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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Nebr.
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    1855 Oliver turbo diesel 99hp, 2510 JD with 85hp+ turbo diesel, 630 jd gas, 530 jd gas, 520 jd gas, 660 oliver gas, Ford Golden Jubilee, Allis D14, and a few Bs and misc.

    Default Sickle or disk mower

    I am thinking about getting a "new" mower and I would like some opinions. I currently have one double 7' Kosch sickle and one 9' JD sickle mower. I am possibly haying by myself this year, so speed is important, and here is what I was thinking about as far as choices. I have varying types of grass, a lot of lowland/thick (if it would ever rain), and some very thin, mostly flat ground. I only go over about 900 acres or so a year. The two choices below are basically about the same price.

    A Kosch double 9' hydraulic drive sickle mower. This is similar to a Rowse mower, but I will not buy any Rowse product no matter what.

    A Vermeer TM800 disc trail mower 10.5' cut. I don't know anyone that has a disc mower, and I know little about them. I thought I heard that you could mow faster with them. If so would it be possible to mow about as much ground (in the same ballpark or close) as the 18' sickle?

    I don't want a mower conditioner, anyone I've seen with those the hay gets moldy before it's dry, even when they turn the row over. I don't want a drum mower, I don't think there are any of those around.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2004
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    950
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Tractor
    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower


    Well, for the same money, go with the disc mower. They will cut faster versus the sickle mower, virtually no clogs, but many see the sickle being less rough on the crop.

    I have a sickle mower and spend the time stopping to clear it, but I've seen disc mowers work and love the simplicity and speed.

  3. #3
    Silver Member Birdman's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    172
    Location
    SE Indiana

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Disc mowers are rare around here but last summer I was "down home" (KY) and watched my cousin mow hay with one. It was an irregular shaped field and the hay stand came to a long point, never once did he slow down or get clogged up, while mowing the point. The only complaints I have heard about the disc mowers is they throw "stuff" all over you, mostly wet plant parts but also rocks if you have any in the field.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Approved Advertiser
    HayDR's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    1,867
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    Johnson City, TN
    Tractor
    JD 2040,2240, 2355, 2755, 4055

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    nebrancher
    <font color="blue"> A Vermeer TM800 disc trail mower 10.5' cut. </font>
    The TM800 is a unique product on the market. The TM800 will mow in any trailed position from directly behind the tractor to off to the side and can be changed on the go. The patented floating suspension too is different than all the others. If you would contact and object the suspension swings back and up in the same motion. Other MFG's when contacting a object take a nose dive and have to climb over the object.

    The Vermeer also has the quick clip change feature, saving you time when you change the blades. If you want to mow at 10+ MPH this mower will handle that easy. The suspension allows the mower to float even in the roughest situations.

    You can mow any crop in any condition with this mower. Blown down Rye? no problem, vetch? no problem. You cam mow in the rain if you want. When you look at the features an benefits on the Vermeer TM series mowers they stand alone in the field.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    4
    Location
    Nebr.
    Tractor
    1855 Oliver turbo diesel 99hp, 2510 JD with 85hp+ turbo diesel, 630 jd gas, 530 jd gas, 520 jd gas, 660 oliver gas, Ford Golden Jubilee, Allis D14, and a few Bs and misc.

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Any way of figuring/guessing how much faster the disc will go in average conditions, ballpark figure anyone? I'd like to cut faster/more area than my 14' does. My 14' usually goes without breaking a whole lot (although I'm guessing it's about 40 years old), and I don't have to unclog it very often, but with 2 7' sickles, 3 pitman sticks (it mounts on the side of my 530 jd), guards, mount bolts, belts, bearings, and in addition having to keep an eye on the other 9' mower (pitman also), and figuring in messing with carburetors, points, coils and everything else on occasion, I guess I am getting a little tired of them.... But I guess I only have to deal with them about a month out of the year. Either the disc mower or hydraulic mower should be an improvement over what I am doing now. I've looked at both types of mowers, I like the looks of both of them, the Vermeer looks very "simple", I just don't know about reliability and speed, compared to the sickles I'm used to. Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    I'd say the disk mower is the better idea I haven't had any experience with any that size I just use a 7 foot john deere disk and It cut my mowing time in half and personally I think the hay seems to dry a lot faster with a disk vs a sickle. The others seem to be right on the disk doesn't clog hardly at all and the draw back is that it does throw stuff at you but usually the heavy tarp stops most of it but the ocasional object can fly towards the tractor. But as far as mowing time, I mow on a rather steep hill and it used to take me around 4 1/2 hours to cut one of my fields that's roughly 20 acres give or take and the disc mower cut that down to aroud 2 to 2 1/2 hours tops. I will mention though that the only other draw back that I've experienced with my disk mower is that it does burn a lot more fuel then the sickle does but personally I think it does a lot better job and is a lot quicker so in my opinion it's definately worth it.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    950
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Tractor
    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Whew, I don't know if I could reach a mathematical figure of cutting time disc vs. sickle but suffice to say that the disc is a superior cutting machine.

