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  1. #11
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,536
    Location
    Sacramento
    Tractor
    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Nice baler. I spray WD40 on the knotters of my MF124 baler (similar to yours) every month or so per the previous owners advice. Keeps them in good shape.

    If you've never used or worked on an old sicklebar mower before, be prepared for a learning experience. You'll probably have to get up close and personal with your mower to get it working properly. Typically, the blades and guards have to be adjusted so the mower cuts correctly. You can do this by trial and error, but an operator manual will make the job go faster. And there are alignment tricks to get the mower cutting properly.

    Good luck

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,967
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Quote Originally Posted by flusher View Post
    . . . If you've never used or worked on an old sicklebar mower before, be prepared for a learning experience. You'll probably have to get up close and personal with your mower to get it working properly. Typically, the blades and guards have to be adjusted so the mower cuts correctly. You can do this by trial and error, but an operator manual will make the job go faster. And there are alignment tricks to get the mower cutting properly. . .
    I was just thinking, if he lived down here in fire ant country, even if he didn't remember how to cuss, it would come back to him with that sickle mower.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  3. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    34
    Location
    omaha, NE
    Tractor
    CaseIH Farmall 75C

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    I've used a sickle, but it's been a looong time. I'm -really- good at cussing, no worries there.

    I got the beastly sicklemower unloaded out of the back of my truck and mounted on the tractor. Had to swap out the pins, they were the wrong size to work with my 3-pt setup.

    Have to adjust the cable to get it to raise/lower the sickle properly....i think i'm going to have to shorten the cable itself. Ordered a manual a few minutes ago. Wish it had a hydro cylinder on it for raise/lower....might have to do some modification
    Last edited by mattv1; 07-04-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,967
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattv1 View Post
    I've used a sickle, but it's been a looong time. I'm -really- good at cussing, no worries there.

    I got the beastly sicklemower unloaded out of the back of my truck and mounted on the tractor. Had to swap out the pins, they were the wrong size to work with my 3-pt setup.

    Have to adjust the cable to get it to raise/lower the sickle properly....i think i'm going to have to shorten the cable itself. Ordered a manual a few minutes ago. Wish it had a hydro cylinder on it for raise/lower....might have to do some modification
    It's been a long time since I used a sickle mower too. Lord willing, I won't ever need to use one again.
    30 years ago, that's all we had, and we just dealt with it. The disc mowers are a much, much faster and you don't have to stop and back up every time you hit a gopher mound or ant hill.
    I will concede, however, that nothing cuts hay as neatly as a sickle.

    The reason that you had to change the pins is that the mower was used on a tractor that had a CAT II hitch. A much larger tractor.
    Keep that in mind. Be safe. Have fun.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  5. #15
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    455
    Location
    Albion, Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Sickle bar mowers are easy but there are a few keys.

    1) Tilt of cutter bar which changes from tractor to tractor - Level is supposed to be ideal but I prefer tilted nose up just a little so that it has propensity to slide over obstacles.
    2) I am assuming since it is a 1300 it has haybine type guards on it, i.e. double guards with no ledger plates. These are usually slimmer and work better when you are cutting hay. (I have the old single mower type guards on mine but I cut a lot of junk, i.e. saplings, multiflora rose, reeds, etc.) Make sure they are not worn out, i.e. that the edges of the guards are still sharp where the sickle rides on them. If not I have ground them a little with an angle grinder to get a good edge.
    3) Wearplates are in good shape and adjusted properly. These are typically under the holddowns and hold the sickle both forward and level. If these are not proper your sickle will not lay on the guards right and it will not cut right.
    4) Hold downs are tight. You should have adjustable hold downs, i.e. stamped metal ones not the old cast ones. This means you can hammer them down a little to get the front of the sickle held down on the guards to maintain minimal clearance. A properly adjusted holddown should be against the sickle but not make it too tight. The best way to check this is visually to make sure they are down and then run the sickle for about a minute and - after shutting off - check the holddowns ans sickle for heat. It should not have changed temperature. If it has you can pry it back up a little as it is too tight.
    5) Make sure your sickle moves easily. You should be able to move the sickle by hand when it is in place but without the drive hooked up to it. Be sure to check if the sickle bar is bent as that causes a lot of problems.
    6) The other issues with sickle bars is the end configurations make sure they in good shape and ready to cut. Make sure your end board - I know yours is metal - is in good shape to pull the grass back to give a place for the shoe to run.
    7) Make sure the trip is working although this is hard to test as it should be difficult to trip.
    8) Make sure your drive is tight. The belt and the pin engagement to the head of the sickle. Your mower should cut at 1900 strokes/minute and if the belt is slipping it may be tough to know but it does make a big difference on how it cuts.

    Good luck and have fun. It looks like you are off to a good start!

