Sickle Bar Mower
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Sickle Bar Mower

    I've got the opportunity to use about 7-8 acres for grass hay. No rent. I was thinking about getting a small square baler anyway for straw in the not so distant future. I've found a couple older sickle mowers for sale that don't look terrible. From what I've read they are ok for grass because it doesn't need to be crimped to dry down properly like clovers/alfalfa. Is that correct?

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    ddinham's Avatar
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    I think it all needs to dry out. Just wait a couple of days before raking and baling it.

    Dave
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Right. My buddy says he doesn't like them because they plug up. But I know a lot of two cylinder guys that run them just fine.

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    Yep, they work fine. Lots of guys around here use them.

    Cut it and leave it lay a couple days; depending on temp, humidity, grass thickness, and precipitation; then rake and bale.

    As far as plugging up, if they are, then they probably have worn/broken/missing sickle sections or guards.
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutty72 View Post
    Yep, they work fine. Lots of guys around here use them.

    Cut it and leave it lay a couple days; depending on temp, humidity, grass thickness, and precipitation; then rake and bale.

    As far as plugging up, if they are, then they probably have worn/broken/missing sickle sections or guards.
    Funny that's what I told him. What brand would a blue colored mower be? There's one right down the road but I haven't got a good look at it.

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    Cutty72's Avatar
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    Ford?
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    Sickle

    We cut a lot of hay with sickle mowers but they are relatively high maintenance. With sharp sections and good guards on the mower and everything properly timed, they cut well if quite a bit slower than disc mowers. Make sure that the sections start and stop within the guards as they move.

    One good improvement was the invention of bolt on sections, however they require a higher hold down clip. It still beats taking the whole cutter bar out, drilling out a broken section and riveting a new one in.

    One other tip is that at least the mowers we had would only lift the cutter bar up about 30 degrees hydraulically. To raise them to transport was a manual process from there which really wasn't bad BUT the knife would tend to drop down as you lifted it. It only dropped to the end of the cycle but that was enough to cut the heck out of your hand if you grasped the bar within the cutting section. I was taught very early to lift by the back of the bar and keep my hands away from the sharp parts. As a result, I still have all my fingers. . .

    If it's blue- probably Ford. NH was orange/yellow.

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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Gotcha. I'll have to see what it has. My sprayer folds up manually too. I've learned to not stand under it unless I want whatever was in the tank in my head.

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    PikeCoGreenTractorMan's Avatar
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    d squared inham- While growing up in western South Dakota, my family exchanged Mule deer hunting rights on 560 acres of pristine pine woodland for labor including branding/castrating/dehorning calves, putting up firewood, cutting/raking/stacking hay, etc. I was the dumb kid who got to ride the old dump rake and trigger the dump release to keep the windrows straight. I dumped more than one load early after seeing a snake rolling with the hay.

    We tried to cut hay on warm, dry days, rake quickly afterward, then collect and stack the hay as expediently as possible.

    The old guy who owned the ranch maintained the sickle bars in his little workshop. He spent hours replacing cutter sections, keeping them sharp, and keeping the hay crew mowing.

    I miss those days(mid to late 1970's, early 1980's) and the people whom I helped maintain a small, family operated ranch in "God's Country." As a young, dumb, kid, riding the rake was not my only dirty job.


    Quote Originally Posted by ddinham View Post
    I think it all needs to dry out. Just wait a couple of days before raking and baling it.

    Dave
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    Brian


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    Cutty72's Avatar
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    I can remember when dad would sharpen the sections vs replace them... man that was a tedious process.
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