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Swisher (44") 12.5 HP Tow Behind Rough Cut Trail Cutter

Swisher Mowers and Accessories
Model: RTB12544
(Based on expert analysis, manufacturer ratings and customer reviews)
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5
9 Reviews
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  • Features
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Mid Grade Lawn Mowers
Tow Behind Mowers
Surface Area
Office Building, Farm, or Parks
Hilly Terrain

Cutting Inches

Product Video Disclaimer: "PED is not responsible for any variances from the product in this video and the item you purchase. Please review all product specs prior to purchase."

Mower Is Black As Shown In Image - Not Red As In Video

Blaze A Trail Or Clear A Field
Get rid of overgrown ditches, fence lines and fields
Use for brush cuttting applications
Cuts most woody materials up to 1-1/2" in diameter

12.5 HP Briggs and Stratton I/C Engine
Recoil start

44" Cutting Deck
11 gauge welded steel construction
2 heavy duty swinging blades
Rear discharge
Convenient single-point cutting height adjustment

Remote Blade Engagment Brake For Added Safety

Easy Offset Adjustment
Cut to the left, right or directly behind your tractor or ATV

Universal Articulating Hitch
Use your tractor or ATV to clear the most rugged overgrown areas

Engine Brand
Briggs & Stratton I/C
Starting System
Recoil Start
Engine Cycle
12.5 HP
Engine Cylinders
1 Cylinder
Oil Filter
Consumer Engine Warranty
1 Year
Cutting Options
Rear Discharge
Deck Material
Deck Construction
2 Blades
Tire Type
Pneumatic Wheels
Made in USA
550 Pounds
Consumer Warranty
1 Year
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  7 Questions
Q: On the Swisher RTB14544, how far ahead of the hitch attachment point can the 'remote' control be mounted? I plan on pulling this with a Gator-type utility vehicle. One of the competing brands specifically said that if the box on the back of a utility vehicle was longer than 2 feet, you could not mount their models to a utility vehicle as the operator could not reach the controls.



by Martin Stover from Texas on April 26, 2012

A: Martin - On a current 44" RTB model Trail Cutters, the control box attaches to the hitch bar directly behind the attachment point. No longer does the box attach to the pulling vehicle. And Swisher no longer offers any sort of longer wiring harness so that the control box can be mounted to the tow vehicle. If you want to mount the control box to your tow vehicle, you will have to step up to the 52" RTB model, which still has the tow vehicle mounting option.
by Jose, Product Expert

Q: How does the off set hitch attach to the UTV? Does it attach to a standard hitch just without the ball?
by Chuck Skalski from New York on April 22, 2012

A: Chuck - yes, the ball would have to be removed from the hitch in order to tow a Swisher rough cut mower. Here are the complete instructions from the owners manual on the hook-up:

Back vehicle up to desired towing position.
Offset the Trail Cutter to the side opposite the tow vehicle discharge (if any).
This prevents the tow vehicle from throwing grass into Trailcutter engine.
Bolt swivel hitch (H10) to tow vehicle receiver. If tow vehicle has a ball
hitch, the ball must be removed before swivel hitch can be fastened.
Attach tow hitch and the L hitch to the swivel hitch. (Ref Fig 2)
The hitch pin (H11) should go completely through both the swivel and L
hitches and clipped to prevent accidental separation. Check that all hardware
is secure at both the tow vehicle and the Trailcutter.

by Jose, Product Expert

Q: I have a pond with steep banks and a flat trail around it. I would like to ride safely on the flat trail and use the pull behind at a sharp side angle to the waters edge six feet down and to the side. Is the draw bar long enough and can the engine work at a sharp angle?
by Jon Swanson from Illinois on October 29, 2011

A: Jon - it is not recommended that you run any of the Swisher tow-behind mowers on a bank or slope that is greater than 15 degrees of slope. All of these mowers have a "splash" type lubrication system, and running them on slopes more severe than 15 degrees may cause the oil to not fully lubricate all the engines parts.
by Jose, Product Expert

Q: Hi, I have a 3 acre piece of land that must be cut twice a year for weeds. The weeds vary in type but are usually about 3 feet high. No grass, just lots of weeds. The land is totally flat with no obstructions. Will this do the job and cut the weeds down? If not, what would you recommend?
by Nelson from California on July 24, 2011

A: Nelson - this Husqvarna tractor definitely will NOT handle 3 foot tall weeds. For this type of task, you would need a Swisher tow-behind trail cutter. Click on the link and open up any of the models to watch a video of this machine in action: Swisher Trail Cutter You will need a tractor or an ATV to tow a Swisher trail cuter.
by Jose, Product Expert

Q: Can this unit be used as a finish mower also?
by Edward from New York on May 09, 2011

A: You can use this as a finish mower, but it is meant for cutting into trails and thicker brush. Most likely is not going to give you the best cut you would be looking for. You would want something more along the line of a trail mower, not a cutter. I would suggest taking a look at the T12544.


