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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Banks, Oregon
    Tractor
    BCS 725

    Default Free Wheel Option for BCS

    I have seen these mentioned but I don't know how the work. I recently purchased an older BCS 725 with an ACME 10 hp motor. This machine does not have a differential for independent steering controls. How would the free wheel option attachment benefit the machine? What are the draw backs?

    Any info is helpful
    Thanks
    S7ON3

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    Congratulations on the purchase of the 725, they are a great machine. If you will be doing alot of soil work with it you'll come to appreciate all the different speeds. What you are planning on doing with you machine will determine if you will see any benefit from the free wheel devices. Tilling will not be an issue without the devices, mowing with a finish mower will be easier with them. I used my 725 for almost ten years without them before picking up a cheap 735 and combining the best parts of both machines. My drawback with them was always the price - they certanley are not cheap and I never really had issues with turning mine.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Hector NY
    Tractor
    BCS 605, 740, 850

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    The freewheel device allows either or both drive wheels to "over-ride" the opposite wheel with a ratcheting type drive. This allows turns when going in one direction to be done without sliding the inside wheel. This only works in one direction at a time but turning is much easier than the fixed to the axle mounting of the wheels. It will seem like having a differential as long was you don't need to reverse direction. If you put the 725 or any non-differential two-wheel tractor in the reverse direction there will be no drive to the wheels as the free-wheel device with just ratchet UNTIL you reach down and reverse the drive direction pin on one or both wheels.
    The freewheel device will drive both front and rear mounted attachments at one direction at a time UNLESS you put the drive direction pin in the locked position which will lock that wheel to the axle. Now it will be same as original fixed axle tractor drive except the wheels will be spaced 4 inches wider than without the freewheel device installed.

    Do people like them? Not if they have access to a two-wheel tractor with differential drive but if you have a good late model 725 with its 5 speeds forward speeds and you need to turn more easily or turn without skidding the inside wheel it is definitely an option to consider. We always stock one at our shop.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Banks, Oregon
    Tractor
    BCS 725

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    The machine came with a tiller, brush cutter, eco-10 chipper/shredder and a dozer blade. I will mainly use the machine for for tilling and I want a trailer to haul my firewood from the barn to the house.
    I have about an acre that is over grown pasture that I want to maintain with the brush cuter. My land is on a hill so I am concerned about control at my place and maneuverability in town in tight garden spots. A mower might be nice someday but not an issue right now.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    553
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    Hey STONE,

    I tried and failed to find my discussion on free wheel devices, so I copied a discussion I started on a Yahoo group -

    Hey all,

    Thought I'd throw a discussion out there on free wheel devices once again.

    Free wheel devices work like this. They have 4 settings.

    1. Power forward, ratchet reverse in rear-mount mode
    2. Power forward, ratchet reverse in front-mount mode
    3. Locked forward and reverse
    4. Free wheel both ways

    I call them "Poor Man's Differential". My favorite use for them was to have
    them in free-wheel while not running. If I had to push it out of the way while
    working in my shed, it rolls with ease. They also worked great while mowing and
    blowing snow. They have a few rather large drawbacks.

    1. You lose powered reverse. If you put the machine in reverse, the devices
    will ratchet. You can flip the lever and make it powered reverse, but that is
    time consuming because the levers are on the devices, on the axles.

    2. You lose hold-back on the tiller. The tiller tines turn forward at 20
    revolutions to 1 revolution of the tires in first gear. The drive axle holds
    the machine back. If you take away the hold-back by setting the devices to
    ratchet, the tiller will rocket forward on the tines. You can lock them, but
    then you lose the turning advantage. This is really only an issue with a tiller
    breaking ground. In light cultivation it should be OK. Other attachments like
    mowers and snowblowers aren't affected because they do not engage the
    ground like a tiller does.

    3. You lose hold-back while going down slopes. If you have a lot of hilly
    ground, you'll need to always work your way up the slope because turning
    downhill isn't very safe. The machine will end up at the bottom of the hill
    whether you're holding onto it or not.

    4. To make them operate, you basically turn the machine faster than the inside
    wheel is going. In a fast gear, you really need to whip it around. With a true
    differential, the inside wheel will slow down or stop, depending on how sharp
    the turn is.

    Do they replace a locking differential? Sort of. They work well enough for certain applications, but not well at all for others. A larger machine with locking differential is going to get you steering brakes (unless you buy an 85d or 732) and a much more convenient mechanism for locking and unlocking wheels. With pulling a trailer, you're going to have to be very careful if using them to help with steering. If you have both set to position 1, you'll free-wheel down the hill just like you were in a Radio Flyer wagon.

