Owning an ATV brush mower can make your life a lot easier when you’ve got land to clear or hunting property to maintain.

Let’s face it, there is only so much that can be done with a riding lawn mower. Most of us who have more than a small yard have something for mowing the green grass that makes up our lawns, but what about stuff that isn’t part of the lawn? A pull behind brush mower for use with your ATV or UTV makes a lot of sense to own, especially if you are a hunter, or like to blaze new trails. Here’s why you need an ATV brush mower.

Brush Mower vs. Lawn Mower

We need to start off by describing the difference between a pull behind brush mower and a lawn mower. A lawn mower is designed to cut grass. I know what you’re thinking, “Well, duh, Sigler!” It’s deeper than that, though. A lawn mower deck is geared toward the basic resistance of cutting grass. The engineers involved know that occasionally, you’re going to get into stuff that is thicker than your average lawn, but if you’ve ever had your mower deck clog with grass, you know what I mean. If a handful of grass clippings can cause a mower blade to stop spinning, it isn’t designed to cut a rough, overgrown trail. As a safety feature, the blade of a lawn mower only take so much kick-back force before the blade stops spinning.

Swisher Rough Cut Trailcutter

An ATV pull behind brush mower is much stouter in design. The mechanism is designed to force a cutting blade through materials much thicker than a blade of grass and not stop. In fact, most brush mowers, like a Swisher Rough Cut Trail Mower, can take down a sapling up to three-inches thick without batting an eye. The engines may be the same, power wise, as a traditional pull-behind finish mower, but the transmission, spindles and bearings on an ATV brush hog are all far more stoutly built than a grass mower.

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Why You Want a Pull Behind Brush Mower

This is kind of an easy thing to answer. Hunters are always looking at ways to make food plots, or improve habitat. One of the best ways to do so is to clear land before plowing it under and reseeding it. This is where an ATV brush mower comes in. It is better than using a chemical alternative as it keeps that stuff out of the soil, and it helps create a natural base for new plant life to grow. And it’s not just hunters looking at this; its anyone looking to make habitat better for wildlife, farm animals, or even just more appealing to use.

Swisher 44-inch Rough Cut

From a land manager side, a mower like Swisher’s 44-inch Trailcutter, is a great tool to use for breaking new trails. Imagine how long it would take to cut a 44-inch wide path along even one mile of new trail – by hand? That is an all-day job. A pull behind brush mower would take maybe 20 minutes…if that. This particular mower has two break-away swinging blades in case you hit a major stump, and a remote control to make things easy.

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An ATV makes the perfect platform for using one of these types of mowers, as an ATV in the hands of anyone experienced can go just about anywhere you’d ever need to cut brush. You’ve probably seen a brush hog being used behind a tractor. Well, your ATV or UTV can go anywhere a tractor can, and a lot of places it can’t. Plus, if you don’t have a tractor, they aren’t cheap.

Before You Go Shopping

Swisher Commercial Brush Mower

I’m not going to beat around the bush here – a pull behind brush mower is not cheap. Most start out around $1,500 and go up from there. There are a few different manufacturers, like Swisher, Dirty Hand Tools and more. Just know that if you find one that is not very expensive, there’s a decent chance it won’t work as well as you’d like. Breaking trails and such is serious work that requires serious equipment, but you’ll end up finding more uses for your ATV brush hog than you’d expect. Plus, you can be the cool guy that has one and helps all of his friends.

ATV Flail Mower

Nova Flair Mower

If a brush mower isn’t exactly what you need, another option is a pull behind ATV flail mower. The two are often confused with each other, but they have some design differences worth noting.

Where a brush mower essentially operates like a larger, tougher lawn mower with a rotary blade(s), a flail mower has Y- or T-shaped blades that attached to a rotating axle.

The main advantage of these flails (vs. a blade) is that they will bounce off of a solid object (like a large rock) and not be damaged. They are also good at keeping dust down and the cut material is held under the mower longer than with a brush mower, so it is more thoroughly shredded and distributed across the full width of the mower.

ATV Flail mower are particularly useful when dealing with areas that are overgrown with vines and other types of vegetation – things that tend to get hung up in a brush mower.

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