JD 370 Flail Cutter
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Thread: JD 370 Flail Cutter

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    JD 370 Flail Cutter

    I have been playing with this flail cutter for the past two tears. I am pulling it with a 55 hp tractor so power is not a concern. It has new cutters ( originals were in good condition used only two seasons ) and run at 540 rpm pto speed. The problem is one has to travel so slow it takes all day to cut a six acre field. The plus is it spreads the cuttings out evenly but when speed is increased it leaves half the grass cutting height. My 6' Bushog leaves a windrow but will cut clean to the proper depth at much greater speed. The 370 does not cut grass 3' and taller without smoking the belt.
    I thought the 370 would be a good alternative but its not working out as expected. It really needs more rpm and two belts.

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    I have the 390, and it does have dual belts,,,
    I read about a guy, he was suffering with his flail,, he had to go slow.

    It turns out, he was running the front too high, the discharge area was small.

    Once he leveled it correctly,,, all was good.

    My mowing speed is only limited to how fast I can go,,,
    and keep my butt in the tractor seat,,,



    One time, I slipped the belts,, I was mowing four foot high, thick grass,,,
    it turned out the idler pulley needed adjustment,,, then, all was good again.

    I could have baled the grass that was discharged.
    Bubber and BigJim55 like this.

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    I have a 370 but with the smooth cut knives (grass mowing knives). I'll echo CAD's statements. I can mow my pasture as fast as my rider does on my lawn. It takes me about 4 hours to cut 6 acres.

    One thing to keep in mind as you're coming from a rotary cutter; you don't "carry" a flail on the 3pt like you do a brush hog. Adjust the rear roller for the cutting height you want and then lower the 3pt until the weight is on the rear roller and then lower it some more (this is different than a rotary cutter). Then put a bubble level on the gearbox shroud and adjust the top link until it is level. The manual talks about doing this - you will need to lift the mower up, adjust the top link, lower it back down, repeat until level.

    What are you mowing to be smoking belts? Are the belts adjusted correctly? When I get into heavy stuff the tractor will lug (4044R) and I slow down to let it spin back up - never slipped a belt. But your tractor has a lot more power than mine so maybe that's the difference. Deere says the 370 is rated for a 30-75HP so you're not overpowering it.

    My dealer was ignorant of flails and tried really hard to sell me a rotary cutter. But I'm happy with my choice. It cost more than a rotary cutter but the cut quality is vastly superior. I also like how compact it is and it's a lot safer regarding throwing debris.'

    Stick with it - we should be able to figure this out.
    BigJim55 likes this.
    4044R Cab, H180 Loader, JD 370 Flail, EA 6' box blade, EA 12" single bottom plow, EA 42" forks, iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Artillian ballast box trolley, Aritillian Fork-n-Bucket cart.

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    It is resting on the rear roller and adjusted the three point for a 3" cut. I don't have a clue how to adjust the tension on the single belt. I believe it is spring actuated. One belt is a lot to drive a 6' cutter especially in tall thick grass. I mow two fields approximately 6 acres each mid summer and fall. I can cover the fields twice as fast with the rotary cutter and cut it to the correct height . The only downfall is the spreading of the grass which usually ends up in heavy rows. The 370 is a nice design but I still feel it needs another belt and more RPM. Some of my areas contain very thick grass. In low gear it is still a struggle to make a clean cut. The dealer isn't full of corrective suggestions. They say it was made to cut slower and a better quality cut. The problem is I don't want to spend a day on each field.
    My neighbor has a flail he cuts with. Never checked the drive but he moves relatively fast and a very clean cut. He hasn't changed cutters in years. I have no idea if I can change the drive system to multiple belts. My luck the shafts are not long enough to support wider pulleys.

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    This may be a silly question but does everything spin freely? All bearings good and so forth? I've seen folks around here scoot across fields with their cutters and as mentioned, your not short on horsepower. Does the cutters have a edge on both sides or is there any possible way it's cutting with a blunt side of a blade because they aren't installed correctly?
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 11-10-2016 at 06:30 PM.
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    What do you mean by "adjusted the three point for a 3" cut"? I'm still new to this but AFAIK the 3pt has nothing to do with cut height. You set the rear roller for cut height, drop the 3pt down so it's resting on the roller (3pt lever is in between 2 and 3 on my 4044R - could probably drop it all the way down but haven't tried it). Then adjust the top link so the housing covering the PTO shaft on top of the flail is level (literally stick a bubble level on it and adjust the top link). I also switched the 3pt lower arms to the "float" position (rotated the pin where the lift arms attach to the lower arms). If you're carrying any weight at all on the 3pt you'll be closing off the discharge.

    As for adjusting the pulley, here's a link to the owner's manual with the procedure:
    OMP70756
    4044R Cab, H180 Loader, JD 370 Flail, EA 6' box blade, EA 12" single bottom plow, EA 42" forks, iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Artillian ballast box trolley, Aritillian Fork-n-Bucket cart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grywlfbg View Post
    Then adjust the top link so the housing covering the PTO shaft on top of the flail is level (literally stick a bubble level on it and adjust the top link).
    The 390 has a long slot for the top link.
    When I mow, I could drop the mower, and literally remove the top link,,,
    as the top link is doing nothing during mowing.

    The top link only comes into play when the mower is lifted for transport.
    BigJim55 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CADplans View Post
    The 390 has a long slot for the top link.
    When I mow, I could drop the mower, and literally remove the top link,,,
    as the top link is doing nothing during mowing.

    The top link only comes into play when the mower is lifted for transport.
    That's a difference between the 390 and 370 (and smaller mowers). The 390 has a set of adjustable skid plates on the front so the weight of the mower is carried by the rear roller and those skid plates. The 370 and smaller mowers don't have those adjustable front plates - only the rear roller. So you need to adjust the top link to make the mower level.
    BigJim55 likes this.
    4044R Cab, H180 Loader, JD 370 Flail, EA 6' box blade, EA 12" single bottom plow, EA 42" forks, iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Artillian ballast box trolley, Aritillian Fork-n-Bucket cart.

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