What Type of Flails are the best on a Mulcher?
This is a common question that comes up a lot when people are looking at mulchers. Like most situations there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question but I have outlined below the various pros and cons of the various options that are available which should be helpful in making your decision.
Hammer flails were originally the standard option on many mulchers and have obviously done the job in many situations, but they do have some downsides though. The hammer flail will make your mulcher noticeably harder to drive therefor also increasing fuel consumption. The other downside to hammer flails is that they will never chop material up as fine as some of the other flails available. The hammers do have an advantage in a couple of situations, if you are hitting the dirt a lot or hitting a large stones the hammer flail can be a bit more resilient. Ideally you should not be doing either of these things with a mulcher, but obviously it is unavoidable in sometimes.
Y Fails have also been another common option on many mulchers, these have some advantages over the hammer flail in the fact that they will make your mulcher a lot easier to drive. They also do a good job of cutting material up finely. A couple of downsides to the Y flail comes from the V in between the two flails, this can cause a ridging in the finish it leaves on paddocks. Also, large material hitting between the flails can often bend or break them.
The triple flail setup is obviously a Y flail with a straight center blade. The triple flail like the Y flail makes your mulcher easy to drive, they will also cut material even finer than the Y flail due to having more blades cutting. The center flail also eliminates the ridging in the finish and greatly reduces the chance of large objects forcing their way in between the flails and bending or breaking them. They can obviously still be bent or broken when hitting large rock but are a very low cost easy part to replace. The triple flail will do a brilliant job on anything from grass to gorse, tree prunings and small trees etc. For these reasons the triple flail is the best option for 95% of situations and is rapidly becoming the most popular flail setup in New Zealand.
Other flail types
There is obviously a couple of other flail types used on forestry mulchers, a 360° swinging hammer for lighter forestry work and fixed tungsten carbide teeth for the bigger stuff.
Other things to take account of when choosing a mulcher flail setup.
Make sure the flails cannot hit each other when going opposite directions. Believe it or not this is reasonably common on lower end mulchers and will greatly reduce the life of your flails.
Flail Mounting Lugs
Make sure these are heavy duty, lightweight lugs cut out of plate will be prone to bending which causes flails to jam and will create a nightmare for changing flails.
In high wear situations it is a good idea to get your flails hard-faced. This can greatly increase the lifespan of your flails
If you have any questions as to what type of mulcher or flails is the best for you fell free to call the mulcher specialists at Agriline on 09 777 3004 or 03 422 2242.