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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    86
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF1240

    Default Speed when cutting hay

    Ok the poll for mowing w/o the bucket was such a hit, let's try another one. How fast should you cut hay with a sickle mower? I have a shuttle shift with 4 range and 4 gears. Thanks

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    450
    Location
    Albion, Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford

    Default Re: Speed when cutting hay

    Need a little more clarification here. What are you cutting? Alfalfa, tall tame grass like brome or orchard grass, short native grass, oat hay - there will be a lot of variation in your answers depending on the assumption going in. I have cut oats at 10 mph but there is no way I could cut native short grass prairie hay at that speed.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    86
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF1240

    Default Re: Speed when cutting hay

    sorry about that its just plain old pasture grass

  4. #4
    Veteran Member whodat526's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,529
    Location
    deridder louisiana
    Tractor
    fords

    Default Re: Speed when cutting hay

    Quote Originally Posted by jacobsdaddy06 View Post
    sorry about that its just plain old pasture grass
    i cut with a 8ft nh disc mower or a kuhn 9ft disc mower with a ford 5900 and a massey 283 and i run in 5th or 6th gear unless the fear is ruff

    but most people say you can run as fast as you can stay on the tractor and not bale up the hay in the cutter

    and if you cut hay after the dew is off the ground with a sicle mower you can run faster but with a disc mower it cuts easyier with the dew on the ground

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    58
    Tractor
    IH 684

    Default

    I cut native prairie hay in 4th gear on a IH 684 today. Tractor Data tells me that is 4.9 mph. It was going good till I found an electric fence post. That slowed me down for a while, but I still knocked down 40 ac. The grass is short and thin this year as it was a very dry spring. Normally in the thick spots I would have to shift down a gear but they were few and far between.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    661
    Location
    Central Maine

    Default Re: Speed when cutting hay

    I usually run mine 4.5-5 mph. I have cut at 6mph just fine depending on the grass but usually it's the rough ride that slows me down.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    450
    Location
    Albion, Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford

    Default Re: Speed when cutting hay

    As a kid I cut a lot of native prairie hay with a nine foot sickle bar with a Super M-TA in second gear - about 4 mph. Once in a while we went in 3rd (5 mph) but it was a little fast until we overspeeded the mower. Cutting Alfalfa or brome or orchard grass, we often went higher speed - up in the 6-7 mph range.
    The 3rd gear on the Oliver Super 88 seemed just about right for Prairie hay (4.3 mph).

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