Mowers Direct
by Jose, Product Expert

Q: What is the highest setting for your cut on these? I need something you can pull with a quad but will cut our clover at 6-8 inches high.
by Vance from Iowa on April 13, 2011

A: Thanks for your inquiry. The cutting height on this trail cutter is four inches. That is the highest it will cut.
by Jose, Product Expert

Q: Todd,
Can you pull one of these trail cutter field mowers with just a riding mower? Thanks

by Anonymous on March 24, 2011

A: Thanks for your inquiry. This needs to be pulled by a tractor or ATV. A riding mower will not work.
by Jose, Product Expert

Swisher RTB12544 Reviews & Ratings
Overall Rating
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5
Reliable (1)
Fast (1)
Price (1)
Easy To Use (1)
Durability (1)
50% of respondents would recommend this product to a friend
9 Reviews  Sort by 
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5
Swisher Trail Cutter - Rough Cut 44"
I just used the recently purchased SWISHER 44" model Trail Cutter. I was under the impression that the control box, which is wired to the main unit to engage/disengage the blades and turn off the engine was engineered to be mounted to the tow vehicle (in my case an ATV). I found out the hard way that this is not so. You may be able to mount it in the straight position while the unit is hooked up to the tow vehicle, but any turn will put tension on the wire and ultimately rip it off.
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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
About What Swisher Mower Reviews Would Make You Think
I picked up my mower this past month and have put about 6 hours on it so far mowing roadsides, fence lines and a large yard recently de-tree'ed. . The drive has performed well with no issues handling blackberries and rye grass overgrowth very well.

The hitch however is still a weak point in the system. When assembling the hitch, the hitch frame was 3/4" too wide, but the frame bent to match the sheet metal when I tightened the bolts. After 6 hours, the adjustment holes on the tongue... more
Pros: Easy To Use, Price, Fast, Reliable
Cons: Durability
Chris Recommends This Swisher Mower
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Ron L.
Morgan Hill, CA
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 4/24/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Swisher Trail Cutter
Received the Swisher trail cutter yesterday and was impressed by how well the unit was crated and tied down--first class job. Took a while to figure out how to start it because keyed ignition switch was located under the engaging lever and there was no mention of it in the manual and certainly no diagram. Also, there is no mention of how to adjust the belt on the unit in the manual. The engaging cable is too short to reach anywhere on my garden tractor, so I had to mount it on the connecting... more
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Glenn L.
Mount Pleasant, NC
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
Piece Of Junk
I would seriously doubt the validity of other reports on this product. There is nothing positive about its design. Swisher has been less than forthcoming in their efforts to authorize repairs etc... The cable used to engage comes loose from vibration. The metal is substandard ie.. very thin. I've had the connected arm completely reinforced with higher grade steel. I had the body reinforced with steel. I've spent well over 800 dollars on modifications. You would be better served having a mowing... more
Glenn Does Not Recommend This Mower
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Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 8/23/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Occasional Field Mowing
RTB12544 was purchased to allow once or twice a year mowing of about 7 acres of pasture, unfortunately containing a high amount of Johnson grass.

So far I have cut about half. I find the cut height is fine, with much of the Johnson grass stubble left behind.

Starting the engine is easy so far. Don't know how balky it will become over time.

I use a Kubota 550 to tow the mower, using 4 Wheel Low due to the hilly terrain.

Storage space is tight, so I made a trailer dolly out of scrap... more
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Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 8/15/12
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
Swisher 12.5 44' Cut-ok For The Price
Just got my new rough-cut mower. It arrived in excellent condition, well protected and easy to complete assembly. They even put oil in it! I seems to cut through my field pretty good, which is a mix of tall grass, willow and young pine trees. It does die, even going slow through the heavy patches of willow. If I were to do it again, I'd probably go with the 14.5 HP.

One other nitpick is the control module, which you mount on the tow bar. The darn thing will not stay in place! ... more
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Bob P.
Auburn, CA
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 5/26/12
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5
Built Strong Except The Drive
I had a great experience with the ordering and delivery process. Power Equipment Direct did what they promised. My disappointment was after 2-3 hours of use the drive literally came apart. I think the blade was not tight and with it being loose the blade was spinning on the drive bolt. I discovered it and tightened the nut but the damage was done. The bearings and spacer were shot. The Swisher people sent me new parts and I just reassembled.

What I noticed is that the drive is a... more
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Lagarto, TX
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Does The Job
Order stayed processing for almost two weeks, finally shipped and trucking company contacted me day before delivery, driver did call an hour before delivery and was right on time. No damage but crate was put together with hundreds of staples, every board broke trying to get it out. Everything went together except for one bolt, just wouldn't line up, finally had to use height screw to force piece to align with hole.

Fueled it up and it started on first pull, started to cut property and... more
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Mike H.
Lewiston, ID
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 5/17/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Performed Perfectly
I received the mower to my property just as promised. I am 70 years old and was able to uncrate myself but didn't have enough hands to attach the tongue to the mower. My wife was able to help with the bolts on one side while I did the other. The mower started on the second pull and I was able to mow about 4 acres of snow berries and grass. The snow berries grow in the timbered areas at 4000 feet and above here in SE Washington. They are woody stemmed and about 3 feet to 4 feet tall and... more
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