Skid Steer Attachment Comparison: standard Gearbox vs Direct Drive

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For us here at Prime Attachments, one of the most common questions our customers have this time of year is; “should I buy a standard 90° gearbox skid steer brush mower, or should I invest a little bit more money and buy the direct drive skid steer mower. The answer is always “it depends.”

the standard Brush Mower is like a track and field superstar sprinter, while the Direct Drive is like an Olympic Power Lifter

Kody Thompson, Co-owner of prime Attachments

It’s impossible to recommend one mower over the other every time, as there are unique benefits to each, and the answer needs to be based specifically on each individual. It really comes down to accurately assessing your mission profile and application. I am going to highlight the benefits and differences between the two, in hopes of helping you make the right decision for you.


Brush Mower Gearbox vs Direct Drive

Here at Prime Attachments we make both the standard Brush Mower and the Direct Drive. One of Prime’s owners, Kody, likes to use an athletic analogy to start the conversation: the standard Brush Mower is like a track and field superstar sprinter, while the Direct Drive is like an Olympic Power Lifter.

While both are exceptional pieces of equipment, they have very distinct differences.

Standard Gearbox Brush Mower

Brush-MowerThe standard Brush mower is quick and agile, with the toughness to take on 3-inch diameter trees. While both mowers can cut grass, the standard mower has a much better cut quality. With two blades, along with the fly wheel, which only weigh 120 pounds (remember quick and agile) in conjunction with its low speed/high torque motor, it makes for a quicker spool up for an incredibly efficient operation. The Brush Mowers total weight of 1200 pounds, is also a major factor in making this attachment such a favorite of those that are looking for pristine aesthetics and versatility

Right: Brush mower with a standard gearbox


Direct-Drive Brush Mower

Direct-DriveMoving onto the direct drive, this attachment is a beast! With four blades, along with its fly wheel, together weighing 417 pounds, it can take on 8 inch diameter trees with ease. This is the attachment that seeks out the thickest brush to clear and the thickest trees to run over.

With its 1800 pound total weight, (remember the standard Brush Mower is 1200 pounds) what it makes up for in brawn and stature, it gives up in agility. While it has no equal in strength, when it is slowed up or bogged down it’s somewhat slower to spool back up to top speed. To oversimplify it, the Direct Drive is your attachment for creating and clearing, the standard mower is your attachment for maintaining and manicuring.

The great news about both attachments is that each has a 15/25 gallon per minute hydraulic flow rate so you are not limited as to what type of skid steer you are using!

Right: Brush mower with a direct drive


In Summary

In summary, it’s kind of like having kids and not being able to have a favorite, you love each of them for their strengths and weaknesses alike. So, what’s your mission? That’s your most important question!

Should you need further guidance our team at Prime Attachments are here to help you with all your skid steer mower attachment (and 35 other attachments) needs, be sure to contact us! Its officially Skid Steer Season too, ENJOY!