Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Different Mowers for Different jobs : Topper

If you need a mower to run behind your compact tractor the options are quite confusing. We are often asked at Masterco Compact Tractors “What is the difference between a flail mower, topper or finishing mower”.
The answer is they all do a different job and if you tell us what you are planning to cut we can tell you what is right!
The Topper Mower
To start with. : The topper mower is the classic Farmers mower. They have been used for many years to do as the name suggests - take the “Top” grass off only. They are ideal for cutting pasture after grazing as they will remove quickly the ungrazed grass and weeds. Toppers can cut long grass, brambles, nettles, docks  etc. They are robust and can be used in the higher gear ranges on a tractor.  Good topping will control weeds by cutting off the growing tips of weeds and the seed heads.  Topping grass will also stimulate good re-growth and will ensure more fleshy leaves and increased grazing.

Topper mowers usually have a single large rotary blade. Some use a chain but they are not as common now. Blades are replaceable but usually give many years use. Cut height is controlled by skids which can be raised or lowered as needed. Some Toppers are fitted with wheels. Its worth noting that the single rear-wheel type are not great to use as the cut height varies on uneven ground. The only real advantage of these toppers is that if you need to turn tightly on wet ground the wheel avoids marking the ground, but for most paddocks this is not a problem.

Toppers are supplied with a PTO shaft with shear bolt protection. They require a 540 PTO drive and most 4 or 5ft machines are category 1 linkage.

In short : Toppers are robust, can be used in higher gears and do not require high Horsepower to run them.

The next article will focus on the Flail mower, but feel free to contact Masterco Compact Tractors if you need any help or advice