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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    28
    Location
    Louisiana,MO
    Tractor
    Mahindra Max 28XL HST

    Default Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Just bought a new Mahindra Max 28 HST with a RFM. I'm a first-time buyer so relying heavily on the dealer's instructions, and I was surprised to hear them recommend that I always run the RFM with the wheels an inch or so above the ground, relying on the PTO for height control on the mower rather than riding on the wheels. The stated reason was that it was too easy to break off one of the wheels and/or supporting rods if you go over uneven ground while the mower is riding on them, as opposed to the PTO which keeps them up.

    I've mowed the 2 or so acres around our place one time, and I'm pretty happy with how it looks. The ground is more uneven than I thought, though, and I was having to raise and lower the mower alot to avoid either running inches above the grass or doing some severe scalping either on the way down or up from depressions and small hills. So, I guess there's no way around using the PTO for height control to some extent, but I'd appreciate hearing opinions from those of you who've used RFM's for a while on whether relying on the PTO all the time is really the way to go.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    18,044
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    I think your dealer is nuts.

    Your RFM should float....meaning the top link should be extended long enough to let the mower's flexible link (the U shaped bracket the top link hooks to) to move up and down so the mower follows the ground. Your RFM should have an anti-scalp roller on the front end to prevent digging in. There is one section on my property I disconnect the top link altogether because the transition from level lawn to slope is so acute.
    In normal mowing (driving forward), the wheels of the RFM will track fairly straight...same thing when reversing. Now, that transition from forward travel to reverse will cause the RFM's wheels to pivot...during that pivoting, one or more may dig in to the lawn before completely pivoted.
    Now, a caveat: Although every RFM I've seen have had 4 wheels (one at each corner), there are some older units that only have two on the aft corners. With those old RFMs, the height of the PTO would have to be set to prevent scalping.

    What brand RFM do you have? 4 wheels or two? Any possibility of pictures of it?
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    May 2008
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    863
    Location
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45SC

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    I don't have an RFM, but have to agree with Roy. With the mower suspended above the ground by the 3PH, you run the risk of the wheels slamming down onto the ground rather than riding smoothly over the humps and bumps. When a wheel is swung around the "wrong" way and slams down onto the ground, it can seriously bend the wheel's axle (and/or the mount itself).
    I think you're safer running it using the wheels to follow the contours.
    BOB

  4. #4
    Veteran Member rbargeron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    2,300
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    L5450, L48, L3250, L345

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaglenut View Post
    ......I was surprised to hear them recommend that I always run the RFM with the wheels an inch or so above the ground, relying on the PTO for height control on the mower rather than riding on the wheels..........
    If an RFM has 4 wheels, relying on the 3-point hitch for height control is complete bunk. The mowing deck should follow the ground contour by riding on its own wheels (and center roller if it has one).
    L5450, L48, L3250, L345, never enough attachments

  5. #5
    Super Star Member kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    11,470
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Yep, your dealer is whacko...

    Since your new to all this, lets help with a little terminology correction:
    The PTO, or Power Take Off is what powers your mower, not lifts it.
    The 3PH or Three Point Hitch is what does the lifting.
    John Deere 4110HST
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  6. #6
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    5,984
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Jeez, are those the same folks from whom you expect to get competent service and repair ?

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

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    28
    Location
    Louisiana,MO
    Tractor
    Mahindra Max 28XL HST

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Thanks for all the info, and especially correcting my terminology since this is all new to me. Yes the mower has 4 wheels, the brand is Farmline, I don't have a picture but I see nothing I'd refer to as a roller of any kind in the front to prevent scalping. I have other concerns with the mower I've talked about in my discussion of the new tractor in the Mahindra forum, it was cheap ($849 new) and now it looks like the quality might be matching the price tag.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    81
    Location
    Cunningham, Ks
    Tractor
    Kubota L4600HST w/loader

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaglenut View Post
    Thanks for all the info, and especially correcting my terminology since this is all new to me. Yes the mower has 4 wheels, the brand is Farmline, I don't have a picture but I see nothing I'd refer to as a roller of any kind in the front to prevent scalping. I have other concerns with the mower I've talked about in my discussion of the new tractor in the Mahindra forum, it was cheap ($849 new) and now it looks like the quality might be matching the price tag.
    Don't feel bad....I didn't know what RFM was.
    2012 Kubota L4600HST w/loader
    "orange chews up the green"

  9. #9
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    You could easliy add a center antiscalp wheel in the front.
    Roger

    Kubota BX2360 & Kubota L4240 with paddle shifter, suicide doors and 24's
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  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Running RFM on the PTO vs wheels

    We have used RFM for years and agree with everyone else. Ours are 7' and 8', we added an anti scalp roller; some come with them.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

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