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  1. #1

    Default mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    Howdy - We"ve been mowing our 20 acre field of hay with a 5-foot sickle bar JD mower (Model 51) for many years, but it is starting to break more often and become a hassle. Since we don"t bail, we"re looking into a brush hog, but are really just looking for something reliable and powerful enough to cut 5-foot hay.

    I presume our JD Model M would work well only with a pull-behind (since there is no 3-pt hitch), and probably only one with an independent engine, right? With only 20 HP and a throttle-dependent PTO, I think a PTO driven mower wouldn't work real well. Whenever you want to slow down for heavier grass, the speed of the mower would also go down.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Many thanks,
    Dave (Northeast PA)

  2. #2
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    I think the M would be fine if you can find a 4' pull type pto powered brush cutter. Just keep it in 1st if your grass is that high and at full throttle.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  3. #3
    New Member allisb48's Avatar
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    Central New York
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    Allis Chalmers B's 42 & 48. Farmall 300 56.

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    I cut with an Allis B and a pull behind pto bush hog. The grass is as high as the tractor and does just fine. It's just as wide as the wheels on the B so it's not to big. I think it's a 5 ft unit. Does real good. The Allis has just 15 hp. Hope this helps.
    Allis Chalmers B's 42 & 48
    Plows, Cultivators, and Mowers
    Farmall 300 and Mower
    JD 290 planter
    IH spring tooth harrow

  4. #4

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    Ok, so that opens up more possibilities. I'm not at all familiar with what I should look for in a brush hog....anything special? When searching for a self-powered hog, I came across this model, and got the sense that it's quality, but I don't really know.

    DR Power Equipment - Brush Hog / Brush Mower: Unique Brush Hog / Brush Mower Features

    It's about $3k. I like the articulating hitch and swinging blades for one....

    Any particular brands to either strive for or stay away from?

    Many thanks,
    Dave

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    I think the M would be o-kay on a 5 ft pull type rotary mower. A 4 footer will only cover your tire width at the narrowest setting (not the greatest for stability on hill sides). I used one for many years on a 5 ft hay crimper and it never struggled at all with that. The M does have live hydraulics, unlike the Ford 8n which I used many years on a 5 ft mower. Be sure to get an overrunning coupler which will make up for the lack of live pto on the M. You will be just a tad on the low end in hp for a 5 foot mower but if you get into thick conditions you can take a partial cut to make up for that. The M seems to have a lot of guts for its size, both on the pto and the drawbar. We also used the belt drive on our feed grinder, and the M never struggled at all with that task.

  6. #6

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    allisb48 - Do you know offhand which make/model your mower is?

    Your Allis has just 15 HP at the PTO or the engine?

    BTW, thanks for all your help....very much appreciated.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Northern California-Tehama Co.
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    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShrimpBurrito View Post
    Howdy - We"ve been mowing our 20 acre field of hay with a 5-foot sickle bar JD mower (Model 51) for many years, but it is starting to break more often and become a hassle. Since we don"t bail, we"re looking into a brush hog, but are really just looking for something reliable and powerful enough to cut 5-foot hay.

    I presume our JD Model M would work well only with a pull-behind (since there is no 3-pt hitch), and probably only one with an independent engine, right? With only 20 HP and a throttle-dependent PTO, I think a PTO driven mower wouldn't work real well. Whenever you want to slow down for heavier grass, the speed of the mower would also go down.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Many thanks,
    Dave (Northeast PA)
    Swisher makes a 52" wide trail cutting tow-type mower powered by an 18.5 hp B&S motor

    Swisher Mower & Machine Co.: 52" Trailcutter

  8. #8
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolc123 View Post
    I think the M would be o-kay on a 5 ft pull type rotary mower. A 4 footer will only cover your tire width at the narrowest setting (not the greatest for stability on hill sides). I used one for many years on a 5 ft hay crimper and it never struggled at all with that. The M does have live hydraulics, unlike the Ford 8n which I used many years on a 5 ft mower. Be sure to get an overrunning coupler which will make up for the lack of live pto on the M. You will be just a tad on the low end in hp for a 5 foot mower but if you get into thick conditions you can take a partial cut to make up for that. The M seems to have a lot of guts for its size, both on the pto and the drawbar. We also used the belt drive on our feed grinder, and the M never struggled at all with that task.
    The issue I see is he is trying to cut 5' tall grass and that is a tough task for a 20hp tractor with a 5' mower. The rule of thumb is 5pto hp per foot of brush cutter and that is for average mowing conditions. If it was me I would spend the money to fix the sickle mower up like new and just keep using it. I keep looking for a sickle mower for my M but not too hard as I don't want to spend a lot as it would only be to maintain around the ponds and ditches.

    If he would cut the grass more often and keep it low he would be fine with a 5' cutter as the M is a good little tractor.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  9. #9
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Preble County, Ohio
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolc123 View Post
    I think the M would be o-kay on a 5 ft pull type rotary mower. A 4 footer will only cover your tire width at the narrowest setting (not the greatest for stability on hill sides). I used one for many years on a 5 ft hay crimper and it never struggled at all with that. The M does have live hydraulics, unlike the Ford 8n which I used many years on a 5 ft mower. Be sure to get an overrunning coupler which will make up for the lack of live pto on the M. You will be just a tad on the low end in hp for a 5 foot mower but if you get into thick conditions you can take a partial cut to make up for that. The M seems to have a lot of guts for its size, both on the pto and the drawbar. We also used the belt drive on our feed grinder, and the M never struggled at all with that task.
    I used a five foot brush hog behind an MT for several years. The MT is a bit smaller than the M in power. The 5 foot brush hog will pull the tractor hard in medium to thick stuff but as wolc123 says it's better to use a 5 foot to cover the tracks. The 5 footer would be a better option than a 4 footer. Also as he says an overrunning coupler is a must. Without the overrunning coupler the mower will push you and the tractor off of a cliff. Brakes or not. These old two cylinders can be hard to mow with. But there is nothing else in the world like listening to these motors run. Gets in your blood.

  10. #10
    Silver Member willfick's Avatar
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    Midlands of South Carolina
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    1946 Farmall H, !967 Ford 3500D TLB

    Default Re: mowing with a Deere Model M - what to use?

    I recently got a (very) old 5 ft. pull behind hog for my Farmall H. It's about the same hp as your JD M, and about the same age, I guess.
    I have used three-point mowers a good bit but this is my first trailer type. I read up on them online and was expecting it to be only marginally useful; can't make short turns, can't back into brush, without live or independent pto have trouble getting started in heavy grass, no hydraulic lift, constantly get on and off to manually adjust height.
    It only took a little while to realize the difficulties were muchly over-rated. Just some getting used to, and who's in hurry, anyway.
    The H has a fairly fast first gear, and Reverse flies, but I haven't had any trouble with too thick yet, and now that I've figured out what it'll cut in 2nd and third, most of the time it'll cut faster than I'm comfortable going.
    The hard part for me was finding an affordable mower in serviceable condition. Dumb lucked into one on Craig's List. Ugly rusty, with a couple of thin spots in the deck, but the mechanical part is in great shape, and very solidly built. It was all the FEL on my backhoe could do to lift it off the trailer.
    Good luck, Wm

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