How to Brush Hog (or Bush Hog) for the First Time…10 Tips That Make it Easier and Safer

Most people buying a tractor get some form of three point cutter with it and are a little intimidated the first time they use it. Usually it is a brush hog (or Bush Hog, …


  1. A piece of advice I give people is do not walk up to someone operating a piece of equipment until you have made eye contact with them you may think they see you but they may not

  2. The big issue I have is my land has lots of uneven terrain so seems my tractor works best with the front cutter to be up higher than the back so the front cutter doesn't tear up the land. What do you suggest I do different with this type of terrain? I'm using a JD 3032E with quick hitch 60in cutter.

  3. not going to kill the tractor at idle not going to plug the radiator with grass, engage at any time just raise the mower a little if your trying to start in the weeds. A mower like that is nearly no load on a decent tractor makes no difference at all those things you are saying could have mowed the whole thing while you were explaining double clutch, which is irrelevant weather your moving or not most modern tractors the clutch does not stop the pto at all. 20 years experince never overheated pulling a mower lol, maybe a full sized disk or a big mower with batwings. i wasnt even aware a rotary mower is suppose to have shear pins the blade swing freely that way when you hit a stump the blades can shop on it until it get thru swinging freely is part of the design or rotary mower the blades are not fixed, you are doing lawn mowing or something.

  4. Oh, and one more comment:
    I place a length of screening between the grill and the radiator to stop seeds, bugs and various junk.
    Make sure you got good air flow, but it’s amazing how many bugs and seeds don’t get sucked into the radiator

  5. Would add a couple of “thangs”
    1) Walk you area BEFORE you cut – hopefully before the weeds get too high.
    It’s amazing what “grows” up between one season to the next.
    This will avoid brush hogging over the stumps and branches that electric company “helpfully” left for YOU to clean up.
    2) Measure twice, cut once. After your initial walk through, do it again.
    There is bound to be tree limbs you missed the “first” time.
    3) Wood chuck burrows: After giving his forecast, “Bill” likes to set traps.
    Don’t let him dig a hole you don’t want to fall in.
    4) Don’t get obsessed with sharpening blades. It’s a Brush Hog, not a finish mower. They are made to cut rough. Over sharpening will cause problems, and overthinking is not always good.

    Love this video.
    Thanks for your advice
    P.S. When worse comes to worse, read the Manual.

  6. Additional tip: If you have a cab tractor, drink lots of water. The A/C is creating a very dry environment in there. You would be surprised how much dehydration you will get after just a few hours of operation.

  7. thanks for the videos Mike, I really appreciate your experience and that you deliver your information in an easy to understand language!!!

    Curious if you or your subscribers can discuss the preference between flail mowers and rotary cutters? Maybe you've already done this so I apologize if I've missed it.

  8. Don't forget to mention that you will need to overlap the mower 6 to 10 inches over your last pass. If you are in wet grassy type material then overlap your hole tire track from your last pass going in the opposite direction. Do this so you won't have rows of material standing back up in two days. It takes just as long to go back and mow the little rows as it did to do the hole field. Mike eluded to this. "Slower is Faster."

  9. Just got my JD tractor 🚜 I just can’t wait to get on the 4 ft + brush and cleaning the land
    Thank you for your advice 🙂
    O and yes l wood keep my front bucket on 6 to 8” l have so many trees and logs you just never know
    Have a bless day

  10. Mike: I have been following you for several years and really believe you have kept me alive and informed.
    I was a true newbie but thanks to your informative down to earth videos i feel confident and appreciate the time you take to share.
    You are the best. Thank you so much.

  11. I never heard the term brushhog until about 2012 at age 47. Our plant manager was raised in Virginia and transferred down here to Arkansas. I thought it was so funny when he used the term and that he didnt know it was bushogging. Then I found out I had been saying it wrong my whole life.

