would take it off the tractor Lift it with the front end loader set it On something so I could get under it Well I don't really like any of my Options I've come up with for supporting Under this so then I thought I'll just Flip it over I watched another video on One of these flail mowers a guy just Flipped it over I think he flipped it Over by hand but this unit right here Weighs a thousand pounds and flipping it Over could be kind of hard on it I Certainly can't do it in here in the Shop and I want to get it done tonight So I'm kind of thinking I am just going to Lift it as high as I can with the three Point and I've got four sets of heavy Duty jack stands to put under it and I've never seen this three point Hitch drop over time But I'm definitely still gonna support It and make sure it's really solid So that's the first thing I'm going to Do is lift this as high as it'll go Oh That is about one inch higher than my

Jack stands which works because if I Support all four corners I'll let that One inch down and it will be resting on It so I put a short set of jack stands Under the three-point arms and the Taller set under this roller here I feel Really comfortable getting under here And taking a look now All right so let's see on first glance Here those look pretty good You can tell they've been used But I've yet to see a Nick out of any of Them so I was kind of expecting the Worst because I watched another video I Actually spent the whole day Without running errands and every chance I could get I was watching videos on Flail mowers And one guy said he'd only been running His for 30 minutes it was a another Brand obviously and showed where All the Hammers were cracked and broken I mean these have little Nicks in them But not bad at all And here's my thought on it these aren't Sharp But I don't think I want to sharpen them So this is supposed to be a blunt force Trauma here If you sharpen this Edge you're gonna Wear it out So I think the best bet is just to leave These alone and that's not because it Saves me a

30 minutes of work But And the thing is the reason I expected These to be all chipped and broken is I ran over rocks a lot On that 10 acre property where I mowed The full 10 acres with this I bet there Were 15 times when I didn't see rocks And I hit rocks with it this should be These should be in bad shape and they're Not I've went all the way around I'm going To rotate the drum one more time and Take a look Okay all of these look good Pretty sure I've been all the way around At this point And make no mistake there are there are Nicks and chips in here But Again I think I would cause more Problems By sharpening them All right so let's look at everything Else now that we know the blades are in Good shape so as I'm deciding if I Should sharpen those the other Determining factor is the cut quality I was using this the other day and the Cut was phenomenal I mean Phenomenal buzzing right at ground level And just mulching everything up leaving No debris and still mulching sticks now If the cut was rough I might sharpen

Those even though they're not that bad If it's cutting good every time you Sharpen it you shorten the life of your Hammers Okay so next thing I'm going to do is Read the entire owner's manual anything To do with maintenance at least and then We'll jump on to the next thing we need To check So that operator's manual was Surprisingly short they're not asking You to do a whole lot once a year or When you notice a problem you're Supposed to check your belts so I'm Going to pop the cover off There's no way these belts should be in Bad shape but I do want to get to know My machine and know what exactly how This is made and what's under here Thought maybe you guys would find that Interesting Foreign Nuts that hold this guard on Three of them are just a lock nut on a Stud or a bolt that's welded from the Back the fourth one you have to put a Wrench on the back side All right Pull the guard off Got a little bit of a squeak And we need to get some grease on a Bearing I grease this before the first use You're supposed to grease it every eight

Hours I've probably ran it 12 hours so Uh I'm past due on my Grease Foreign Really heavy belts here this is all Heavy built I I would imagine this is a low Maintenance Thing you never have to worry about First thing I noticed whenever I got This because there's no slip clutch I didn't even notice anything that Looked like a sheer Bolt Like you don't have any protection for The tractor when running this Well one the Hammers flip out of the way But two if you did need that protection It's in the belts because you're just Going to have your belts slip if you Have a If you get in any kind of situation Where you need that protection All right so we are all good on the Belt There is a check plug for the oil right Here oh yeah we got oil coming out All good there and then the next thing Is this Roller right here There's nothing in the owner's manual About maintaining this and this is Supposed to slide in a bushing here And I don't think I put anything on this Shaft But it feels like it's got grease and Dust mixed together right here I'd have

To go back and watch the video and see If I grease this But this grit is not going to slide very Good So I think I will clean this off and Maybe spray it with some of that rust Rust Patrol product Rust Patrol So anything like this That you want to lubricate but it's Going to Be exposed to dust I mean that's just gonna happen like This You know if I put grease on this first Use it would look just like it did again I think the best thing you can do Is just a little bit of Fluid film from this rust Patrol And Maybe that'll give it a little bit of a Easier time sliding Now in terms of grease zerks these Bushings On the slide have grease zerks Then we have two grease zerks on each Side of the flail mower And I'm realizing as this video goes that The maintenance on this is much less Than I thought it would be so I guess We'll do just a little bit of a review Before we wrap this up And I've got to go get a tube of Grease

What have I learned tonight this is a Pretty low maintenance piece of Equipment you've got like six grease Zerks that you hit every time you use it Same with anything that turns really you Want to grease it every time you use it You hit those real quick and I expected That some damage already to the Hammers And they look pretty good Now one difference with the Flail Mower Compared to a brush cutter rotary cutter Is If you really damage a blade they're Expensive you can sharpen those you can Sharpen these but replacement you have To basically replace both of them and You're going to spend a couple hundred Dollars where with these you might be Able to replace one hammer for like 10 Bucks or something So I don't see where cost of ownership is Going to be any higher than this even Though the initial purchase price Probably is higher Difference in using this feels like it Takes more horsepower to me And you need to cut lower It's very clear and obvious that A brush cutter leaves a rough cut this Leaves a really nice finished cut There's no windrows it mulches Everything If you think of a comparison think of

Trying to mow really tall grass with a Mower that has a mulching setup If you Open your mulching setup or you don't Have anything on there it'll handle Taller stuff with less horsepower and Just throw it all wherever it lands Where when you close the mulching Chute And you're pulverizing that material it Takes a little more power to run it and It can bog your machine down easier and If you're trying to run a lawnmower with A mulching Chute closed you can have Trouble and have to go super slow or or Not even be able to cut it And that's the thing with this That it takes a little bit more Horsepower to really mulch that but the Finish is so fantastic that it's it's Worth that to me And I've already mentioned that you have To cut low and that's because in my mind That this doesn't create lift A lawnmower you can buy high lift blades That suction the grass up but get it to Stand up so that it cuts it cleaner this Doesn't have any lift it's got to get Right down to ground level to cut Overall I find that this is a very easy To use piece of equipment much easier to Use than I expected easier to maintain Been really happy with it I will say it Scalps the ground a lot if you're on Uneven ground

This will turn into this will turn Itself into a tiller and I've removed a Lot of dirt with it and when that Happens That's why I thought my My hammers would be torn up but they're Just not So anyway I appreciate you taking time To watch this video hopefully we both Learned something today about flail Mowers I'll put links on the screen to a couple More of our videos and I'll see you next Time