Before You Start: Make Sure You and Your Field are Ready to Brush Mow
1. In some cases you may be using your field and brush mower to mow an area that’s a mixture of brush and invasive plants that you want to get rid of, along with native and ornamental plants that you would like to keep. In such cases it can be a good idea to walk through the area and make note of what you need to cut and what you want to keep. You can then mark the plants you want to keep with fluorescent ribbon, cloth or other material that is easily visible. To avoid accidentally cutting the plants and shrubs you’d like to keep, it will also be a good idea to find a field and brush mower that offers the most control possible, like Orec’s Samurai Walk Behind Brush Cutter, with its front pivot wheel and full slip differential, or our Cyclone Walk Behind Flail Brush Mower, which has a tracked option that allows you to turn the machine simply by pressing a lever.
2. Brush mowing in an area filled with slopes or bodies of water is another time when it’s a good idea to do a walk-through before you brush mow. Look for any sharp embankments or dangerous obstacles such as large rocks and tree stumps that you may need to avoid. Be sure to mark these areas with fluorescent flags, cones or other objects that you can easily see. If you are going to be mowing in a slope-filled area or a field with stumps and rocks, it is a great idea to have a brush mower with a locking differential like Orec’s Samurai Brush Mower, or a mower with tracks such as Orec’s Cyclone Flail Mower. These mowers will allow you to cut on slopes with greater safety and more ease.
3. And finally, it is important to not only think about the safety of others around you but to think about your own safety when brush cutting. We recommend that you not wear any accessories such as bracelets or necklaces when brush cutting; it is a good idea to also avoid wearing loose fitting clothing—basically avoid wearing anything that has a chance of getting caught up with the machine or with the brush that you are trying to cut. In addition to your clothing, you should also think about protecting your eyes and your ears when brush mowing by wearing ear plugs and safety glasses
Keep in Mind the Challenges of Brush Mowing, and Use Your Field and Brush Mower’s Features to Your Advantage
4. When possible be sure to first do a rough cut or a top cut with your field and brush mower. This is the initial once-over cut that makes it easier for you to find stumps, rocks and other debris that could damage your mower or injure you or someone nearby. If your brush cutter has an adjustable cutting height, like the Orec Samurai or Cyclone Mowers, you can then set the blades at their highest position, cut the area once in order to find the debris and then, after removing or marking the debris with an easily visible marker, go over the area once more for a rough finishing cut. Orec’s Cyclone Flail Mower is a terrific option for this kind of cut as its 38 flail blades work in tandem to mulch the brush, leaving no brush left standing.
5. If you have to cut woody material, vines, and/or dense grass then you will want to brush cut more slowly, to allow the blades to cut the material as best they can. Woody plants and shrubs like scotch broom and vines such as blackberries can bend when you try to cut them, so if you go too fast you will simply run the mower over the material without letting the blades cut it in the first place. By going a little more slowly over the material, you will ensure that the brush mower blade or blades can draw it in and then cut it. If you are using Orec’s Cyclone Walk Behind Flail Brush Mower, you can let the flail blades do the work for you since, by rotating vertically at the front of the deck, they pull in the brush, meaning that you won’t have to try and raise the mower up and bring it down on top of the brush.
6. Be sure to invest in a walk behind brush cutter that has a locking differential. A good way to think about the locking differential is that it’s sort of a posi-traction for brush mowers. When you lock the differential (which is usually just a matter of shifting a lever) you will gain the most traction and control possible on rough ground, uneven terrain and soft, muddy conditions. By unlocking the differential on flat land, you can steer the brush mower with ease. When you use brush mowers with a locking differential like Orec’s Samurai Walk Behind Brush Cutter our Brush Rover Riding Brush Mower you’ll have both unbeatable traction and effortless maneuverability.
7. Another good technique for mowing on slopes is to make sure that you mow side-slope rather than by running the mower straight up and down the hill. Although the straight up-and-down way of cutting may seem more direct, it can cause the oil in the brush mower’s engine to slosh to the sides. That will in turn cause the engine to run dry, which could severely damage the machine and leave you in quite the pickle if the machine seizes while you are on a hill. Mowing side to side on slopes will help keep your engine properly lubricated. This is also a much safer way to mow, as the machine will be much less likely to get away from you or worse—topple down on you.
Consider the Seasons and Conditions When Brush Mowing
8. Think about the time of day when you use your field and brush mower. You should do your brush mowing at a time when it is not too hot but when there is still enough sunshine to safely mow the area—mornings are often a good time for instance. This way you’ll be better able to avoid fatigue and can use the rest of the day to enjoy the area that you just cut with your Orec Cyclone or Samurai Mower!
9. Weather is another important factor to consider when brush mowing. If your area has had a run of wet weather, the brush may be too wet to cut effectively. Even damp grass can be hard to cut, but if you’re using Orec’s Cyclone Flail Mower, the flail blades will suck in the damp grass and cut it anyways! Rainy weather also means mud and slippery ground, so if you have to cut in these kind of conditions, make sure you are using a brush mower with a locking differential (Samurai Mower, anyone?) or a tracked machine (the Cyclone Fail Mower comes to mind)!
10. Remember too, that summer isn’t the only time to brush mow. Autumn, spring and even winter in warm climates can be great times to mow your brush. By cutting the dead brush in these seasons, you allow for more healthy growth. These are also great times to keep your perennial gardens looking nice and tidy!
Use Your Field and Brush Mower Early and Often to Clear Brush
11. When tackling invasive species, get started early! Invasive plants (for example Kudzu, Honeysuckle and some types of Goldenrod) can take over a lawn or garden in no time, so it is a good idea to cut them and to get rid of the trimmings as soon as you notice their presence. By using the Orec Cyclone Flail Mower, you can mulch the invasive plants. Then, by digging up the roots and disposing of the mulchings, you can rid your area of those invasive plants once and for all!
12. Finally, when brush mowing be persistent! That newly-mowed field may look great now but if you let it go for six more months, you may just find yourself having to do the same job all over again. Keep tabs on your brush (and on the weather) and when you notice the brush starting to come up again, get on it with an Orec Field and Brush Mower! Our Cyclone Flail Mower will cut that material to fine mulch, which will keep you from having to cut again too soon. If you stay on that brush, it will eventually die off—you’ll have used that Orec Brush Mower to take back your space!
If you spend just a little extra time getting ready to cut that brush, then you can clear your area of tall grass, weeds and brush in no time and as safely as possible. Just remember to use the Cyclone Walk Behind Flail Brush Mower or the Orec Samurai Walk Behind Brush Cutter when you clear that brush!