Sickle bar mowers
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Question Sickle bar mowers

    I have a pretty steep ditch in the front of my property and along my driveway. My neighbors have the same issue and some of them just let it grow out of control. I can't mow it with any of my equipment due to the incline. It's close to 40 degrees in some areas I'm thinking. I have to spend a long time weed-eating this ditch which is a huge PITA. I end up sliding and falling and hurting my back due to the slope. So I was thinking a sickle bar mower attached to my 1026R might be a solution. Problem is, I don't know much about them. I need one that can mow when angled up or down. Can you give me some tips on what models to look for or ones to stay away from? Any problems that I should be aware of? Is there a HP per foot rating?

    I see them listed in CL pretty regularly ranging in price from $150 to over $2000. I don't want to spend a ton of money on this. Does anybody make a descent new one that doesn't cost a ton? It seems to me that sickle bar mowers are almost a relic these days. It would be really cool if I could use the same mower on my old model 60 when I get it running. Then I could have a dedicated ditch mower.

    I was thinking something in the 6'-7' foot range. That way I could stay on safe ground while the mower stayed on the slopes. What are your thoughts?
    - Jason

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    shock-n-awe's Avatar
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    I too could use one. I have areas that wiil remain a jungle, or I spend the time weed wacking on sttep incline (not fun).

    A sickle bar would be PERFECT!

    Hopefully someone has seen a decent new one for a good price......
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    Fran_K's Avatar
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    Didn't they have five foot long ground powered sicle bar mowers pulled by horses? With the more horsepower tractors of today the disc mowers are becoming the norm. The ground speed is much more and they will cut through tangled up stuff in any direction where at least in my experience the sicle bar in top working condition might work only in one direction and then might not work well. I have a three point new holland one which actually can still be special ordered new the guy at the parts place told me, they stock some other brand. It is model 45x I can't recall exactly it would be 45y if it had wheels. I don't think it is supposed to be used in the up position but it does turn through even folded back for transport. There are a lot of parts, the guards one for every two little blades, the wear plates, the hold down fork things, the rivet on pieces at the ends of the bar, I think I spent about $700 getting mine in order and only replaced 60% of the guards with a few spares. The industry standard for what you describe is an alamo hydraulic powered mid mount. There is another brand referenced in a previous post that does work in the up position. I just think the manual for mine states limits to the up and down to use it at.

    http://www.greentractortalk.com/foru...3-pt-type.html

    I can't say about anything other than the one I have but mine attaches to the top link spot kind of like a post hole digger and then has a fold out portion and it's own top link and a bunch of instructions on how to adjust it to the dimensions of your tractor. It might take some ingenuity beyond what is in the manual to make it work on something rather small. There is the trailer version of course.

    fran
    Last edited by Fran_K; 09-02-2012 at 11:44 AM. Reason: added link

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    The problem I ran into when I looked into this is that most sickle mowers use an arm to drive the teeth. They're not able to run at much of an angle. Massey Ferguson used to have a model that was belt driven and could run on an angle, but I never could find one for sale.

    The answer might be a hydraulic unit, that would take the drive system out of the equation. You could buy an old sickle mower, slap on a hydraulic motor and have an answer.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    The problem I ran into when I looked into this is that most sickle mowers use an arm to drive the teeth. They're not able to run at much of an angle. Massey Ferguson used to have a model that was belt driven and could run on an angle, but I never could find one for sale.
    Yes, that is a problem with the older ones. Here is one that can go down pretty far, but its over 5K: Tractor Mounted Sickle Bar Mowers With Hydraulic Lift Standard
    Kenny

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    a belt driven wobble head(can't remember correct terminology) drive mower will work in all positions.
    a Pittman arm mower is the one that is restricted.
    7' needs about 30 pto hp to operate.
    IH, NH, New Idea all make wobble head mowers.
    there are others too but I can't recall them all
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    As others mentioned, the belt-driven version is the one you want, not the old pitman arm ones. A friend of mine has one and he uses it in the vertical position to keep paths open around his yard. He said it works pretty good. As far as I know, the downward angle is limited to not far below horizontal. In other words, they will run up in the air at 90 degrees, but angled down maybe only at 10 degrees. That is what my friend told me anyway. And yes, they do have a lot of wear items (cutters and guards, as well as the pins and plates that hold it all together), and only cut in the forward direction. I still see a lot of them in use in my area to cut hay.
    Andy B.

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrappy View Post
    a belt driven wobble head(can't remember correct terminology) drive mower will work in all positions.
    a Pittman arm mower is the one that is restricted.
    7' needs about 30 pto hp to operate.
    IH, NH, New Idea all make wobble head mowers.
    there are others too but I can't recall them all
    I'm finding that seems to be the consensus amongst all the info out there. The only problem is it seems to me most of the sickle bar mower are belt driven in some way and the owner lists it as a belt drive when in fact it has a pitman arm. Everything attachments has a mower very similar to the one Kenny listed, but even it is over $3600. Way over my budget just to mow ditches.

    I'm thinking a used one would be the best option for me. I don't know the model numbers of the ones that would be appropriate. Any suggestions?
    - Jason

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    , Ken's weld-on hooks, Fit Rite Hydraulics Top and Tilt kit, Artillian forks.
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    110 round fender in the shop for crustoration
    Ferris IS3200Zzero turn mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    I'm thinking a used one would be the best option for me. I don't know the model numbers of the ones that would be appropriate. Any suggestions?
    If you were up for a fab project, swapping a pitman arm drive for a hydraulic motor should work. Does your 1026 have a service at the rear you could run it off of, or would it need a separate pump on the PTO? The other concern is setting the angle. A hydraulic cylinder would be ideal, but it might be possible to modify the factory locking mechanism to lock it in place below horizontal.

    I know a guy that has some hydraulic motors and pumps kicking around, and he likes building stuff.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    If you were up for a fab project, swapping a pitman arm drive for a hydraulic motor should work. Does your 1026 have a service at the rear you could run it off of, or would it need a separate pump on the PTO? The other concern is setting the angle. A hydraulic cylinder would be ideal, but it might be possible to modify the factory locking mechanism to lock it in place below horizontal.

    I know a guy that has some hydraulic motors and pumps kicking around, and he likes building stuff.
    Adding the hydraulics needed would require a PTO pump as the tractor driven pump only has something like 4.5 gpm available and isn't supposed to be used for hydraulic motor service. I can't remember where I read that in the manuals though. Then I would still have to add some SCV to control the hydraulic tilt. That's going to happen, just not right now. It's not in the budget right now. A project like that can add up in dollars super fast. It would be fun though...
    - Jason

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    2720 w/ 200CX FEL
    , Ken's weld-on hooks, Fit Rite Hydraulics Top and Tilt kit, Artillian forks.
    1954 60 - getting full restoration, 1964
    110 round fender in the shop for crustoration
    Ferris IS3200Zzero turn mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Dieselshadow is my Hero.


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