Float or set to rotary mow: Field Mowers Brush Cutters  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Float or set to rotary mow: Field Mowers Brush Cutters -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Field Mowers Brush Cutters Forum

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 09-19-2000, 20:17 Post: 19918
KlayW in MI



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 Float or set to rotary mow

OK experts, which is it; Do you rotary mow set up in the "float" position or do you adjust the mower for a specified 3PT setting/height? A guy at work with limited tractor experience was asking me who has even less, but I know where to get the answer, here! After using the mower in one specified 3PT height I found it digging into the ground in some locations and 10" too high in others. I would opt for float, right or wrong? (PS the tractor was a JD with a sync reverser. I'll take my hydro any day!)






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 09-19-2000, 23:19 Post: 19919
Alan L. Lewis



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 Float or set to rotary mow

For a typical small rotary mower with a single tailwheel you should raise the mower to the desired height with the 3-point. The manual will tell you to make the front slightly higher than the back, but I see where some people make it level for mulching, but that takes more horsepower. Tailwheel should bear very little of the weight - it is just for keeping the mower from bottoming out.






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 09-19-2000, 23:42 Post: 19920
Bird Senter

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 Float or set to rotary mow

I think you're going to find different opinions on this topic, and it depends also to some extent on the type of top link connection you have. There has been some discussion of using a chain, rather than a rigid, top link on the tractor. If you do that, you'd have to control the height of the front of the mower with the 3-point. I used to have a rotary cutter with a hinged mast to hook up the 3-point, then a chain from the top of the mast (top link on the cutter) to the rear of the mower. That, too, required using the 3-point to maintain the front height of the mower. I now have a rotary cutter with a very solid mast and the owner's manual says to operate it with the 3-point in the float position. Of course, that puts a considerable amount of compression force on the top link, and I tried it briefly and went back to controlling the height with the 3-point.






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 09-20-2000, 06:29 Post: 19922
TomG

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 Float or set to rotary mow

Maintaining the right height is a problem for almost all implements, including loaders. With some experience novice operators get better at riding the 3ph lever. However, hitches aren't very good at making precise adjustments, and it's a little hard to judge how much lever to pull when you're moving. Still, everybody does get better at it.

For rotary cutters (I don't have one. Some expert!) the front cutter height has to be maintained by something, either front wheels or the hitch. Floating the 3ph doesn't work without front wheels, or one the of mast arrangements mentioned by Bird. A pull type mower, with front wheels, may work OK for lawns and clean fields, but will give problems in cutting bush.

It might be good to think through the geometry of going up and down hills and how that affects implement height. How the top link affects leveling. What happens to leveling when the 3ph is raised. Notice that when the hitch is raised, the lower and upper arms don't necessarily move through arcs of the same radius. Note that without a rigid top link, an implement is free to rotate on the lower arms. Note what happens if the rotation is limited by a chain. Myself, I'm still thinking about it, but it's getting clearer.






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 09-20-2000, 07:35 Post: 19923
Steve in Buffalo NY



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 Float or set to rotary mow

A lot of it depends on what I'm mowing. If I'm hogging brush with my brush hog, I use the solid top link and control the mower height as needed with the hitch lever. If I'm cutting my grass, I use the chain top link and set the mower pretty level so it leaves a reasonably nice cut. I have experimented with removing the top link entirely with fair results. The tail wheel gets a lot more work keeping the back of the mower off the ground and the hitch arms keep the front off the ground. There has been considerable discussion here about safety concerns of removing or using a non-fixed top link but frankly I haven's seen the big deal in actual use.






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 09-20-2000, 13:58 Post: 19927
william



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 Float or set to rotary mow

THESE POSTS ARE INTERESTING. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IF YOU ARE IN A NICE SMOOTH YARD JUST ABOUT ANYTHING YOU DO WILL PROBABLY WORKBUT............IF YOU ARE BUSHHOGING ON ROUGH UNEVEN HILLSIDES, YOU MUST KEEP THAT FRONT END OF CUTTER UP OFF THE GROUND OR YOU WILL TEAR UP A LOT OF GROUNG WHEN TURNING. YOU MAY EVEN TEAR UP SOME MACHINERY. ALSO THE TOP LINK MUST HAVE SOME PLAY OR YOU WILL BEND SOMETHING WHEN REAR TIRES ON TRACTOR DROP INTO A DITCH OR THE REAR OF CUTTER GOES OVER SOMETHING. IF THE OPPOSITE SITUATION HAPPENS, THE CUTTER WILL COME OFF THE GROUND. ALSO MY ZERO TURN LAWNMOWER SAYS TO SET THE FRONT OF MOWER LOWER THAN THE REAR. I BELIEVE EVERY MOWER I HAVE HAD STATED THE SAME.






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 09-20-2000, 15:08 Post: 19932
Rob



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 Float or set to rotary mow

Here's how I set mine up (based on the dealer and the manual): Loosen up the top link (my cutter has an extra link in the top link connection to allow for some float). Set the cutter height with the lower arms and tail wheel. Set the top link loose to allow some additional downward tilt. I did this for cutting my very bumpy field and it worked fine. The cutter and tractor could pitch a bit relative to each other as we went over dips and high spots. I did lift it for tight turns then set it down again as I straightened out. I'm sure the same scheme will work when I get the field smoothed out and planted again. I do tighten the top link when I transport for some additional clearance. Hope this helps, Rob.






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 09-20-2000, 21:55 Post: 19947
KlayW in MI



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 Float or set to rotary mow

Thanks for the pointers. I have since found out the hog was assembled wrong in regards to the rear wheel mount. On the HD JD's there are two half moon shaped pieces that go between the deck and wheel mount. The top bolt should be run through the square tubing to the wheel, it was bolted over the tube in the top hole allowing the wheel height to vary as much as 5" while the whole half moon piece would rotate!






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 09-20-2000, 23:31 Post: 19950
Alan L. Lewis



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 Float or set to rotary mow

I was reading this thread again and find where I mispoke about how I set my rotary cutter. The manual says to set the front LOWER, not higher as I said earlier, and thats the way I've been setting it.






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 09-21-2000, 17:35 Post: 19969
Art White



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 Float or set to rotary mow

Alan I wasn't going to let you get away with that mistake but you already corrected yourself you do have it right. If you think of horsepower to run a mower just think if you had to cut with two blades one in front of the other to get your corect height! That is what you do when you don't have the front lower than the back! Your blades take of two inches on the front and than it has to cut another inch when it gets to the rear. Just think your blades need to be sharpened twice as much and of coarse you are using more power so more fuel. I also like to think that for mowers of a lesser quality cut you would have the back to clean what you missed with the front just a little taller.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Field Mowers Brush Cutters Forum

Thread 19918 Filter by Poster:
Alan L. Lewis 3 | Art White 3 | Bird Senter 1 | gene Purser 1 | KlayW in MI 2 | Rob 1 | Steve in Buffalo NY 1 | TomG 1 | Walt 1 | william 1 |




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