    As Mike said above, he thinks it's cutting field time roughly in half. Each individual disc unit has more kinetic force than the comparable width of sickle teeth due to less friction from being mounted on bearings plus their spinning action. Compare with a sickle bar sliding back-and-forth with only the benefit of grease. Try sliding a ruler back and forth on a table top and then spin a top on the same surface....which moves easiest with the least effort?

    However, the disc unit seems to require a little more HP than the equivalent sickle unit to run, but you cover ground faster too.

    I've heard it said that the drum mower is the best of both worlds. It moves faster than a sickle bar while requiring less horses to do so than a disc, but I've never been around one.

  8. #8
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    If you get a trailed Discbine like what Mark showed you do not need to worry so much about having things thrown at you. I have been using a discbine for two seasons now and I can't remember ever having any stones or grass thrown on the tractor or me. The 3pt mounted disc cutters I have heard would throw more material but not the trailed models. I have run mine on steep hills where the woodchucks have made a home as well as rutted up flat ground (never again [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]) and no matter how many stones I find [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I have never had one come close to hitting me or my tractors.

    Having said that I am most likely going to catch a stone up side my head the first day I go out this year [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

    Speed wise, the disc mower is amazing compared to a sickle mower. I went from a 489 NH to a 2340 Gehl. The discbine uses more horses but you cut a lot faster and I have never had a plug. You also don't have any problems cutting irregular shaped fields or running into previous swaths with a disc mower. I can't ever see myself going back to a sickle style machine unless there was some crop that the sickle mower worked better on.

    Also, the hay should not get moldy because of the conditioner. If anything the condition would help speed up the drying. In grass hay the conditioner really does not speed anything up but if you are cutting legumes it will help a lot.


  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    MN
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    Ford 960, 7700, TW20, 1720; IHC H, 300; Ollie S77

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">(
    Also, the hay should not get moldy because of the conditioner. If anything the condition would help speed up the drying. In grass hay the conditioner really does not speed anything up but if you are cutting legumes it will help a lot.

    )</font>

    I was totally baffled by that comment also, but didn't want to hijack the thread. I can't think of any possible situation where such a thing could be true. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    ---&gt;Paul

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Nebr.
    Tractor
    1855 Oliver turbo diesel 99hp, 2510 JD with 85hp+ turbo diesel, 630 jd gas, 530 jd gas, 520 jd gas, 660 oliver gas, Ford Golden Jubilee, Allis D14, and a few Bs and misc.

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Thanks for all the info. I guess a couple of the neighbors do have sickle conditioners (maybe that's the difference). I've looked at the rows laying in the field, the outside will be dry, and the center and bottom not. They said very often you have to turn the rows over to get them to dry. Also they have to leave them lay over more than a day, same with any field I've ever driven by, I see the rows laying for a couple days or more. I've bought truckloads of alfalfa, not all but several bales were moldy. I talked to a couple people around here about it, they said that it was common not to dry evenly. I guess I don't see much point in having a conditioner. I guess the way it is, on a good warm day a person can mow in the morning and start baling in the afternoon, for sure the next morning. It would only pay to dry faster (if they do that, I haven't seen that here at all) if there were more than a person or two in the field.

    I don't know any place within 100 miles that sells drum mowers, I've heard they are good too, but I thought they were smaller.

    One more thing though, do things like bearings/gears bother much with the disk mower?

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