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  1. #31
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Quote Originally Posted by medicshawn View Post
    I have a italian made one that that came as a package deal with my tractor. I broke a couple mower sections (the teeth) and had a terrible time replacing them. Ended up with a New Holland version that was close. So that may be something else to sway your decision. Mine has hydraulics and will cut from vertical to 45degrees down.
    Can you give me the model # or please provide a photo? Thanks.

    I'm really not sold on the Italian jobs.

    On edit: I dug up the NH brochure on their sickle cutters and they say it cuts only 35 deg above horiz.
    http://agriculture.newholland.com/us.../Sicklebar.pdf

  2. #32
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    Sep 2004
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
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    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Builder View Post

    This looks like the best candidate for cutting vertical and being made of "heavy iron"
    JOHN DEERE 350 Other For Sale At TractorHouse.com
    Are there not farm or farm equipment auctions in your area? You should be able to find that JD in good condition for 1/4 that price... (that is a good sickle for what you want to do). KennyV

  3. #33
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    Dec 2006
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    708
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia
    Tractor
    Kuborta B2400, L2900, L4330; Caterpillar D3B, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Builder:

    I agree with KennyV on two out of three points.

    I have never used an AC belt drive mower, but I have seen them run on a neighbor's place and they are very smooth.

    The JD 350 is a very solid mower made in the tradition of 1950's farm equipment. I know because I have one. Just last weekend I severed both sides of a 1/4" welded chain link (don't ask how I managed to do that) with no harm except a broken section that I replaced in about 10 minutes for $2.00.

    I keep up with JD 350 prices because I want a second one, and in this area (southeast US) you can't find a decent one for under $1,500 unless the seller does not know the market. They typically go for $1,500 to $2,000 around here, and that's for one that has been used quite a bit. This is not a heavy hay area, and they are fairly scarce around here. The prices may well be much lower where they are plentiful.


    The JD wobble box is similar to the IH. The NH and Ford use a different type drive.

    Parts are readily available from the local JD dealer, and the prices are fairly reasonable, at least in comparison to parts for my JD crawler.

    I wanted a New Holland 450/451 because the drive head is simpler than the JD 350, it is still in production (by Rowse I think), and I figured it would be easier to make any parts that were no longer available. However, now that I have used the JD 350, I am satisfied that with reasonable care it will last a very long time. I plan to replace the drive head wear parts (bearings and seals) with new JD stuff, and I don't doubt that my grandchildren will be using it.

    There are two limits on the angles at which the JD 350 will operate. First, the drive head (and bar that is attached to it) can only pivot until it strikes the yoke that holds it. But that is from 45 deg to the left (of the tractor) through vertical through horizontal and down to at least 30 deg (that's as far as I have tried it). The more practical limit is the mechanism that makes the drive head pivot. It is a chain attached to an arm about 8" long that sticks out of the top of the drive head. When the chain is tightened the bar pivots up, but the original mechanism only tightens the chain about 5", which is only enough to raise the outer end of the bar about three feet. To get more lift, one needs something that will pull the arm further than the chain does. One method is to replace the chain with a hydraulic cylinder. The mower in the ad you posted has been modified in that fashion. The cylinder is attached between the bar on the drive head and the mower frame. When the cylinder retracts, it pulls the bar and the blade pivots up. It is hard to tell from the picture, but I don't think that cylinder will hold the bar in the vertical position because the pivoting linkage at each end of the cylinder will not put a resisting force on the bar when it gets vertical and then starts to pivot down over the mower frame. But you could easily modify the arrangement to make it hold the bar vertical.

    Good luck in your search.

  4. #34
    Super Member
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Thanks for the valuable info.

    It seems to be a choice between new Italian job or modified old iron. The gray area is can I buy the old iron with enough confidence to take with a buying the A/C or the JD350 knowing it can be modified to cut vertical.

  5. #35
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2006
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    708
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia
    Tractor
    Kuborta B2400, L2900, L4330; Caterpillar D3B, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Builder:

    KennyV can speak to how difficult it will be to modify the AC for vertical operation.

    The JD 350 could be done one of two ways. The quick and cheap method is to simply take about 5' of 1/2" pipe and weld a clevis on each end. Then weld a pin on the mower frame about where the top link attaches and on the cutterbar about half way out replace one of the 7/16 NC guard bolt nuts with a eye nut (nut with a ring on top that you can make or buy from McMaster Carr). Now you can attach one end of the pipe to the frame and the other end to the eye nut on the cutterbar to hold it in position. Of course the pipe needs to be the correct length to hold the bar vertical. If I can remember that far back, that's how the old Pittman type JD that I used as a youngster on the farm held the blade in the "transport" position.

