Fine-tuning the hedging

dudders

Member
Location
East Sussex
Into my fourth season with the flail now, and there are some questions I'd like to put forward.

Trundling along the top, I get a steady rocking motion of tractor and cutter, a bit like baling, but sideways. I've tried lower revs, stopping and restarting, can't go any slower, can't keep up if I go any faster, don't know what else to do to stop it. It's most obvious when I'm on hard going, ie: concrete road and when the arm's at full stretch. To be fair, it's not really noticeable on the finished job, but I can see the flail head dipping and rising that little bit all the time, which is annoying. Any ideas?

Against the farm drive, which is also a public footpath :rolleyes:, I want to have as smooth a finish as possible, to counter those inevitable moans about hedges looking terrible after flailing. I cut every year, keep the flails sharp, cut the top off before doing a final trim, use counter-clockwise rotation and go as slow as poss. Any other tips? Would competition flails do the job any neater?

I've got cable controls, and find them pretty awkward - it's a case of either making short stabs with the lever or stopping to adjust the height. Should I change to joystick or electric controls? I have a feeling that anything's got to be better.

Any thoughts on the job would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

feilding

Member
Location
Welshpool
you said you can't go any slower. but what speed are doing? I use my creeper box all the time, the final top cut I only travel at 0.8 mph. if I use normal gears I sometimes have your problem. tyre pressures make a difference too, I run left back tyre at 25 psi. bkt 580.70 x 38 .
 

Matt

Member
its the treads of the tyre. vrederstin tyres supposes to be best for having a smooth ride. on ag tread. maybe go a bit quicker might help. i touch up my flails with a flap disc every time i do top of a hedge. eg every field. only takes 5 mins if that. (depends how big ur field is)
 

kill

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South West
you said you can't go any slower. but what speed are doing? I use my creeper box all the time, the final top cut I only travel at 0.8 mph. if I use normal gears I sometimes have your problem. tyre pressures make a difference too, I run left back tyre at 25 psi. bkt 580.70 x 38 .
I really like BKT tyres but they do seam to give a bit more sideways bounce on the treads than some other makes of tyre when a trimmer is hitched up. I also think some sizes of tyres can be worst on individual tyre brands for tread pattern for some reason.
I find with no creeeper gearbox that using 1000 PTO speed can be useful if needing to go really slowly in a particularly rough area as the tractor will be driving slower forwards
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
I really like BKT tyres but they do seam to give a bit more sideways bounce on the treads than some other makes of tyre when a trimmer is hitched up. I also think some sizes of tyres can be worst on individual tyre brands for tread pattern for some reason.
I find with no creeeper gearbox that using 1000 PTO speed can be useful if needing to go really slowly in a particularly rough area as the tractor will be driving slower forwards
BKT's on our hedging tractor (and suffer from same problem as the OP). I think BKT's have less cleats per metre compared to some other brands, and hence suffer more with this problem.
 

dudders

Member
Location
East Sussex
Thanks for the suggestions. I know there's 20psi in the left back, so I'll stick another 5 in tomorrow morning. I'll also try 4wd. Already in the lowest of low gears, pretty much a crawler. Funny how 1st gear seems just so ridiculously slow until I'm hedging, then it's suddenly too fast...
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Once you get the hang of electric controls, you’ll never want to go back. The most important part of hedge trimming in my opinion is for the operator to be smooth and relaxed. Your understandable stabbing at levers isn’t going to help with this.
 

ARW

Member
Location
Yorkshire
What hedger is it? What flails are you on? You may have an old machine that only runs at half pace and them flails on shackles that carry no momentum, that will chew the hedge rather than cut
If I want to make a perfect job and we do on all roadsides, I take a rough cut off the top of the hedge first, this gets rid of the thick of it and all the brash falls back into the hedge as the hedge sides catch it better.
then I cut the shoulder/side of the hedge, if this a 45 degree angle this is almost as important as the top cut because if you don’t cut it close enough to the cutting line it leaves slightly long bits on the corners leaving it look untidy
Then I cut the top of the hedge, be smooth with your movements and keep that head level!
If the other side needs cutting I reach over and cut that shoulder, this makes it look tidy from the roadside
Then finish the bottom.
A good hedge needs cutting in the same place every year, that’s what makes a good hedge, while levelling out bumps and holes over the years
 

