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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Nov 2003
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    Western Wisconsin

    Default JD 25A Flail mower

    bought a new 25A flail. Am I wrong in being disappointed? Put faith in the dealer when he said it would be able to mow grass better than a finish bladed mower.
    Issues that I've found with this machine:
    1. Single belt drive; belt drive has no automatic belt tensioner.
    2. Cutting rotor runs in same direction as wheels -- less effective in lifting grass up?
    3. No scraper on height roller.
    4. Has skid shoes on the height roller that are less than 1/2" higher than the roller.
    5. No capability to adjust positioning, set with permanent offset to right side.
    6. Height adjustment is way off -- I adjusted it to the 3-1/2" setting, per manual, but the cutters are at least 4-1/2" from the ground.

    What really flipped me out when I ran it for the first time today is the amount of gouging of the turf caused by the skid shoes on the height roller. Not acceptable. It appears the only place this unit can perform satisfactorily (without tearing up the turf) is on flat level surface. My property has slopes and undulating terrain.
    Reading the discussions on this website, I now understand the mower is a model that is at least 25 yrs old, maybe more. Are my concerns legit, and was I wrong to expect better results from a flail mower? If so, guess I made an expensive mistake.
    Jim

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    NE USA
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by RedHawkRidge View Post
    bought a new 25A flail. Am I wrong in being disappointed? Put faith in the dealer when he said it would be able to mow grass better than a finish bladed mower.
    Issues that I've found with this machine:
    1. Single belt drive; belt drive has no automatic belt tensioner.
    2. Cutting rotor runs in same direction as wheels -- less effective in lifting grass up?
    3. No scraper on height roller.
    4. Has skid shoes on the height roller that are less than 1/2" higher than the roller.
    5. No capability to adjust positioning, set with permanent offset to right side.
    6. Height adjustment is way off -- I adjusted it to the 3-1/2" setting, per manual, but the cutters are at least 4-1/2" from the ground.

    What really flipped me out when I ran it for the first time today is the amount of gouging of the turf caused by the skid shoes on the height roller. Not acceptable. It appears the only place this unit can perform satisfactorily (without tearing up the turf) is on flat level surface. My property has slopes and undulating terrain.
    Reading the discussions on this website, I now understand the mower is a model that is at least 25 yrs old, maybe more. Are my concerns legit, and was I wrong to expect better results from a flail mower? If so, guess I made an expensive mistake.
    Jim




    Hello Jim,

    what type of tractor and brand do you have?

    Lets back up a bit here as the mower is fine.

    The 25A has a nine inch offset built into the design for
    the basic mower with a retail price of $4,780.00 plus tax

    Is the nine inch offset a real problem?????


    Now the lower links have to be tightly adjusted to
    hold the mower in place while mowing.


    Now; if your right lower link is adjustable with a rack and pinion
    with a crank is it fully retracted????????


    The lower links must be tight and should not swing to the left or right .
    Do the lower links have stop chains or turnbuckles to tighten them and to
    prevent the swaying of the implement???



    This may explain some of the issues with the
    mower swinging to the right and left while mowing.



    DO you have a right lower link that has the rack and pinion adjustment? is it possible the right
    Your dealer did not explain to you the mower you have is an offset flail mower?????

    Is it possible you have been given the wrong flailmower???????????????

    Does the flail mower have scoop knives or side slicers?????? the side slicers
    would work in either direction of rotation.


    Your salesman was negligent in a huge way if he neglected to tell you it was
    an offset flail mower that he was selling you.

    There is no need to be dissapointed at all.


    First, how fast are you traveling when you mow?????????

    V belts will loosen a bit with heat and age. My fathers 25A had a flat roller and spring tensioner.

    The belt drive is easy to adjust.


    Second, do you own a grey market tractor???, thier PTO rotation is backwards as a rule
    compared to what we have in the United States.


    This would explain why the flail mower rotor is rotating counterclock wise.



    Third the 25A that we owned did not have a scraper and we knocked down 10-15 foot
    golden rod when reclaiming a pasture.


    Fourth, what do you mean the skid shoes are on the height roller? that is not possible.
    The adjustment of the rear roller is how the cutting height of the flail mower rotor is
    used to adjust the cutting height.


    Fifth, flailmowers are either sold as a standard integral non adjustable
    mower or they are manually changed to adjust the cutting position or
    they have a hydraulic side shift cyliner that allows the mower to be
    moved from side to side.

    Sixth, there is specific way the mower height is adjusted to prevent the mower from
    scalping. The mower neeeds to be set up properly and the dealer is negligent in not
    doing this for you.

    seventh, you have to adjust the top link of the thre point hitch
    by placing a very small bubble level oon the gear box
    and adjusting the top link of the tractors three point hitch to
    the point where the bubble is in the middle of the glass between the lines.

    if you only adjusted the rear rollers mounting brackets you have the jub half done and if the top link is loose it will gouge flat ground and hilly ground because it will move too much.

    My other question is where is the top link mounted? the top hole or the lower ones?-it has to be on the top hole on both the tractor and the mower.



    Please elaborate as they apparently dropped it off and did not set it up with your tractor.

    Your dealer appears to be the problem.....................

    Call them and have one of their mechanics set it up properly as you spent a lot
    of money on it $4,728.00 plus tax and frieght and they did not set it up properly
    and were not doing thier job.


