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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    231
    Location
    N. Mississippi
    Tractor
    Ford 1510

    Default Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    I was browsing around last week on TBN and I read a couple of threads about people who are using a chain in place of the top link for their bush hog. Something about it being better if you are cutting a rough area because the chain lets the bush hog move around more than the stiff top link does. Or, at least that's what I remembered about the conversation. Anyway, in all the discussion about using a chain no one had provided a picture to illustrate this setup. Does anyone have one that they can post to let me see how this works?

    I cut a field that my son and his friends use to ride their ATVs in and if they do it after a rain the ruts they leave are treacherous when I'm cutting. The hog is constantly slipping into ruts, out of ruts, and across ruts. I can see how the top link would put a lot of stress on the connection point on the bush hog.

    But then on the other hand, I thought that the purpose of the top link was to hold the implement steady?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    ___________________________
    1986 Ford 1510
    5' Bushhog (no name version)
    5' Finish Mower
    26 gal Femco 12v trailer sprayer
    2000 52" Great Dane Surfer (18hp Kohler Command)
    2010 John Deere Z920A 54" (26hp Kawasaki)
    ________________________________
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    The decisions you make will determine whether you win... or lose.

  2. #2
    Gold Member the6shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    455
    Location
    oklahoma
    Tractor
    MF 1643

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    I'v been running brush hogs for yrs. never use the top link, I prefer running it to follow the ground. its just the same as using a pull behind cutter.
    I noticed with the 1st. cutter I owned the tail wheel support always cracked and finnally broke, it was from the pounding the tail wheel was receiving. on hills and rutts. when I get to where I have to mow, 1st. thing the top link is disconnected.
    happy hunting
    david

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    49,140
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    when using the chain, you are making a loop at the end to go thru.

    I'm not a fan of a chain, though have ran a chain thru a pipe that was a lil shorter thant he chain.. gives a lil more movement.. still.. the best is just to have a toplink connection on the mower that involves a flex link or slip channel to allow some movement / play, yet in a compressional situation like a backflip starting, it provides some rigidity.

    just my .02$

    soundguy

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    374
    Location
    Frozen part of WI
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    As long as you can keep the chain out of the PTO shaft..........
    I suspect it would work.

    I have thought of inventing a telescoping top link that is the correct length to lift the implement, but collapses if the rear of the implement is pushed up.....

    Post pictures of an interesting alternative..........
    Good luck
    Wyo

  5. #5
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    6,039
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    In my book, using a chain is little more than an accident waiting to happen. Most folks who consider it a solution either don't have - or aren't familiar with the operation of - a flexible toplink bracket.

    Do you connect your tractors toplink directly to the pair of holes on the top of the bush hog A-frame? or to a moveable bracket that is pinned (or bolted) to those holes?

    If you're not sure what I'm talking about, look at the U-shaped bracket that's attached to the top of the A-frame on this rotary cutter. If you don't have one of those, you need to get one. If you do, let me know and we'll go through how it works.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    49,140
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    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyobuckaroo View Post
    As long as you can keep the chain out of the PTO shaft..........
    I suspect it would work.

    I have thought of inventing a telescoping top link that is the correct length to lift the implement, but collapses if the rear of the implement is pushed up.....

    Post pictures of an interesting alternative..........
    Good luck
    Wyo
    i've seen a pipe inside a pipe / box tube inside a box tube, with the outter sleeve with a slot on either side, and the inner with a pin thru it.. allowing ti to contract and extend to a certain extent.

    still.. a flex link on the mower and a rigid toplink really is the best way to go for most applications.

    if you don't like that.. get a semi-mount mower instead..

    soundguy

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    73
    Location
    Mississippi
    Tractor
    Montana 4320

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    Hey Mike, where do you live in N. Mississippi? I live just outside of Ripley.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    131
    Tractor
    john deere 5093 4x4

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    hi i use a chain for a top link 5/16- 3/8 size. it works fine and you can drop the mower over and down in dips , ruts what ever you care to. i always have and always will, the solid top link is a pain in the ***** no flex and semi i mounted mowers are a pain in the ***** if youre mowing un even ground. where i mow its steep and rough , alot of you guys dont know what steep or rough ground is and i get a kick out of all the reading and bragging you all do ,it makes for good reading but i question some of the replies! ive been mowing filth heavy 3" 4" and steep ground all my life and i charge big $$$$$$ for it , when i say steep i mean steep to the point a 4wd will not climdb it forwards , with the bush hog picked up to put weight on the rear tires and i mite add i have a FEL on also, its to steep i mow only 1way climb again after i travel and mow 1 way again until im done. a chain top links works well for me and my operation , i have 2 4wd tractors with heavy duty mowers and i wouldnt use a solid top link if i had to. for all you guys that think this is B.S. i live in southwestern pa. we have hills that look like walls and i MOW them.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    2,287
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    NorthEastern, VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    This is the setup I used on my grader/scraper when I wanted a soft top link and before I got a hydraulic top link.
    It is just a short chain with a logging choker and and slider grab link. Very adjustable.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -chainlink-jpg   -toplink-jpg  
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    594
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4510

    Default Re: Chains instead of a top link for bush hog?

    I used an old shock absorber from a truck on my old brush hog before it met it's demise, the new one has a flip link for movement, much like the one pictured above.

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