kill

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South West
What hedger is it? What flails are you on? You may have an old machine that only runs at half pace and them flails on shackles that carry no momentum, that will chew the hedge rather than cut
If I want to make a perfect job and we do on all roadsides, I take a rough cut off the top of the hedge first, this gets rid of the thick of it and all the brash falls back into the hedge as the hedge sides catch it better.
then I cut the shoulder/side of the hedge, if this a 45 degree angle this is almost as important as the top cut because if you don’t cut it close enough to the cutting line it leaves slightly long bits on the corners leaving it look untidy
Then I cut the top of the hedge, be smooth with your movements and keep that head level!
If the other side needs cutting I reach over and cut that shoulder, this makes it look tidy from the roadside
Then finish the bottom.
A good hedge needs cutting in the same place every year, that’s what makes a good hedge, while levelling out bumps and holes over the years
I really hate to see someone that’s never trimmed a hedge in their life’s buy a new hedge trimmer and go right out on roadside hedges and the job they attempted should have pictures put on the “WRECKERS” thread or “WTF” thread 🙈
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Into my fourth season with the flail now, and there are some questions I'd like to put forward.

Trundling along the top, I get a steady rocking motion of tractor and cutter, a bit like baling, but sideways. I've tried lower revs, stopping and restarting, can't go any slower, can't keep up if I go any faster, don't know what else to do to stop it. It's most obvious when I'm on hard going, ie: concrete road and when the arm's at full stretch. To be fair, it's not really noticeable on the finished job, but I can see the flail head dipping and rising that little bit all the time, which is annoying. Any ideas?

Against the farm drive, which is also a public footpath :rolleyes:, I want to have as smooth a finish as possible, to counter those inevitable moans about hedges looking terrible after flailing. I cut every year, keep the flails sharp, cut the top off before doing a final trim, use counter-clockwise rotation and go as slow as poss. Any other tips? Would competition flails do the job any neater?

I've got cable controls, and find them pretty awkward - it's a case of either making short stabs with the lever or stopping to adjust the height. Should I change to joystick or electric controls? I have a feeling that anything's got to be better.

Any thoughts on the job would be appreciated. Thanks.

As others have stated on here cutting the engine revs helps lot. Not only does it obviously slow the tractor down but it’ll make the hydraulics on the hedger slower making it much easier to ‘feather’ and give you much improved control. If you cut the first top pass a couple of inches above the final finished height the last pass will be just flicking the straggly bits off. If your hedger runs normally at 540 you can drop to 400 revs at the pto for this.
 
Last edited:

Treecreeper

Member
Livestock Farmer
Do you have the problem on all types of growth? I find that being too ambitious by expecting a finishing cut on one pass on 2/3yr rotation will find the head grabbing and then starting to rock. I've a lighter older trimmer though. Tyre pressure is definatly important.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Loads of road hedges only trimmed every second/ third year or more and overhanging hedges are simply awful. Had to dray bales through the night on a block of ground I rent during last week as a narrow lane that hasn’t been trimmed for over 5 years would be some what brutal on hot bale wrap but less so on cooler dew wet bales.
At least my trailer ladies rattle well as had to pass the offenders property twice every load.

Also replaced a lot of mirrors due to these uncut hedges but certain makes are worst than others to break. MX 120 Case would break a mirror head more often than anything else I have ever owned
I really hate to see someone that’s never trimmed a hedge in their life’s buy a new hedge trimmer and go right out on roadside hedges and the job they attempted should have pictures put on the “WRECKERS” thread or “WTF” thread 🙈

To cut or not cut? Make your mind up :scratchhead:


Do you have the problem on all types of growth? I find that being too ambitious by expecting a finishing cut on one pass on 2/3yr rotation will find the head grabbing and then starting to rock. I've a lighter older trimmer though. Tyre pressure is definatly important.

Beech cuts fine after 3 years
Ash and Alder is a nightmare after 2.

If a hedge gets over grown it needs to be taken back might not look pretty but needs must.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I really hate to see someone that’s never trimmed a hedge in their life’s buy a new hedge trimmer and go right out on roadside hedges and the job they attempted should have pictures put on the “WRECKERS” thread or “WTF” thread 🙈
Best thing we did for the hedges on this farm was to sell the hedge trimmer and get the local contractor to cut them.
For some reason the hedges were always cut very tight, with a profile like a suitcase on end viewed edge on, hard cut to the old wood and post tops and more gaps than hedge.
Contractor cuts it with an ‘A’ profile about a foot and a half taller, lots of volume and very few gaps. I guess after 10,000 hours these guys have learnt their trade, well worth the money at a busy time of year.
 

kill

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South West
To cut or not cut? Make your mind up :scratchhead:




Beech cuts fine after 3 years
Ash and Alder is a nightmare after 2.

If a hedge gets over grown it needs to be taken back might not look pretty but needs must.
To cut but tidily. A few extra passes on multiple year’s cutting really makes a difference and saves the horrendous hair cut look.
First time with a trimmer is best done outa site🙈😂
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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