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Discussion Starter #1
I've run into two schools of thought on this...one says that the tail wheel(s) should always be in contact with the ground and should bear the weight of the cutter in the rear, and is actually part of what sets how the cutter is angled. The other says that the tail wheel should be off the ground and is only there to support the cutter if you go up a steep bank or into a ditch (or whatever), and that the cutter angle should be set with the top link.

What do you guys think?
 

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The manual for my Landpride cutter implies that the tail wheel sets the cutter height. I guess that is why they made it adjustable. :dunno:
 

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Same here, that's how I was taught to set the height of the rear, and according to my Frontier manual I was taught correctly.
 

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The tail wheel on my Woods (about the same animal as a Bush hog) is adjustable and run it to always touch the ground.

To me, it and the 3 point hitch combine to set the angle and cutting height.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Anything I have seen says the tailwheel sets the height. The one on my Brush Bull has about 10 settings. It makes sense. Set the wheel where you want it, making the rear slightly higher to aid with discharge. What little I have run mine confirms thats how it works best. Enough weight on the wheel so that even with a slight uneven grade the wheel follows the grade and stays on the ground
 

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i have run them both ways.....with and without the tail wheel.......for general mowing using the tail wheel to set height worked best for me (produces the most consistant cut height).........i have removed the tail wheel for backing into and chopping heavy brush and small trees similar to a skidsteer brush hog setup...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For those of you who use the tail wheel to set the cut height (so pretty much everyone :) ), how much weight goes on the wheel? How do you know how much weight you're putting on it?
 

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For those of you who use the tail wheel to set the cut height (so pretty much everyone :) ), how much weight goes on the wheel? How do you know how much weight you're putting on it?
I don’t think weight has anything to do with it. Typically you would set the front height with the 3 point to the cut height you want then set the tail wheel so the rear is 1-2” higher than the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don’t think weight has anything to do with it. Typically you would set the front height with the 3 point to the cut height you want then set the tail wheel so the rear is 1-2” higher than the front.
Got that part. And this goes back to my "two schools of thought" original question...

With the tail wheel touching the ground to set the cutting height...is that wheel actually supporting the weight of the cutter in the rear, or is it just touching the ground but not supporting weight merely to prevent the cutter from dipping below that point?

If it's the former, then you wouldn't need to adjust the top link to control the angle of the cutter. If it's the latter, then you would need to do that.
 

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on my 3pt brush hogs the down link to the back of the brush hog from the top link connnector is a flexible connection so as soon as the tail wheel touches the ground it takes the weight........i always set mine so that the tail wheel on the ground has flexed the down link connection enough to give the tail wheel room to have a inch or two of down float just not enough so that if i drop the tail wheel in a hole on level ground that the rear deck is not dragging on the ground ...Usually set it basicly like Herminattor described

hard to describe...hope it makes sense

if i want a really smooth cut i use my pulled brush hog it seems to do a much better job following terrain than the 3pt versions....for me the 3ptrs are easier to maneuver and are a bit better in heavy brush
 

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If it's the former, then you wouldn't need to adjust the top link to control the angle of the cutter. If it's the latter, then you would need to do that.
The only top link adjustment I do on mine is to set the floating top link to the center, didn't you have a Frontier? :dunno: All of these questions can be answered by reading the manual. :munch:

Now, as far as weight distribution goes, well, that's just a very complicated formula that would be very difficult to explain. Or is just the mere thought of worrying about something like that that makes my head hurt. :nunu: :laugh:
 

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The tail wheel is supporting the weight of the rear of the cutter when you are setup correctly on flat ground. The lift arms are supporting the weight of the front of the cutter and the top link connection is relaxed.

Going through a low spot when the tractor gets to the lowest spot the tail wheel is still on the ground and the top link is more relaxed. As the tractor comes out of the low spot the top link connection tightens and the tail wheel may lift off of the ground depending on the slope.

If I am mowing rear uneven terrain, I sometimes disconnect the top link and just pull the cutter with the lift arms and it works much like a tow behind cutter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tail wheel is supporting the weight of the rear of the cutter when you are setup correctly on flat ground. The lift arms are supporting the weight of the front of the cutter and the top link connection is relaxed.

Going through a low spot when the tractor gets to the lowest spot the tail wheel is still on the ground and the top link is more relaxed. As the tractor comes out of the low spot the top link connection tightens and the tail wheel may lift off of the ground depending on the slope.

If I am mowing rear uneven terrain, I sometimes disconnect the top link and just pull the cutter with the lift arms and it works much like a tow behind cutter.
ALL of the weight should be on the tail. Your tip link should have slack, no weight. When the tsil wheel dips youbwant it to take up slack. Some people even replace the top link with chain ornremove it so it willnalways follow the slope

Thanks guys. This is what I was looking for. The owner's manual is terrible and doesn't provide answers to the most important questions. Writing manuals (although for much more technical things) used to be my job, and I would fire whoever wrote most JD manuals.

I used to run my brush hog with center link supporting the most of weight, because that's what some local "experts" told me after seeing me do it "wrong."
 

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The tail wheel is supporting the weight of the rear of the cutter when you are setup correctly on flat ground. The lift arms are supporting the weight of the front of the cutter and the top link connection is relaxed.

Going through a low spot when the tractor gets to the lowest spot the tail wheel is still on the ground and the top link is more relaxed. As the tractor comes out of the low spot the top link connection tightens and the tail wheel may lift off of the ground depending on the slope.

If I am mowing rear uneven terrain, I sometimes disconnect the top link and just pull the cutter with the lift arms and it works much like a tow behind cutter.

:bigthumb:excellent description spot on
 

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For those of you who use the tail wheel to set the cut height (so pretty much everyone :) ), how much weight goes on the wheel? How do you know how much weight you're putting on it?
Once your tail wheel touches and your cutter is at the right height and level, it has the weight it has, nothing you can do to change that unless you tension the upper link which should always be slack (or very close to slack) at your cutting height.

Anything else you do to try and add weight to the rear tire ie dropping your lift arms will only nose dive the front of the cutter into the ground and make it impossible to cut


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***I don't know if this is the correct method or not***
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Most of my implements when being raised come up at an angle with the part farthest from the tractor being higher
My rotary cutter lifts ALMOST even - this is due to the slack in the upper link
My only problem is my lift control lever stop is a POS and you have to be careful to get repeatable position when you raise/lower the cutter
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Once your tail wheel touches and your cutter is at the right height and level, it has the weight it has, nothing you can do to change that unless you tension the upper link which should always be slack (or very close to slack) at your cutting height.

Anything else you do to try and add weight to the rear tire ie dropping your lift arms will only nose dive the front of the cutter into the ground and make it impossible to cut
Not quite.

You can put the wheel on the ground and then tighten/contract the top/center link to take up all of the weight. The wheel will still be touching the ground, but it won't be supporting more than a tiny fraction of the weight. Or you let out the center/top link until the tail wheel is holding all of the weight (about half the weight of the cutter). This is the approach recommended above and what I will be doing from now on.
 

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Not quite.

You can put the wheel on the ground and then tighten/contract the top/center link to take up all of the weight. The wheel will still be touching the ground, but it won't be supporting more than a tiny fraction of the weight. Or you let out the center/top link until the tail wheel is holding all of the weight (about half the weight of the cutter). This is the approach recommended above and what I will be doing from now on.
Re read what I said, all you did was turn it around and say the same thing
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re read what I said, all you did was turn it around and say the same thing
You're right, I reread it and you said essentially the same thing. It was your emphasis on "it has the weight it has and there is nothing you can do" that threw me.
 
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