  12. Those are nice tips for anyone operating a tractor and bush hog. I try to be safe all the time and have had wire tangled up under my unit and had to cut it out and I have hit large stones and rocks as well and that isn't good for the unit or the operator.

  13. I am new to operating a tractor and I have a question about cutting a field. Yesterday I mowed a couple of laps around the field to give me some clearance to turn around in. The problem is that I never could get the turn correct when I got to the end and wanted to cut the weeds next to the area I just cut. I tried making a tear drop pattern and always left a patch uncut. Do I just need more practice or is there a secret to mowing in this manner.
    The reason I wanted to mow back and forth is that the field had previously been plowed and still had furrows. Mowing at a right angle to those furrows was bouncing me all around even at the slowest speed the tractor could go and therefore my reason to cut in strips instead of a square pattern.

  14. Save your hearing! Long term exposure to the running tractor can damage your hearing. I wear shooters earmuffs when bushoggin and lawn mowing, if I don't, temporary hearing loss is evident and it aggravates my tinitus. As to engine speed, most modern tractors have a symbol on the tach where ideal engine speed for the PTO should be set. My John Deere is 2500rpm for a PTO of 540 to the bush hog. Same for my old Ford 841d.

  15. Great video! One more thing to mention is bees! Yellow jackets are bad here in ga. Always look or scan the ground over your last row. I've avoided a very painful fate several times by doing this. Thanks and keep up the great videos!

  16. I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you. I have been watching your channel for years now. I have learned a lot of quick tips and tricks from you. Most importantly I have learned a lot of safety advice from you. That was some that was not tough to me. I can now pass down to my son and family. So in some ways you have helped saved me and others from getting hurt or killed by equipment.
    I have about 10 acre pasture. Then about 20 acres of land managed around some old grain bens. I was just Bush hogging everything. So I have been watching and learning from you and others about making hay.
    Next year our family is going to purchase hay equipment for our land. I do have a very large barn to store all of the hay in, only about a mile from my pasture. 75 %. Bermuda grass.
    I have 3 small tractors. A T30-T35 and a 135. All are. Massey Ferguson's 1950 through 1960 models. But now my 4 year old son is starting to learn from me as I have from my grandfather and others like yourself. So thank you, for taking the time to sharing your vast knowledge and experience with me and others. Your doing a wonderful job on your videos and helping others learn how to use and maintain their equipment in a safe manner.
    Time for me and my son to get to work this morning. So have a blessed day and thank you. Keep up the good work your doing.

  17. There’s a good video by Northwest Sawyer that Mike should get permission to repost and discuss. That guy flipped his tractor on a steep hill and was lucky to not be injured.

  18. I have a brand new manual tractor and I have a question. When I am mowing a section of my property, I have to back down it so the mower butts up to the road cut into the hill. The issue is when I have to change directions, and I have to depress the clutch, which stops the cutter, shift it to forward, then let off the clutch engaging the pto and starting me forward, climbing the hill. I've heard you say to engage at slow speeds, but if I have to back down the hill, switch gears, lower the RPM, engage, and bring the throttle back to speed, I'll be there forever as it's several acres on that part of the hill. Is it bad for the PTO to engage at high speeds? I don't want to damage my tractor, but I have to get the job done.

  19. I only have a little walk behind brush hog (1974 Gravely L-8 with a 30 inch front mount), and this is still quite pertinent with some common sense adaptations.

  20. Flying stinging bugs, especially yellow jackets (closer to fall). Keep water with you and also keep a sweat rag – salt in the eyes hurts after awhile.
    Good sound post.

  21. Don't discount the small branches hanging out along the edges. I ducked to let some go over my head only to have the ROPS push them back into the backside of my head. Saw stars for a few minutes after that. Only did it once.

  22. keep an eye out for telephone/dsl boxes that are green lol guy up the road ran over one of those phone line boxes wanna talk about a fuster cluck, they sent one repairman out to fix it he was there for 3 days lol

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