GUIDE TO BUY THE RIGHT FLAIL MOWER
Flail mowers for tractors
1. INTRODUCING FLAIL MOWER
The flail mower for tractor is used by all farmers who have to eliminate wild herbs, vegetable residues, and brambles from their fields, olive groves or vineyards.
The Flail Mower cuts and shreds any plant residue, even if it is well-rooted in the ground, so we obtain a clean and homogeneous field.
Once the vegetable residues have been chopped by the shredder, they become a useful fertilizer for the soil.
2. MAIN ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP A SHREDDER
A flail mower mainly include:
- a 3-point link arch to the tractor
- a stabiliser element (roller or wheels)
2.1 The rotor
The rotor is the fundamental element for the work of the flail mower.
It includes a central body to which the tools (knives or hammers) are applied.
When the machine is running, the rotor turns between 1,800 and 3,000 revolutions per minute, depending on the type of flail mower.
The rotor is almost 50% of the total weight and that is why it is the most expensive element of the shredder.
There can be very different types of rotors with the same machine width.
The rotor diameter greatly affects weight and performance.
There is a direct relationship between the peripheral cutting speed and the rotor diameter.
The rotors with larger tube diameters allow to reach high peripheral cutting speeds which help to increase the working speed of the flail mower.
2.2 The shell
The shell is the external part of the mower.
It holds together all the elements that make up the flail mower.
The rotor is placed inside the body.
The shape of the body affects both the final size of the shredded material and the working speed.
There are available machines with:
simple body made of a single folded metal sheet;
reinforced body equipped with elements that strengthen the machines in the points where there is more wear;
double sheet metal bodies characterized by two sheets of steel resting on each other, in contact, making the machine very resistant to the blows of stones.
The flail mower equipped with double shell is indestructible and thus suitable for working in adverse conditions.
TIERRE manufactures some machines with double HARDOX body.
This means that the steel used for the internal part of the body is highly resistant and anti-wear.
2.3 The gearbox
The transmission of a flail mower includes:
pair of pulley and transmission belts
Il gruppo moltiplicatore è costituito da una fusione in ghisa nel cui interno è alloggiata una coppia conica.
The multiplier group is made up of a cast iron melting inside which a bevel couple is placed.
The function of the bevel gear is to multiply the number of revolutions coming from the tractor PTO and then returning them to the pulleys.
A multiplier group generally runs at 540 or 1000 spins.
Inside the multiplier group there is a safety device called "FREE WHEEL".
The freewheel that is located inside the multiplier group of the flail mower.
It is conceptually the same mechanism applied to the rear wheel of bicycles.
Its function is to stop the motion progressively when the tractor is turned off in order to protect the tractor and flail mower.
Pair of pulleys and Transmission belts
The pairs of pulleys and transmission belts are enclosed within a protective casing.
The upper and lower pulleys generally have different diameters.
The aim is to further multiply the spins that come from the multiplier group.
The belts are housed on the pulleys.
They can vary both numerically and qualitatively according to the type of flail mower.
The belts also slip in case of major impacts on the rotor of the shredder.
2.4 The 3-point link arch
The 3-point link arch is the element that allows the flail mower to connect to the tractor.
The first and the secondo points are positioned on the base of the arch.
The connection to the third point is above the arch.
The connecting arches can have different sizes.
The dimensions of the arches are normalized according to the ISO703 international standards.
Tractor mounted flail mowers can be divided into:
flail mower with fixed attachment
mulcher with manual movement
mulcher with hydraulic movement
parallelogram mulcher (off set)
Flail mowers equipped with manual or hydraulic movement have a translation of about 35-45 cm.
They allow to have working protrusions of 60-70 cm compared to the rear wheels of the tractor.
This allows you to get closer to the trees.
Thus these kind of flail mower are perfect for finishing work, maintenance of the edges of fields and banks.
I trincia con lo spostamento garantiscono un livello di manovrabilità superiore.
The flail mower with displacement guarantee a higher level of manoeuvrability.
The offset flail mower can have a 3.5 m lateral projection with respect to the centre of the tractor.
