Rotary Cutter What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA?

   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #1  

Hughman

Gold Member
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
387
Location
La Grange, CA
Tractor
NH TC33DA
I'm looking to buy a cutter. My tractor has 27 PTO HP. I'm cutting about 5 acres of tall (2-3') grass/weeds a few times a year. I have rolling hills (Sierra foothills). I started shopping for a 6' cutter (woods bb72x, rhino 172, land pride 1872, ...), but now I'm wondering if I should scale back to a 5' due to the mower weight, pto hp and hills. Rear tires are loaded and there is a FEL out front. I've been using a JD 155c big box mower for the last 10 years to do this job, but it's not really the best tool for the job.

Advice anyone?
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #2  
Although you could probably sneak by with a 6' cutter (going slow or making partial passes in thicker growth), I think you'd be happier with a 5' unit.

Somebody, sooner or later, will bring up the 5 PTO HP per foot "rule". Well, I ran a 5' Landpride cutter behind a 17 PTO HP Deere 670 (slow going, and it bogged down now and than) and a 24 PTO HP Deere790.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #3  
I have a TC34DA which has 29 pto hp and run a Bushhog Squealer 5'. Like you I also have loaded rear tires and a FEL although I usually mow with the bucket off. Believe my tractor would handle a 6' cutter with little extra effort as the 5 footer seems to put little strain on tractor. At the same time my tractor does have 2 more hp than the TC33. Seems you are right on the line between 5 and 6 footer. If you went with a 5 footer there should be no concern you would have enough tractor to do the job.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #4  
I've got a five footer on my tc29d right now. I spent three hour mowing a neighbor's horse pasture on Saturday. In sparse to medium grass, even pretty tall, was running pretty fast. In places I was at full speed in medium range at almost WOT. In thick dense grass, I was going pretty slow to avoid bogging. Sierra foothills makes me guess that the grass is pretty thin compared to the Midwest (I could very well be wrong, though). I think you'd probably be fine with a six footer as far as the cutting goes, but I think your machine will be more stable with a five foot model.

My tractor has loaded R4s on all four corners. I don't have a loader, but I had about 100 lbs of weight hanging off the front. I don't know the model of my mower, but it's a light or medium duty cutter. This machine is new to me (I've put about 50 hours on it), so I'm not real familiar with its slope capabilities, but i can definitely say that I wouldn't want to suddenly lift the mower while on much of a side slope. These tractors aren't very wide, and especially with a loader on, they center of gravity is relatively high. I think you could be happy and mow at a little slower ground speed with a 6' model and some wheel spacers, or you could save some money and go with the 5'.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #5  
I have a TC34DA which has 29 pto hp and run a Bushhog Squealer 5'. Like you I also have loaded rear tires and a FEL although I usually mow with the bucket off. Believe my tractor would handle a 6' cutter with little extra effort as the 5 footer seems to put little strain on tractor. At the same time my tractor does have 2 more hp than the TC33. Seems you are right on the line between 5 and 6 footer. If you went with a 5 footer there should be no concern you would have enough tractor to do the job.

Your tractor is also one frame size larger. It will be more stable on slopes than what the OP has.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #6  
Your tractor is also one frame size larger. It will be more stable on slopes than what the OP has.

TC34Da is still a class II tractor, same as TC29 and 33 but does have the engine from the TC35, which is a class III.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #7  
TC34Da is still a class II tractor, same as TC29 and 33 but does have the engine from the TC35, which is a class III.

Oh jeez, whoops!!

I thought the 33 was the largest class II. Thanks for correcting my previous misinformation!:)
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA?
  • Thread Starter
#8  
Thanks for the input. Yes, by mid-western standards, my grass is sparse. It spends most of the year looking brown and dead, but during the rainy season in the spring, it can grow from ground level to waist deep in the course of a week or two. I have no problem going slow (which points towards the larger mower). Anything would be faster than the multiple passes I've been making with my 48" deere. In shopping, I started down the path of "bigger is better" (6' vs 5', medium duty vs light duty), but now I'm looking at weight and hill sides and wondering if smaller isn't better in this case.

Good thing is now that we are into triple digit summer heat, the mowing season is effectively over until next winter (due to fire danger), so I have some time to make up my mind.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #9  
6'. You will handle the weight fine as long as you leave the loader on. And probably even with it off, just depends on the weight of the cutter you decide upon.

Modern tractors are geared pretty low. HST even better. You can go plenty slow enough to make use of a 6' cutter in the thickest of conditions.

And you can always take a 5', or 4' pass with a 6' cutter. But no way to take a 6' pass with a 5' cutter.

My old L3400 kubota is real similar in size. I have mowed hundreds of acres with an 1100 pound 6' cutter back there. If I had a TC33, I'd have no worries running any of the three cutters you mentioned.
 
   / What size rotary cutter for a NH TC33DA? #10  
Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth. I have a TC33D with fluid-filled R4s and FEL. When I bought the tractor, I also bought a 7 ft 3 blade finish mower. Works great up to about 8" of grass height - not good on fast growing spring pastures on my farm. A few years ago I came upon a 6 ft sickle bar mower that mounts to the 3 pt hitch and raises/lowers using the hydraulics. I love how I can mow high growth fast and about half throttle, along with not driving the tractor through the high growth. Just something to consider.
 
 
 
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