    The base model JD25A has 72 scoop knives and if the tractors power take off is running in reverse (it will not work and you need a PTO reverser and you can obtain them from a supplier in Indiana if I remember correctly- I have a thread with the dealer name etc.
    Last edited by leonz; 10-09-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    -img_3934-jpg-img_3935-jpg-img_3937-jpgLeonz:
    thanks for the detailed response. I'm pretty confident, upon researching this forum and others, that the 25A is an extremely old model, which JD has not kept up with the competition for the market niche it sells in.
    I'll try to answer/respond to each of your thoughts
    1. I bought a new JD 4520 CUT with the mower. 60hp, welll-within the compatibility window for this mower.
    2. The mower's offset from centered isn't a problem per se. My point is that other flails, eg land pride, caroni, have the flexibility to be adjusted from centered to offset. This doesn't relate to my problem with gouging up the grass.
    3. Lower links are controlled by their telescoping arms, held to a certain length by a vertical pin. A nice setup, copied from the New Holland CUT's. I have them adjusted to restrain the attachment in a centered position with minimal sway.
    4. The lower 3ph arms are not the problem; the offset of the mower is not the problem; the back roller's bearing housing and skid shoes are the problem.
    5. Yes, the unit is a JD 25A -- hey, give me a little credit.. I am not an imbecile. I took delivery on a unit that is what I ordered.
    6. Regards the belt drive -- I haven't removed the cover on the drive end, but I don't see any belt tensioner and there's nothing in the owners manual about it. It spells out a procedure for manually tightning the belt. Again, I mentioned this because I found most other brand flails have a tensioning system, and I added this to my conclusion that this unit is a very old design.
    7. I gave the unit it's first test drive last Tues, after setting it up -- adjusting cutting height, hooking it to the tractor, etc. I had it at 3-1/2" and lowered it to the ground, then slowly engaged the pto and drove slowly for 30 yds. Looked back and found deep gouges in the turf on both sides.
    8. Grey market tractor?
    9. The mower is designed for forward spinning cutting rotor; the cutters supplied are "duck-foot" type for best cut on grass. It has 36 cutters, not 72 -- you're thinking of the double L shaped cutters.
    10. The skid shoes I refer to are on the height roller's bearing housing. The body of the unit also has skid plates. The bearing skids are less than 1/4" higher than the roller, which is the primary problem -- it leaves no room for uneven ground, slopes, turns, etc.
    11. I did exactly what the manual said to get it set to proper height. Including leveling the unit with a level on the gearing housing brackets.
    I have considered whether shortening or lengthening the top link would raise the bearings' skid shoes higher but it won't.
    12. Changing the dirction of rotation is unfeasible. The housing is built to accomodate the path of cuttings from a forward spinning rotor. The cutters are mounted for a forward spin. This isn't a setup issue -- it's an old design that is outdated by other flail mfgrs.
    13. I do agree with you that the cost is significant and a buyer deserves full supplier support. But this particular model should have been redone in a 25B update to improve its performance. My dealer assured me it would do a fine job on grass; he didn't consider that I don't have a property that is as flat as a pool table, which is the only surface that would survive the gouging from the skids.
    Jim

  4. #4
    Elite Member Kyle_in_Tex's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    Seems to me the roller's bearing housing is low just like you say. Should have a roller about an inch bigger in diameter.
    The skids in the front aren't gouging are they?
    there are 2 kinds of oats. Oats in front of a horse, and oats behind the horse.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    I found the problem,

    The mower is sinking, tipping forward and gouging the sod.


    The side weldments need to be about an inch off the
    ground while mowing at all times.

    You can unscrew the top link to lengthen it and do this
    and it will prevent gouging once you lock the hydraulic
    position in place.




    You need to lock the three point hitch hydraulics on
    the draft controls or the needle valve under the seat
    to prevent it from dropping while mowing.

    Once you have the right setting you can lock it in place.

    If you have the type of adjustable lower links that collapse and expand to accomidate the various implements you need to extend the lower link arms fully and adjust the top link after that to assure a level cut.
    Last edited by leonz; 10-12-2013 at 02:19 AM.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member tbutman's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    I use the third arm to adjust height and it does mow a field better than a bush hog and then some. In the 20 years I have had it, I have never once had to retention the belt. remember at the end of the row to lift it before making the turn and set it down gently.

  7. #7
    Silver Member DocDryden's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by tbutman View Post
    remember at the end of the row to lift it before making the turn and set it down gently.
    why do you need to lift it before making a turn ? I have a 25A, I plan on using after I do some land clearing

  8. #8
    Silver Member DocDryden's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    Not to hijack this thread but since we're on the subject (25A flail mower) I have notice that in RedHawkRidges photos that he has weldments that cover his roller bearing, on my 25a the weldments appear to be missing. Is that something I should be concerned about?

    -25a-006-jpg

    -25a-008-jpg

  9. #9
    Bronze Member tbutman's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    a couple of reasons for lifting it when you make a turn, 1. when you leave it down the space at each end on the trailing drum fills with tight grass holding heat in 2. it can stave your sod up. And I have found when you drop the mower to do it very gently or slowly and smoothly and the bearing on the trailing drum last a lot longer.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member tbutman's Avatar
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    JD 1050, JD 1070 4wd, 1947 farmall cub, 332 JD diesel lawn tractor, JD 314 lawn tractor, MAX2 6-Wheeler (amphibious) Brand new Turner firewood processor, conveyor

    Default Re: JD 25A Flail mower

    also the teeth last a lot longer if you weld the two sides where they touch. It's very quick to do and it eliminates spreading and splitting. This IS a finish mower and will make a field look like a lawn. This also can be used to cut a field and condition grass for some pretty descent hay. It crimps the grass nicely but still will need to be ted a couple of times of coarse.
    Last edited by tbutman; 05-02-2014 at 11:55 AM.

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