Thanks for the great article on walk-behind tractors (“Miracle Multitaskers,” December/January 2007). As the owner of Earth Tools, the BCS dealer mentioned in the article, I must point out a mixup between the features of two attachments we offer, the brush mower and the flail mower. The BCS brush mower is actually designed much like the DR brush mower, with a vertical-axis rotating blade. The big difference between them is that the BCS has “swing blades” (just like a full-sized tractor bush-hog). These fold back upon impact with rocks, stumps, etc., to protect the drivetrain.
However, the description of the BCS brush mower in the article — “many individual blades spinning vertically from a horizontal axis” — actually applies to our flail mower. This type of mower is incredibly durable, and it’s coveted by gardeners who want to grind up a cover crop for quick incorporation into the soil. Like a chipper/shredder on wheels, it can reduce a cover crop up to 6 feet tall to 2- to 3-inch pieces in a single pass. It leaves the cut material evenly distributed across its width, not windrowed to one side as a typical brush mower would. The flail mowers also accept four different blades designed for lawns, weeds/brush, wood and light scarification (for overseeding).
Thanks again for an informative article and for all the great work you do. As the occupant of an owner-built, earth-bermed, part-straw bale, part-cordwood, passive-solar-assist, wood-from-old-barns, off-the-grid home, I appreciate all of it.