How to adjust brush hog height

Our team independently selects, reviews, and identifies the best products. We may earn affiliate commissions on purchases made from links on this page. Read about our links here. This post was updated on January 5, 2022

If the brush hog is operated too low, it will be dragging the ground and destroying grass.

Besides, there are times you want to cut a bit high, for example, when mowing pastures.

Yet, the operator’s manual doesn’t always cover details about how to adjust brush hog height or just present sketchy information.

Which is where this educational article comes in.

Continue reading to learn how to adjust brush hog height if you’re stuck.

How to adjust brush hog height

The height on many brush hog models is typically set similarly.

The best way is to make a total of 4 adjustments rather than partial changes in the following order:

  1. Level the deck side to side.
  2. Level the deck from front to rear.
  3. Center the 3-point link adjustment.
  4. Make tailwheel height adjustment.

We cover tricks and tips you can use when setting up each of the items to get the height you want next.

How to adjust brush hog height – step by step

Let’s go through the procedures..

What you need

To complete the changes, you will need:

  • Carpenters level (or any other functional leveling tool)
  • A tape measure (pliable)
  • ¾ inches open end/hex end wrench (or socket set)

Safety measure

Wear protective gloves to prevent injuries to your hands (The blades can have extremely sharp edges).

1.     Leveling the deck from left to right

It is important to start with deck leveling as you’ll never achieve the correct height with the deck set up wrongly.


Step 1:

Park the tractor and the brush hog on level ground such as the driveway.

Step 2:

Use the tractor’s hydraulic 3 point control to lower the cutter until the tailwheel touches the surface.

Step 3:

Place the level tool on the front of the deck.

Step 4:

Adjust one or both the 3 point lower-link height adjustments (where applicable) on the tractor to bring the deck level from left to right.

This completes the side-to-side deck level adjustment.

How to make garden rows with a tiller

2.     Leveling the deck from front to rear

Step 1:

Place the level on any of the equipment’s main deck channels.

Step 2:

Use the tractors hydraulic 3 point control to move the 3 point arms upwards/downwards till the deck is a tad lower (about 1” lower) at the front compared to the back.

Step 3:

The top center link is usually loose when the rear of the unit’s deck is supported by the tail wheel.

If this is not the case, lengthen the center link until it becomes loose.

We shall tackle how to make the final center link adjustment in a short while.

Step 4:

Carefully rotate either blade tip to the correct position.

Tip: Keep in mind that the tip of the front blade must be positioned lower than the tip of its rear counterpart by about 1”.

Note that the mower experiences problems such as loss of power and frequent blade dulling if the rear blade stands at the same height as the front blade due to the resulting continuous material flow.

Step 5:

Measure the nominal cutting height which is the distance from the front blade’s cutting tip to the ground below.

Here is the thing: You’ll have to adjust the tail wheel if the recorded nominal cutting height is off your preferred cutting height.

You’ll find the tailwheel adjustment directions in the last section.

Step 6:

Redo steps 1-5 until you achieve your desired height.

Step 7:

Set the tractor lift quadrant to stop so as to return the cutter to the same height.

Tow behind dethatcher review

3.     Making The Center 3-Point Link Adjustment

You’re free to adjust the center 3-point link to your preference.

As you likely know, lengthening the link allows you more movement while passing over elevated terrain while making it shorter allows more movement when crossing over ditches.

In addition, shortening it lets you hoist the brush hog hire when traveling.


Step 1:

Lower the deck to the previously-measured nominal cutting height.

Step 2:

Now adjust the center 3-point link such that the top 3-point clevis pin stands straight above the bottom 3- point hitch pins.

Step 3:

Lock the center link in this position (when you get the correct length).

Yard rake for mower

Tailwheel Height Adjustment

Work through these steps to adjust the tailwheel height (models with a single tailwheel).


Step 1:

Lift the tail-wheel off the ground with your tractor’s 3 point hydraulic control.

Step 2:

Remove the attaching hardware – the hex head bolt, lock washer, and nut- with the wrench.

Step 3:

Adjust the tailwheel up/down to your desired cutting height. You do this by repositioning the adjusting plate appropriately.

Step 4:

Reinstall the attaching hardware.

Procedure for Dual tailwheel

In general, the steps are the same for models with dual tailwheel but when removing the attaching hardware (the holding components are slightly different).

But you still use your wrench in this step.

Either way, you want to adjust the tailwheel suitably according to your needs.

Option 2: Use check chains for bush hog

Depending on your model, you might consider adding check chains particularly when the hydraulic 3-point lift has problems maintaining the set height.

You could also add chains when a constant pre-adjusted cutting height is required.

In general, these attach to either side of the brush hog mower deck and the tractor’s top link.

If you’re going this route, it’s important to purchase a chain that is strong enough to carry the mower’s weight without issues.

How to install check chains

Step 1:

First fix the lower end of your check chain to the inner hitch ear using the provided accessories (bolts, lock washers, and nuts.

Tighten securely.

Step 2:

Install the chain lugs on either side of the tractor’s top link mount using the supplied components (purchase necessary pin where not availed).

Step 3:

You implement the chosen height adjustments by simply lifting the brush hog a little high, adjusting the chain’s length (use quick links), and then lowering the lift. 

Re-adjust as pointed out until you’re satisfied with the height.

Don’t forget to look for a way to put the surplus chain out of your way.

Final words

Your brush hog must be set at the right cutting height to give optimal mowing results.

A taller height is definitely easier and has a bonus in that there’s less blade wear and strain on the equipment.
On the other hand, adjusting it a tad lower will bring you a finer lawn type look but there’s a greater risk of striking things while cutting.

In short, it’s upon you to decide what’s good for your needs and make the required adjustment now that you have known how to adjust brush hog height.

Solid tires for zero turn mowers review

Leave a Comment