NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Flail mowe, use there of:  (Read 4914 times)


  • Joined Sep 2013
  • rock of ages
Flail mowe, use there of:
« on: June 14, 2014, 07:52:36 pm »
Have just taken delivery of a Wessex AF - 120 flail mower.
Unfortunately I have dislocated my shoulder so I can't use it so a friend went to mow a meadow of rather long grass. Should be easy for this mower though as it was bought to deal with worse.

First few rounds around the field were fine, except that the cut was too long. Lots of uncut flattened grass. Bit hit and miss when there's no guidance on cut length, just keep turning the handle and guess.
So we refilled with petrol and lowered the cut height and my friend set off. Except that the mower stalled, again and again and again. Raised the cut height, asked my friend to drive slowly but the mower just kept stalling. So we gave up and came home.

Anyone have any ideas what s going on? Do you need to cut at a snails pace? Was he going too fast or were we keep going for too long? Rvs too high? We cut less than half a small field. Most of that was at the wrong height.
A most unsuccessful day.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Maesteg South Wales
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 08:42:13 pm »
I have a turner flail mower i Had a bit of trouble with mine that turned out to be the blocked air filter. Fitted a new one and away it went.  A flail mower should be able to deal with grass as tall as you are.
Have a look at my thread and you will see what it should cut. Make sure you have a full set of flails on as they can come off and cause vibration and if used like this the bearings will go. Have a look to see if the flails are sharp as well.
Obviously mine is a walk behind but the same principle.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 08:44:29 pm by VEG »


  • Joined Sep 2013
  • rock of ages
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2014, 08:03:07 pm »
The mower is brand new, so hopefully everything should be ok with it. I will try and speak with the dealer in the week.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2014, 08:06:05 pm »
sounds daft but check the blades are sharp in the world of modern health and safety often tools are supplied with blunt blades...

try buying an axe with a sharp edge... you cant...


  • Joined Jun 2014
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 12:00:37 pm »
Just wondering whether you sorted your problem with cutting long grass with an AF-120.  I have exactly the same problem with my AF-120 which I used for the first time last week.  It handles brambles and brushwood well but long grass is either flattened (if I leave the cut high) or it stalls if I lower it.  I'm really looking to chew it into a mulch.

Mine is second-hand but bought from a reputable dealer and was supposed to have been fully serviced.  Any advice on cutting long grass very welcome.



  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Maesteg South Wales
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 08:29:54 pm »
Any updates on this?

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 01:07:53 pm »
any progress? could be the mix of fuel to air is wrong as in too much fuel/too little air. might be the spark plug, i would remove it and test the spark and check the gap. also check the air filter is clean and un blocked as when mowing long grass some can/does end up in the air filter and could cause problems with the same symptoms as the wrong mixture of fuel to air.

if you aren't confident in doing all of these checks yourself then please take it to the dealer or someone who knows what they are doing and you trust
Cheers Ed
P.S: is this a trail behind mower towed behind a quadbike or similar?


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 06:26:10 pm »
  It handles brambles and brushwood well but long grass is either flattened (if I leave the cut high) or it stalls if I lower it. 

I know this sounds daft but if I use my petrol lawn mower on grass too long that is the result ... so I cut half widths which it will do because the blades don't clog up ??

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
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  • Joined Mar 2013
Re: Flail mowe, use there of:
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2014, 11:08:32 pm »
I'm only replying as you haven't had much feedback, as heavens knows I'm no expert. I don't have an ATV type flail mower, but do have a 5 foot flail that I use on my 37HP tractor. Long grass is perhaps the easiest to "bog down" on. I can happily smash up quite heavy stuff that's dry (accidentally ran over a fence post the other day and now have a pile of chippings instead), but have to be a bit careful with long grass. My flail is the "heavy duty" type with the hammers, not the Y shaped lighter flail ends (if that makes sense?). What I think happens is that the grass doesn't exit cleanly from the back if I don't set it up just right and recirculates as a mush slowing down the hammers. What I do is set the skids at the highest setting and make sure that I have the angle of the mower set up so that it ejects the grass more easily. In my case (from trial and error) that means very slightly tilting it up on the 3pt linkage. I also make 100% certain that there is no dried debris on the roller / exit assembly. Anyway, when I do all that the grass shoots out the back and I don't get bogged down (much). Of course, I always flail when possible when it's as dry as possible, lots of soggy stuff always means that you have to run slowly and uses a lot of diesel. Another 15HP would be very useful sometimes!

Sorry if that doesn't help, I'm sure that all mowers are a bit different in design and how you set them up.


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