    The more elegant way is what KennyV did on his AC: Replace the lifting chain with a hydraulic cylinder. However, on the JD 350 the arm on the drive head that the lifting chain now attaches to (and that would be the most convenient place to attach the cylinder) is not rigidly attached to the drive head, but rather is on a pivot pin. The arm has a stop so that the chain can pull the bar up, but once the bar reaches vertical the arm does not restrain the drive head from pivoting over further into the transport position. So you would need to modify the arm to make it rigid. I don't think that would present any difficulty to someone who has the kind of equipment you do.

    The other issue with a hydraulic cylinder and rigid linkage (ie, by making the lifting arm fixed) is the amount of rotation that is available without a compound linkage. If one wants the cutter bar to rotate hydraulicly from the transport position (45deg past vertical) to the "pond bank" cutting position (say 45 deg below horizontal) that is 180deg of rotation. That is almost impossible to do with a hydraulic cylinder attached directly to the rotating member. For example, I suspect the bucket on your backhoe has a compound linkage in which the bucket cylinder is attached to a pin on pivoting arms that is in turn attached to the bucket. That is necessary to allow the desired amount of rotation of the bucket and still have a reasonable amount of breakout force on the bucket.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  6. #36
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    Oct 2002
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    1,875
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    Johnson City, TN
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    JD 2040,2240, 2355, 2755, 4055

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Basically all the Italian style double action mowers are the same. The G&S is the largest of the Italian mfg's. The Rossi, Befco, Tonutti, Sitrex, Frontier, etc. all use the same components. The double-action mowers have more capacity to cut hay in a pristine field. If you have any rocks, stumps, branches, 1/2" sticks in your fields, then in a instant you could do hundreds of $$$ worth damage with these double-action mowers and not know what happened. Just make sure you used these double-action mowers in a pristine environment.

    The belt-driven single action mowers like a NH451 are more durable and do not require as much maintenance as the double action mowers.

    We sell both so matching the machine to your needs and conditions is more important because both machines do work.
    Last edited by HayDR; 08-19-2009 at 10:13 AM.

  7. #37
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Thanks for the advice. What would you recommend to me for cutting with a sickle that needs to cut in the vertical and horizontal position and requires hydraulic lift-3 pt mounted, not a tow behind.

  8. #38
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    Apr 2000
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    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
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    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    If I have missed this in the tread excuse me. Builder, I have the impression that you want a tool that will trim the vertical sides of tall hedges, cut field areas and banks. Has the effective cutting capacity of the mowers we are talking been addressed? I think of the 6' height hedges I have been around as having 1/2"+ woody material that would need to be trimmed for the manicured look. Will a vertically cutting sickle mower do that effectively? It sounds like there are repairs on a regular basis when cutting material beyond the intended purpose of these mower, which was hay. Ditch and pond bank weed mowing sounds normal to me but heavy hedge in a vertical position has me wondering.

    MarkV

  9. #39
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
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    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
    heavy hedge in a vertical position has me wondering.

    MarkV
    With my AC mower it will slice clean a hedge limb over 1 inch if it is still green. If it is dead and cured I suspect an inch is about all you would want to do as it could loosen the knives on the bar. Cutting heavy wood like this you do have to slow down... But once you have it trimmed back to the depth you like all the future trimming is small branches and you can travel as fast as conditions allow.
    With my 3pt at its highest position the inner shoe of the 7 foot bar is about 3 ft off the ground, so I'm cutting vertical to around 10 feet... gives me plenty of clearance and a nice trimmed tree line.
    I have only sheared off one knife in years of use, that was on a broken off sign post along the highway. Replaced the 2 rivets with bolts and back to mowing.
    All my knives and legers are tight. I give everything a quick look over everytime I hook up.

    Farmerford is right about the transport rod for vertical cutting... before I converted to hydraulic angle I used my transport rod, (comes with all AC mowers). He's also correct about the compound linkage, very easy to do and his example of a BH bucket is what I was thinking of when i made my hookup. It allows rotation farther around than a direct hook up... KennyV
    {did I mention I love this mower}

  10. #40
    New Member
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    Aug 2009
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    IH Hydro 86, MF35, MF135

    Default Re: More sickle bar mower questions

    I've looked at the NH 450/451 pretty close, and it looks like the 451 is trickier to hook up and heavier, so I'm assuming there must be a good reason for it. What does the 451 do that the 450 won't do?

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