Clearing brush can be very tiring, but having the right equipment can make it a lot easier. If there are several brush clearing jobs ahead of you, one of the best attachments you can own is a skid steer brush cutter. And in order to get the best cutter for your application, it's important to review deck styles, other options, and a few other key details.
Skid Steer Brush Cutter Deck Styles
Should I get an open front, closed front, or floating deck brush cutter?
Virnig Manufacturing offers three different deck styles for their brush cutter attachments. Below are some significant differences to quickly compare these three deck styles.
Open Front Brush Cutter Advantages
An open front cutter is excellent for rough cutting trees and brush, but will not mulch material as well as a closed deck cutter. This also means, if you're mainly cutting grass, an open front cutter is not the best choice.
Closed FRONT BRUSH CUTTER ADVANTAGES
A closed front brush cutter does not allow debris to escape the deck easily, which allows for extremely efficient mulching. Leaves, limbs, and saplings are shredded into small chips and pieces, resulting in a smooth and managed appearance. Closed front brush cutters provide a better-looking and more consistent cut than open front brush cutters.
Virnig offers two styles of closed deck cutters: fixed and floating.
Fixed (Standard) Deck
A brush cutter attachment with a fixed, Standard Deck is designed for use on relatively even surfaces. A Standard Deck brush cutter will be less expensive than a Floating Deck brush cutter.
For a more consistent cut on uneven terrain a Floating Deck skid steer brush cutter is the ideal choice. The floating design produces a cleaner cut by following the contour of the ground to reduce scalping and gouging.
In situations where the floating deck is not needed, it has the ability to easily lock in a fixed position. For example, in very soft or wet ground the deck may need to be suspended above or barely touching the ground.
V50 STANDARD DECK AND FLOATING DECK OPTIONS
A Roller consists of a large, tubular weldment with bearings connected to the outside of the deck. A Rear Roller will compact chopped material and produce a better cut by preventing the back of the deck from gouging the ground.
SWIVEL CASTERS / WHEELS
Caster options provide support with pivoting solid steel casters placed on both front corners of the brush mower. They help prevent the cutter from scalping and gouging, which results in a clean, consistent cut. 360° rotating swivel casters are better than fixed wheels because they make the brush cutter easier to maneuver from side-to-side.
Pairing Swivel Casters and a Rear Roller will help produce a better cut, a smoother ride, and further limit gouging/scalping. These options also provide extra value by minimizing wear on the underside of the brush cutter frame and skid shoes. Add these options to a floating deck brush cutter for maximum effectiveness.
Virnig Manufacturing offers six skid steer brush cutters:
- V40 Standard Deck
- V40 Open Front Deck
- V50 Standard Deck
- V50 Floating Deck
- V50 Open Front Deck
- V60 Industrial Rotary Cutter (Open Front Deck)
Use the chart below for key differences between each brush cutter.
|Name (Model)||Cut Capacity (Diam)||# of Blades||Flywheel Weight (lbs)||Flow Rate (GPM)||Options Available|
|V40 Standard Deck (BBV)||3"||3||150-215||16-25 Standard||n/a|
|V40 Open Front Deck (BBV-O)||3"||3||150-215||16-25 Standard||n/a|
|V50 Standard Deck (RBV)||4"||3||150-215||14-25 Standard, 25-42 High||Rear Roller, Swivel Casters|
|V50 Floating Deck (RBV-F)||4"||3||150-215||14-25 Standard, 25-42 High||Rear Roller, Swivel Casters|
|V50 Open Front Deck (RBV-O)||6"||3||250-275||14-25 Standard, 25-42 High||n/a|
|V60 Industrial Cutter (IRC)||8"||4||400-600||20-25 Standard, 20-42 High||n/a|
We understand there are many different situations and things to consider. If unsure which type of cutter is best for you, call us at 800.648.2408.
6 Important Things to Keep in Mind
1. Skid steer brush cutters should not be used on steep terrain. Terrain changes can come up quickly if you're not paying attention. If you are unfamiliar with the terrain, be sure 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.
2. Brush cutters are very heavy. On dry ground weight is not a concern, but cutting on wet ground can cause the skid steer to lose traction and sink. This problem cannot be completely avoided, but traction can be increased by using a machine with tracks instead of tires.
3. Brush cutter attachments look like they would be fun to use, but to get a job done efficiently isn’t all that easy or fun. It can be dangerous too. I remember how lost I was when I sat in the skid steer for the first time. There are a lot of controls to keep track of and objects to avoid when driving. Moving one control in the wrong direction could be disastrous! It takes time and finesse to become an operator as opposed to a driver. Regardless of what you do, be careful.
4. Always check the attachment’s recommended loader capacity to make sure your skid steer has the necessary operating capacity to effectively handle the skid steer brush mower. Brush cutters generally weigh about 1,500 pounds, and when an optional rear roller and casters are included, the cutter will weigh 200-300 pounds more.
5. For maximum safety, take the time to read and understand the 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 and have a shatterproof cab door on your skid steer.
6. The most important maintenance tip we can give you is to keep the spindle well lubricated at all times. Many cases of part failure can be easily prevented with proper lubrication. Also, keep a close eye on wear parts, like the blades and skid shoes. The brush mower will have areas that must be greased and the motor oil needs to be checked regularly and filled with the proper oil. 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.
There are many different brush cutters that make quick work of clearing overgrown brush. A skid steer brush cutter is an excellent choice for clearing and mulching heavy undergrowth and small trees. Instead of letting weeds and tall grass take over this year, use a skid steer brush mower to quickly clear brush and reclaim overgrown terrain.
If you are interested in buying a new brush cutter, check out what we have to offer. If you'd like to learn more about brush cutter attachments, download the full guide below: