Agri-Fab Finish Cut Trail Mower

The ULTIMATE Riding Mower!

May. 01, 2005 By Pattie Waters

We'll admit that in the ten years we've been publishing Off-Road.com and the five years of ATV content specifically, we have paid much more attention to the "sport" side of these great vehicles.

However, two years ago when ORC headquarters moved to the Pacific Northwest, we found constant opportunity and need for a hard-core work vehicle that was more affordable and versatile than a full-size tractor. We of course turned to our stable of ATVs and realized much of what we needed was there, or could easily be expanded upon.

We needed to look beyond the models that just go fast and jump high, and find an ATV that will be able to pack a chainsaw to cut trail, pull a plow and a heavily-loaded trailer, and haul at least two bales of hay on it's fender racks. And then we needed to find those accessories.

In that light, we can honestly say that the two most-used and most-appreciated tools on our farm are an ATV trailer and a pull-behind mower. (Industry stats indicate the top implements to be a plow, winch, then a mower - see table below.)

This is the perfect time of year to be considering a mower - whether you are needing a rough-cut mower to create new or clear existing paths, or a finish cut mower for finer grass or lawn areas. EHow.com's Garden Care section suggests if you have 1/2 acre of lawn or more, you should look into investing into a riding lawnmower. They also say to be prepared to pay between $800 to $3,000 for that mower - for something that does only THAT!

Off-Road.com says if you own a utility ATV already, you should make the best use of it - and don't buy a $3,000 tool that can't take you fishing when you are done!

We'd like to introduce you now to the Agri-Fab Finish Cut Trail Mower. We consider this a must-have addition, and certainly see it as increasing the value of our utility ATVs themselves. (And yeah, you CAN pull it behind a small garden tractor too. Again, that's more versatile than simply a riding lawn mower. Or heck, pull it behind a riding lawn mower, offset, and get the job done twice as fast!)

The 300-pound mower comes almost entirely assembled - crated and delivered by Truck Freight. Our crate did suffer some travel abuse, but there was not a scratch or ding on the mower, and all paperwork, nuts bolts and pieces were securely packaged. Attaching the tongue to the front of the mower is simple, and there is very little other installation or set up necessary.

 

One small problem we found was that the depth or the length of the hitch didn't quite work with our Suzuki Vinson. Or maybe the Vinson hitch didn't work with the mower. Either way, we couldn't get the mower on far enough to put a pin through and have full range of side-to-side rotation.

The other issue we had was that to lift the lever to engage the blades, we hit our hand on the rear storage bin of the Vinson. This is not an issue with other model ATVs that do not have a large storage box directly under the rear bumper. We purchased an ATV 3-Way hitch made by IPI. This solved both issues. VERY Handy!

Bombardier Outlander Max and Suzuki King Quad test vehicles both worked A-okay.

 

 
The mowing height is easily adjusted from 1.5" to 4.5". Try pushing your dad's old mower up a long gravel driveway - you'll be beat before you even start mowing!
 
All good safety tips. And don't run with scissors. Instructions in the paperwork and on the mower are clear and complete. And in English!
 
On your mark, safety glasses set, START your engines! The B&S fired right up, and did so at each use throughout the fall. We even mowed one time in the snow - though it's probably not a good idea on true "finish cut" areas. For spring start up, the gas tank should be drained and filled fresh, even if the mower was garaged or covered. As soon as our spring snow melts, we'll let you know! Again, simple, clear instructions and labeling make the mower as safe and easy-to-operate as possible. Probably safer than a standard walk-behind mower, because not only are your feet farther from danger at start-up and shut-down, your entire body is less likely to be hit with flying debris while you mow.
 
One of the best features of the mower is the ability to off-set it from the rear of the ATV. While this probably isn't as vital a factor on a Finish Cut because your surface is probably fairly level and obstacle-free, on the RoughCut it's great to be able to hang the mower out there, even if you'd rather not ride that line. The cut provided by this model is "fine" - certainly as good or better than a traditional lawn mower, because each swath is so much wider. It handles coarse and tall grass just as easily - we mowed bumper-high grass and weeds and instantly expanded our existing lawn area. The tall stuff required a second trip over it to get a nice finish.

While we purchased a Finish Cut mower because we were most interested in never pushing a traditional mower again, we'll admit we also immediately tested it in areas probably rougher, brushier, and rockier than recommended for that model. And yeah, it did just fine. (Except for that ONE rock... but that allowed us to test out Agri-Fab's Customer Service and Parts department. They get two big thumbs up - we had the part we needed at our door, quickly and easily.)

The bottom line - $1,240 suggested retail. Ouch! The option? See the note above about $3,000 riding lawn mowers... Do remember you will most likely also have to pay freight to get it to you. We found that it was about $170 to have it sent to a dealer's warehouse in a large town several hours away, or about $300 to just have it trucked directly to our home. We chose to have it delivered directly to us.

Need something bigger? (Own a golf course or a football stadium?!) Try the 63" Finish Cut Mower, with the 14.5 hp Briggs & Stratton and three cutting blades. Have some briars or small wooded areas to clear a path through? Check out the 42" Rough Cut models. These are adjustable up to 5" ground clearance, and feature heavy-duty break-away blades. WIth a 12.5 hp Briggs & Stratton, they claim you can whack up to 2" saplings. In fact, the 2005 Rough Cut mower was upgraded with a shorter tongue that allows the ATV and mower to make tighter turns, and offers an optional upgrade to a 14.5 hp motor.

I mean come on - if you have to mow, does it HAVE to feel like work?! We have actually planned our new lawn in easy sweeping turns, test-driving with the Agri-Fab mower so no seed is even planted outside the realm of riding. What's next? The latest cool toy we see worth looking at is Agri-Fab's 3-point hitch attachment system. This way, the rider can easily swap between a landscape rake, scraper and two different styles of cultivators. More toys is ALWAYS better; more tools must be better too! Now we have to see about that plow...

Agri-Fab
809 South Hamilton Street
Sullivan, Illinois 61951

(217) 728-8388 Voice
(217) 728-4053 Fax

Info@agri-fab.com
Sales@Agri-Fab.com

ATV Dealerships that sell lawn/garden/farming products:
56%

Sales of lawn/garden/farming products compared to last year:
54% of Dealers say they are UP

Best Selling Products:
 
Plow
54%
Winch
35%
Pull Behind Mowers
5%
Tires
3%
Spreaders
2%
Racks
1%
Source: ATV Industry Magazine
March 2005

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