    3)

  6. #16
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    928
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Tractor
    Jinma JM354

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    I can't believe it, you found what must be the only other IH No. 5 side delivery rake in existence. I own the other one, and it does well. Sloan's express has teeth for it and if you need the tooth clips, Todd Stauffer has them. I used the generic sealed bearings on the bars. you'll do okay haying. I put on some Urea a few weeks back and it paid off big time (just make sure to water real well or apply before a good rain). My "wish list" baler would be a inline MF 1835 baler, real spendy thought even used. I'm currenty runnin' a well used NH 269. I paid $300 for and dumped another $1000 into it. I still need to pull the plunger and rebuild that. I tried to make it bale with Sisal twine (natural fiber) and failed miserably, don't be like me. Use poly twine instead. I spent wayy to much time being stubborn with that Sisal. I did go and buy a brand new SFI 2555 drum mower as they are way less expensive than disc mowers and are "almost maintenance free". I love how the blades are changed out with a small pry bar tool. I'm gonna plow under the Orchard Grass (just too many weeds) and plant some alfalfa this late summer. Oh yeah, I'm fartin' around on 1-1/2 acres. bjr

  7. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    34
    Location
    omaha, NE
    Tractor
    CaseIH Farmall 75C

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Today I popped the circle clamp off the sickle mower PTO shaft, took off the stupid plastic "rotator handle" and broke the retainer pin loose. I have made an executive decision that I won't be putting the **** plastic piece back on. Much easier to just hold the pin.

    I gave everything the once-over as best I could without the manual, it looked to be in pretty good shape. I greased everything up, and lubed the bar with some used oil (just a bit) and with the tractor barely above idle, i fired up the PTO. It took right off, worked fairly well. I checked everything, re-greased and re-lubed....tested again, and went to the field.

    I cut just under an acre this evening. Main problem is the stupid cable pulley. I have adjusted it several times and I just can't get it to operate properly.

    I found another thread (HERE) that details installing a hydraulic cylinder for raising/lowering the sickle. By some fateful occurrence --- tractor supply has the right cylinder in stock! I'm going to pick it up tomorrow and swap out the entire lifting mechanism.

    Tomorrow morning first thing after I get the cylinder, i'm going to cut the rest of a ~2.5 acre patch.
    Then I will get my oldschool IH rake greased up and looked over and in the afternoon I will try it out on the acre that I cut tonight.

    So far, so good. Can't thank you guys enough for the encouragement and the tips!

  8. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    34
    Location
    omaha, NE
    Tractor
    CaseIH Farmall 75C

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Quote Originally Posted by bjr View Post
    I can't believe it, you found what must be the only other IH No. 5 side delivery rake in existence. I own the other one, and it does well.
    Great! Glad to hear it. I paid a few dollars for it at an auction and towed it home (about 15 miles) at a super high speed of ~12 miles/hour.

    Couple people have given me the stank eye over it, saying i made a bad choice. Meh. It was cheap, i can pull it with the ATV or the truck if I need to, and there are a minimum of moving parts to break.....seems like a pretty good choice to me.

  9. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    34
    Location
    omaha, NE
    Tractor
    CaseIH Farmall 75C

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Hay is raked and ready to be baled. Maybe just a little bit more moisture in it than I would like, but it will be fine.

    Broke the drive chain on the rake the first time out. Hammered the broken link pieces out, hammered it back together, doused the chain in old lawnmower motor oil and let it dry. Didn't miss a beat after that

    Rain coming tonight and tomorrow....hope to get things baled later this evening.

  10. #20
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,132
    Location
    Vancouver Wa.
    Tractor
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: "new" to haying - validate my "wish list" and comments please!

    Sounds like you are getting your feet wet. Been a long time since I was in the haying business. One comment I have is the side delivery rake you have. You mentioned having alfalfa in your mix of hay. If your first cutting is tall and leggy like alfalfa or clover, you'll be cussing your rake. That type of rake will rope the crop and you'll be hard pressed to get it dry. When I started out I had an IH rake similar to the one your have. Before the spring season really got into gear that rake was replaced by a different design. It sweep the hay sideways without twisting and what an improvement. Not enough money to go back that direction.

    The MF124's were real decent machines and would have preferred one of those over the new JD 336 I had.

    As for tractor, used a MF 165D. It could handle the JD baler without a lot of straining. Was spitting out 50-60# bales ever 8 strokes. Used a Hesston PT7 mower/conditioner and a 2 row tedder. The MF never had a problem handling those. If you ever move up to a mower conditioner, especially the older sickle bar style with a rotary rake above the sickle bar, you really need to pay attention to ground speed. Either too fast or too slow and the reel will be clawing at the incoming crop and power needs go WAY UP.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

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