BCS Combo Mower
This mower was first introduced by BCS in 1990 as a “Heavy Duty Mower”, in response to a demand in the North American market for a “brush mower” implement (which BCS did not offer up to that time). What BCS did to produce this mower was to take a gearbox housing they had previously used on an old 22” lawn mower implement, and simply put a larger deck & heavier blade on it, and re-configure the PTO shaft to fit the current tractors (the deck & blade design they used was actually a dead ringer for the old Gravely brand 30” brush mower).
The result was a mower that worked…sort of. Unfortunately, the gearbox housing BCS used had 2 problems compared to the Gravely: 1. It was aluminum, and was not designed to take the beating that a brush mower typically takes (Gravely used cast-iron), and 2. The gearbox did not have any kind of swivel-joint built into it to allow independent “floating” of the deck vs. the tractor axle (Gravely’s had this feature). The resulting problems that were: A. the gearboxes would fail after hitting enough immovable objects (rocks, stumps, etc.)…the aluminum gearcase would just crack. (The standard blade being a nearly 8-pound solid [non-“swinging”] blade did not help the gearbox at all…finally, BCS came out with a replacement “swinging”-type blade assembly, and while these do provide better protection for the gearbox, the trouble with this particular swing-blade is that the center-section of the assembly is so weak, by the time you wear out a set of swinging blade tips, the center is shot too) And B. the lack of “float” meant that on uneven ground, the cut was lousy and if one of the tractor wheels fell in a hole, the mower would bottom out/scalp. Added to all this, the mower is sort of a “mulching” design, as the deck has NO discharge orifice…so in heavy / thick material, it takes a LOT of engine power (sometimes stalling the engine), because the deck can’t get rid of the cut material fast enough.
BCS finally made an improvement to the gearbox around 2008, adding a swivel-joint feature and an extra caster wheel (the older models had just one wheel out front)…and they also re-badged it as a “Combo Mower”, offering it as a sort of marriage between a lawn mower and a brush mower. But the mower still comes with an aluminum gearbox case and a solid (non-swinging) blade as standard equipment…as far as we’re concerned, that’s a recipe for disaster with any rough-cut mower. And the deck design has not been changed. The fact is, any time an implement tries to be “two things at once”, you can pretty much bet that it does a lousy job at both.
WE AT EARTH TOOLS DO NOT STOCK OR RECOMMEND THIS MOWER. Our Zanon brand lawn mowers or flail mowers do a better job at being a “crossover brush mower” and are better built. However, since we are the largest BCS dealer in North America, we can certainly get one for you if you really want it.