    Hope this pretty much covers you questions.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, 18 inch combined ridger, 36" dozer blade, 28" snow thrower, BCS BIO100 chipper, blade, 38" mower, 26 inch rough cut mower, 36 inch sickle, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger, hiller/furrower

    Deere 60, 3010, 3020, 4010, 4020, 4430, 4640, 4840 and all the implements to work 'em

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Banks, Oregon
    Tractor
    BCS 725

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    Thanks Farmerboy,
    It sounds like free wheel option is something I could do without. I will learn to use the tractor I have, the way it was built. If I get to the point where I need more control I will be looking for a different machine.
    I see you have the BIO 100 chipper. What are you able to use for and is there any thing you could tell me about it? My purchase came with one and I am a little skeptical of its claims. I have seen other shredders in the past and they did little more than tear up dry leaves.

    Thanks again for the post.
    STONE

  7. #7
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    553
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    The BIO-100 is as good as the brush it's chipping. It will chip 3 inch brush IF you can get it in the throat. Snarly, twisted branches are very difficult to get into the unit unless you do a lot of prep work on them - limbing, cutting at sharp bends, etc. Also, they are very power greedy. I was chipping buckthorn with my 850 before I had put the diesel on it. If I pushed it, I could kill the 14 hp V-twin Briggs engine. I used it quite a bit while I was living in town. Now that I've bought the family farm and heat with wood, it could never keep up. I pile the brush and burn it. This isn't an option for many in town.

    Of course, it'll only chip well if the blade is sharp. If the blade is dull, you'll hate it. I do not recommend sharpening it at home, unless you are a professional sharpener. I took mine to a small sharpening shop in Poynette, WI. For $6, he sharpened it to razor blade sharp with professional equipment that did not heat the metal while sharpening. If you hit it with an angle grinder, you'll take the temper out and ruin it.

    One thing - don't bother getting a price for parts from a BCS dealer. The BIO-100 is made by Caravaggi. You can get parts from Joel at Earth Tools for about half what another dealer will charge. When I decided I wanted a spare chipper blade, I discovered they were something like $110. Joel had the EXACT same blade from Caravaggi for something like $40.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, 18 inch combined ridger, 36" dozer blade, 28" snow thrower, BCS BIO100 chipper, blade, 38" mower, 26 inch rough cut mower, 36 inch sickle, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger, hiller/furrower

    Deere 60, 3010, 3020, 4010, 4020, 4430, 4640, 4840 and all the implements to work 'em

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    Sounds like you should be set with implements to do what you need. I have a bio-100 for mine and have used it to shred newspaper for animal bedding more than actually chipping brush. Makes good use of old newspaper! With only 10 hp it will be limited and pretty time consuming if you have any large amounts of brush to clear. As Bill pointed out it is faster and easier just to burn the brush than to try and chip it if you can burn in your area.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Hector NY
    Tractor
    BCS 605, 740, 850

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    The BCS BIO 100 is now built by Del Morino and is a better unit than the old Carravaggi design. The belt tightening is now done by jack screws and holds adjustment. It comes with the rods and rollers AND a spare chipping knife.
    Sharpening the chipper knife is easy if you do it slowly and maintain the correct angle. I hold the knife in my hand and drag it along a fine grinding wheel checking each pass that the metal is removed evenly maintaining the cutting angle. When the knife begins to feel slightly warm I lay it on a large block of steel which cools it very quickly. I've been doing it this way for 35 years doing dozens of TroyBilt Super Tomahawk and BCS chipper knives each year. Just pay attention to what you are doing.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    553
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Free Wheel Option for BCS

    I hadn't heard that BCS changed their supplier. This must be very recent because they still show a pic of the Caravaggi on their website. Your site and Joel's site show no news on this, either (though Joel's site shows the NEW BIO-150 from Caravaggi - heavier flywheel, 3.5" chipping capacity, 36 blades instead of hammers, pretty nice). I could find no info on any chipper at all on the Italian BCS website. I didn't see any chippers on Del Morino's site. Could you direct me to info about Del Morino chippers?

    Still, my info on his chipper applies because his would be a Caravaggi.

    As far as sharpening goes, you apparently have the skill and proper tools to do it. Most do not. An angle grinder or bench top grinder with a course stone in the hands of an unskilled operator will ruin the blade very quickly by taking out the temper. Once the temper is out, the blade will dull very quickly and require sharpening more often. It is safest to have a professional do it, especially since a BCS dealer will charge a king's ransom for a new blade.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, 18 inch combined ridger, 36" dozer blade, 28" snow thrower, BCS BIO100 chipper, blade, 38" mower, 26 inch rough cut mower, 36 inch sickle, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger, hiller/furrower

    Deere 60, 3010, 3020, 4010, 4020, 4430, 4640, 4840 and all the implements to work 'em

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