Obviously, a hydraulic displacement mulcher can only be used if you have a tractor that can support this feature, and therefore that has the hydraulic system.
The tractors are mainly divided into 4 macro power categories
Category 1 - Under 75hp
Category 2 - Between 76 and 147 hp
Category 3 - Between 148 and 295 hp
Category 4 - From 296 HP
The categories determine which equipment is applicable.
For example, with a Category 2 tractor we could apply a Category 2 mulcher or a Category 1 mulcher.
Furthermore, the tractors are divided by field of application according to the shape of the wheels and the size of the vehicle.
They can be suitable for:
Movimento terra (soil movement)
When you choose the flail mower, first of all, you must know which tractor it will be combined with.
4. FIELD OF APPLICATION
The first thing to keep in mind is that all flail mowers perform the same function: they cut what is on the surface to shred it and facilitate its absorption into the ground.
Flail mowers NEVER work the soil.
The application of a flail mower can be:
Cut the grass
Cut pruning residues present on the ground (olive tree, vine, pear, apple tree)
Cut vegetable residues (carrots, potatoes, tomatoes)
Cut the stalks of tall trees (Corn, Sunflowers, Tobacco)
Cutting wood residues (cotton)
Cutting logs and stumps (trees)
Each type of flail mower is optimized for only one kinf of work.
TIERRE has a patent for a range of mulchers called ADAPTIVE GEOMETRY.
The shredders with ADAPTIVE GEOMETRY can change their use by simply intervening on some small adjustments.
For example, PANTERA can work in any conditions: on grass, pruning and cereals.
4.1 Cutting tools
There are 2 main categories of cutting tools:
Choice of knives
The knives are used when there are stalks or when the volume of grass to be cut is substantial.
The cutting configurations can be with 2 knives (Y-shaped) or with 3 knives.
Choice of hammers
The hammers are used where there are wood residues and they are the most used tool in mulchers.
TIERRE has patented double-edged hammers.
TIERRE hammers allow you to cut both horizontally and vertically, thus increasing the destructive capacity of the shredder.
5. WEIGHT OF THE FLAIL MOWER
The weight of the mower can help to understand some technical characteristics.
For example, for the working width of 180 cm TIERRE provides the following flail mowers:
Light Series: LUPO 180 flail mower of 300 Kg
Medium Series: PANDA 180 flail mower of 400 Kg
Medium – Heavy Series: TIGRA 180 flail mower of 530 Kg
Heavy Series: PANTERA 180 flail mower 840 Kg
In general, the heavier a machine is, the heavier the work it can handle.
The weight of the flail mower, in relation to the category, determines which tractor is most suitable.
What the weight doesn't say
Comparing different flail mowers only using the weight as a reference is a mistake that many make.
A very high quality steel has the same weight as a low quality steel.
Poor components weigh exactly as high-performance components.
TIERRE produces most of its machines with HARDOX wear-resistant steel.
Many components are made of high performance structural steel.
The transmission groups are by the most important Italian companies, as well as the components.
TIERRE: there's a difference.
6.1 Aste di raccolta
Le aste di raccolta are specific for shredding prunings and perform a lifting function of the soil in order to facilitate shredding.
Le aste di raccolta are generally found on heavy flail mowers designed for pruning fruit trees.
6.2 Wear-resistant skids
Skids applied to the sides of the flail mower to ensure that the machine "slips" on the grass without wearing out the sides.
Wear-resistant skids are usually used when you have to cut a lot of grass because it is abrasive.
Winegrowers generally do not like to use shredders with sledges because the latter can cut the base of the plant and ruin it.
For this reason, TIERRE machines can work both with skids and without skids in order to meet the needs of each customer.
6.3 Antistrappo (anti-shock)
This is a mechanical system applied to the flail mowers which avoids the damage, and therefore the tearing, of the parallelogram arms when you accidentally hit trees or other types of obstacles.
6.4 Cardano Omocinetico (Homokinetic Cardan)
The homokinetic cardan consists of a double joint on both ends.
This type of cardan ensures smooth movement, especially in the case of offset flail mowers, and allows to reduce the mechanical stresses of the joints.
It is the accessory chosen by professionals who need to work many hours at a time.