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John Deere rotary cutters make easy work of tough brush

John Deere brush cutter in the forest

John Deere updated its line of  rotary cutter attachments with the new RX72 and RX84. These new models are designed for heavy-duty vegetation management applications, including property maintenance and right-of-way clearing. 

The rotary cutter attachments are compatible on large-frame skid steer and compact track loaders, such as the 330G through the 333G, and they are equipped with high-flow hydraulics and a severe-duty door.

The new rotary cutters offer a robust solution for clearing medium-to-heavy brush and hardwoods up to 254 millimeters (10 inches) in diameter. Both the RX72 and RX84 include motors with a direct drive bearing for higher efficiency and extended durability, while an optimized blade carrier design allows for a fast startup and recovery time. Features include three blades made of thick forged AR400 steel measuring 15.9 millimeters (0.625 inches), that provide an aggressive cut and long wear life. A pressure gauge is easily visible to monitor blade load for optimal cutter performance.

As with any brush-clearing application, safety is paramount. Each model incorporates a retractable forward shield that rolls back to expose the blades to larger-diameter trees. Once material is cleared, the forward shield closes to process material more efficiently and to reduce the risk of flying debris with its heavy chain curtain. Hydraulic valving stops the blades from spinning within seconds of shutdown, providing operators and those on the jobsite with an additional safety feature.

Each model uses a skid-steer coupler attachment interface to mount to the carrier. The RX72 and RX84 cutters are powered using 12.7-millimeter (0.5-inch) auxiliary hydraulic quick connectors, while the RX84 also uses a 9.53-millimeter (0.375-inch) case drain quick coupler, to help the machine with cooling and prevent damage. Hydraulic specifications include a 114-170 l/min (30-45 gpm) flow range with a 28,000 kPa (4,000 psi) maximum operating pressure. The RX72 weighs 820 kilograms (1,810 pounds), and the RX84 weighs 1,025 kilograms (2,260 pounds), so rear counterweight will improve the stability of the skid steer or compact track loader. The RX72 and RX84 have cutting widths of 1,830 millimeters (72 inches) and 2,135 millimeters (84 inches), respectively.

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