Once you have the right open front brush cutter to get your job done, the real fun can begin. Open front brush cutters have exposed cutting blades; therefore, additional caution should be used when operating this equipment. Below are helpful tips about operating and maintaining your attachment to ensure safety and long-term performance.
1. Get Used to Your Attachment
Experience. The 10-letter word that is vital to brush cutting success. Sitting in the driver’s seat for the first time can be overwhelming and for good reason. There are a lot of controls to keep track of and objects to avoid when driving. Moving one control in the wrong direction can be disastrous! It takes time and finesse to become an operator as opposed to a driver. Regardless of what you do, be cautious and pay attention to your surroundings.
IMPORTANT TIP: If you'd like to learn more about these powerful attachments, check out our Ultimate Guide to Brush Cutter Attachments.
2. Know Your Terrain
Avoid using skid steer brush cutters on steep terrain. Keep in mind that steep terrain can come up quickly if you're not paying attention. If you are working on unfamiliar terrain, take a moment to walk around and see if there are any sudden drop-offs or soft, mushy areas. Also look for rocks, wire, and other damaging debris before cutting.
IMPORTANT TIP: Brush cutters are very heavy. Cutting on wet ground can cause a skid steer to lose traction and sink deep into the ground. Traction can be increased by using a machine with tracks instead of tires.
3. Find a High-Quality Brush Cutter
The model you purchase needs to have the required structural strength and quality components to withstand the stress that comes with this type of work. A heavy-duty, high-quality open front mower will eliminate extremely dense brush and will cut 4 to 6" diameter trees down to the ground in seconds.
There are several important things to look for when purchasing a new or used skid steer mower.
- Quality spindle
- Hydraulic pressure relief valves
- Heavy-duty flywheel
- Safety features
- Replaceable blades
- Replaceable skid shoes
- Reinforced, tall push bar
- Reinforced mower deck
An open-front skid steer mower with these features will be a high-quality, well-designed piece of heavy equipment.
Safely Operating Skid Steer Brush Cutters
For maximum safety, take the time to read and understand a brush cutter’s manual before operating. The main thing is to keep bystanders at least 200 feet away from the cutter when it is being operated. Also, pay attention when mowing to make sure the front of the deck isn’t plowing into the ground.
Here are some general tips to safely operate skid steer brush cutter attachments:
- When operating, never lift the blades above the cab door.
- Never operate a brush cutter without a shatterproof cab door on your skid steer.
- Before cutting, look for rocks, fence wire, or other damaging items.
- Never exit the skid steer when the cutter’s blades are in motion. Anytime the blades are off the ground and still moving they can be very dangerous.
- Since debris can easily be thrown through the air, make sure there are no bystanders within 200 feet.
- Use a skid steer with tracks when operating on soft ground. Tires can dig deep into soft ground and result in slow, poor performance.
Maintaining Your Brush Cutter
Whether you buy a new or used skid steer mower, always keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance and replace worn or defective parts as soon as they are detected.
Brush cutters require very little maintenance besides grease and oil. It is helpful to keep an eye on worn parts like the blades and skid shoes. Brush cutters have areas that must be greased and the motor oil needs to be checked regularly and filled with the proper oil.
IMPORTANT TIP: Keep the cutter's spindle well lubricated at all times. We receive many cases of part failure that could have easily been prevented with proper lubrication.
Make sure to take great care of your skid steer brush cutter attachment. Use the cutter’s manual for maintenance information and stick to a schedule. You can count on years of reliable performance if it is well maintained.
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