Making room to run

Back in the spring, I stopped in at our tractor dealership. I love our tractor, Wiley. I particularly love his attachments–mower deck, front-end loader, snowblower–and covet more–backhoe, auger, rotary cutter.

On this particular day, I was particularly coveting the rotary cutter.

A rotary cutter is a heavy-duty mower, sometimes called a bush hog. It can go through thick brush. It can hit rocks and stumps without breaking. It can even take down small trees.

In our constant campaign to beautify/tame/maintain the farm, clearing brush is an ongoing undertaking.

The thing about anything to do with the tractor is it isn’t cheap. So when I came home and told Matt I’d gotten a quote on a rotary cutter, I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be.

His exact words were, “You’ve been talking about this since we moved here, woman. Just buy it.”

Alrighty then. One rotary cutter coming our way.

Woods rotary cutter

It took us a while to get the rotary cutter running. Eventually, our tractor guy came out for a farm call to walk us through it (five years in and we’re still country newbies). But last weekend we got cutting.

And Matt loved it as much as I did.

Matt did the septic bed. He wanted to cut the little trees so that their roots don’t get into the drainage area. It’s hard to see, but at the top of this slope behind all of those weeds is the house.

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

It took Matt very little time to get his confidence. While I avoided trees that were more than a couple of inches in diameter, Matt had no hesitation about mowing them down.

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

The puppy liked all of the new smells that we uncovered.

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

We also uncovered a few rocks and stumps, but the cutter powered through.

Rock scraped by a mower

Matt soon had the septic bed nice and clear. (The house is behind me in this shot.)

Cleared septic bed

After Matt had his turn, I took mine in the meadow. This is what happens when I ask my husband to take my picture. I end up with puppy butt.

Baxter watching the tractor

He did manage to resist Baxter’s charms long enough to get a few action shots.

Clearing brush with the rotary cutter

At the end of the day, there was plenty of space for the puppy to run.

Baxter running through the meadow

And a nice clear view from the pond up to the house. Well, clear except for the pines, but there’s no way we’re taking those down.

The mowed meadow

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11 thoughts on “Making room to run

  1. Nice cutter. Have one and could not do without it. It’s amazing how much work you can get done with Baxter supervising. Keep several shear bolts handy. (grade 2 1/2 NC X 3 inches cap screws with lock nut) It’s not if, but when you will get overly ambitious and shear the bolt on the PTO shaft. When you get through, I could use your help down here in South Carolina.

    • For rear attachments like this one (our snowblower is another one) reverse is the best approach. The cutter does work going forward as well (while the snowblower is absolutely a backwards only situation), but the tractor may knock the weeds down a little bit and make them less easy to cut. I also found I could get much closer going in reverse. The cutter sticks out so far, I could run it right under or between trees and into spaces where I couldn’t fit the tractor. Or I could run it up and down slopes while keeping the tractor on relatively level ground. Reverse isn’t always the most comfortable, but we’re pretty used to it now. It’s like tractor yoga. We’ve improved our flexibility.

  2. That thing is amazing!! It’s going to make your life on the farm so much more manageable. Matt had the absolute right response!

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