Blog A History of Rotary Cutters

A History of Rotary Cutters

There are more names for a rotary cutter than there are names for soda in the US, and it has a lot to do with who pioneered the equipment in various parts of the States. Growing up in the South, a lot of our folks knew these tractor attachments as “bush hogs”, not as a brand, but as a process, an adverb and verb for how the machine can be used. The heavy-duty rotary cutter was a bush/brush hog, shredder, or mower, different than your standard cutter. This is because it mowed heavy brush, not just grass and weeds. The brand Bush Hog started in Alabama, and the surrounding states adopted the vernacular and called rotary cutters “bush hogs.” In Texas, Rhino pioneered the same product, and now the majority of the state calls them shredders and brush hogs.

While these brands were selling to the end-users in the 70’s and 80’s, Bush-Whacker had pioneered the extreme-duty rotary cutter for commercial uses, selling almost exclusively to the DOT for highway mowing. The Bush-Whackers of the 80’s were behemoths, double-decked steel tire-eaters. These cutters had to mow the side of the road and everything hiding in the grass, like wood debris, metal scrap, tire scraps, and anything else that can fall off the back of a truck or the underside of a car. We had to have an exceedingly sturdy cutter to keep the DOT visiting, and as a result we stepped into the consumer world in the early 2000’s with one of the most durable products on the market.

With a growing sales team and a fresh insight into the tractors and mowing needs of the future, Bush-Whacker’s CEO began partnering with commercial tractor dealers, stocking them with our extreme-duty cutters, and sending his team across the nation to get feedback on his cutters. Enter the heavy-duty mower, or medium-duty cutters. As our mowers migrated from the side of the road to the 100-acre farm, the extreme-duty double deckers weren’t as cost effective. The heavy-duty cutters featured a single-deck, smaller gear box, and ran from 5 to 20 feet. They were also a very attractive price point for the end user.

In 2015, research and word of mouth shed light that our cutters were still too durable, too long, too heavy for the modern tractors running at 30 HP. Our cutters fit, but they were too heavy and took too much power to lift. As a result, we redesigned the whole line that same year. Farmlands went from 200-acre cow pastures to 5-10-acre tracts with light-weight tractors. The redesigned Bush-Whacker cutters fit on 25-30HP tractors, and we still have the most durable5-6ft cutters on the market.

In the 2020’s our product is an extreme version of a rotary cutter, longer-lasting and at a better value than our competition. We still handcraft every rotary cutter, our parts are inexpensive, our equipment is more durable, and our turnaround time for parts is the fastest in the nation (because they’re American-made). More than that, from a service standpoint, we’re the best. We’re homegrown, courteous, and hands-on. So, whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty rotary cutter, or the cheapest bush hog for your tractor, we have made a product with you in mind.