The standard (BladeRunner) Flail Mower, which BCS has offered since 2008, is still the best choice for all-purpose mowing. It is just as effective with cover crops in market farming applications as it is with clearing brush and weeds. Its caster wheels allow for easy maneuverability, and its 4'' max cutting height makes it more ideal for mowing tall, dense material. It's available in three different working widths: 24", 30", & 35",
The RollerBlade, introduced in September 2016, is a good choice for Market Gardeners who only intend to mow cover crops on level ground. With a built-in adjustable full length roller, a lower dome design, and thicker and wider blades, the RollerBlade produces a smaller plant particle size in a single pass. It's great for mowing cover crops, especially on raised garden beds, because the roller eliminates scalping and quickly shreds short plant material for quick decomposition. In most cases, cover crop mowing requires the lowest possible height setting, so the anti-scalp roller is a natural advantage for market growers as it avoids soil damage. The RollerBlade is only available in 30" width.
The RollerBlade's overall length is shorter than the standard Flail Mower since it lacks the caster wheels out front. The built-in roller is located closer to the tractor wheels which does make it easier to mow in V-ditches. Without the caster wheels, the RollerBlade can be a bit less maneuverable than the BladeRunner.
All three sizes of the standard (BladeRunner) Flail Mower can be outfitted with an optional full-length adjustable roller. This is the best of both worlds -- caster wheels to make life easier for the operator, and a roller to allow for its minimum 0.5'' cutting WITHOUT scalping the bed surface.
Here's a quick breakdown of all the differences:
- RollerBlade: 0.5" to 2.5"
- BladeRunner: 0.5" to 4"
- RollerBlade: 30"
- BladeRunner: 24", 30", 35"
- RollerBlade: No
- BladeRunner: Yes
- RollerBlade: Yes
- BladeRunner: Optional
Easy-to-Use Hand Crank for Height Adjustment
- RollerBlade: Yes, adjusts roller
- BladeRunner: Yes, adjusts caster wheels
Chamber Dome Shape
- RollerBlade: Lower to produce smaller particle size
- BladeRunner: Higher to process more vegetation per unit of time
Individual Flail Blade Width
- RollerBlade: 42.25 mm (1.66")
- BladeRunner: 32.25 mm (1.27")
Compatible Tractor Models
- 30" RollerBlade: 739 and up
- 24" BladeRunner: 732 and up
- 30" BladeRunner: 739 and up
- 35" BladeRunner: 749 and up