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  1. #1
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    Kubota B7500, John Deere X500

    Default Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    I've searched these forums and even RTFM, but I need voices of experience. This is a tractor question combined with an attachment question.

    I'm new to tractor ownership and just finished my first season mowing our 15 acre place in the northern California coastal hills with a used kubota B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower that I got from my brother. I mow for fire and tick suppression. The B7500 has R1 ag tires and a FEL that I've left attached for now. Our place is hilly, full of obstacles along with grasses that grow thick and 6 feet tall by the time it's dry enough to mow. Most of the area was a terraced hay field long ago, with the terraces wider (60"?) than my 48" deck and with elevation differences between terraces. I've used an ATV-drawn brushhog (hate that machine) and a JD X500 all terrain with mower deck for mowing this property for 5 years. I still use the JD close to the house, for the really steep parts, around obscured culverts/ditches, and close to fence before I head out with the B7500. The JD bogs down in the heavy grass, kills my back and spews mulch in a cloud I don't need to breathe.

    Using the Kubota B7500, I have to mow in granny gear, i.e.2nd gear low at best. The mower just doesn't cut cleanly in 3rd gear even going downhill with the rpm's at the pto indicator line. The mower can handle the mass and height of the grasses in 2nd, but it's sloooowww going. I walk faster than I can mow. I have to constantly adjust the mower height over uneven surfaces and in turns. I'm not looking for a lawn cut, but I'm constantly raising and lowering the mower for turns in many places and uneven ground.

    So here're my questions:
    1) Is a flail mower better suited for steep hilly conditions, high grasses, uneven ground and lots of obstacles? I'm thinking the uneven mowing surfaces would have less effect on a mower with less depth. Every mower I've seen in the county is a flail mower. Do you have to adjust the height of a flail mower as often?
    2) Going downhill without obstacles, is it unrealistic to expect to mow in low 3rd gear? I don't need to hotdog the tractor, and I'm cautious about safety. I just don't know what's realistic.
    3) Is my B7600 under-powered for the job if I have to downshift to 1st gear and put it in 4wd to make it up the steepest hills while I'm mowing? My JD service guy told me not to leave the tractor in 4wd for mowing, but I think he was trying to explain I should shift to 2wd to turn.
    4) Is it normal to need to add some coolant every 10 hours or so? I added coolant so the reserve was at the top level and have watched the level drop to about half way between top and low over 6 to 8 hours. It's been hot. I haven't let the unit overheat, but I do have to mow at full throttle the entire time to keep the rpm's high enough. I clear the radiator screen after each session mowing, but should I be doing it more often like every couple of hours? Should I ever add water instead of coolant?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Hampton Township, Bay County, Michigan
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    Kubota B7500HSD-R

    Default Re: Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNOrnery View Post
    4) Is it normal to need to add some coolant every 10 hours or so? I added coolant so the reserve was at the top level and have watched the level drop to about half way between top and low over 6 to 8 hours. It's been hot. I haven't let the unit overheat, but I do have to mow at full throttle the entire time to keep the rpm's high enough. I clear the radiator screen after each session mowing, but should I be doing it more often like every couple of hours? Should I ever add water instead of coolant?
    OldNOrnery - I'll leave questions 1-3 for others. I have been mowing my 2.5A lawn + 8A of pasture and meadow since 2003 with a B7500 and a 60" MMM. My B7500 has hydrostatic drive. This year, I bought a 59" flail and have mowed the pasture once.

    When mowing with the MMM during dry conditions, I watch my coolant temperature guage like a hawk. When the indicator nears the red zone, I clean my grille, radiator screen, shutter plate and radiator fins. Cleaning is required about every hour - sometimes every 1/2 hour. I clean everything but the radiator fins by hand brushing. I use compressed air from a portable tank for the fins. I only had one year that I lost coolant, and it was before I discovered how often cleaning was required. Also, you might want to flush the inside of the radiator and fill with new coolant if you don't know when that was last done. kubota recommends every two years for they B7500 HSD. Best wishes!
    Rusty
    2003 Kubota B7500 HSD-R, LA302, RCK60-24B, Caroni TL1500FSC

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Default Re: Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    This year, I bought a 59" flail and have mowed the pasture once.

    When mowing with the MMM during dry conditions, I watch my coolant temperature guage like a hawk. When the indicator nears the red zone, I clean my grille, radiator screen, shutter plate and radiator fins. Cleaning is required about every hour - sometimes every 1/2 hour. I clean everything but the radiator fins by hand brushing. I use compressed air from a portable tank for the fins. I only had one year that I lost coolant, and it was before I discovered how often cleaning was required. Also, you might want to flush the inside of the radiator and fill with new coolant if you don't know when that was last done. kubota recommends every two years for they B7500 HSD. Best wishes!
    Thanks for the reply, Rusty. I have no idea what a shutter plate is. Sounds like I need to brush the screen and grille more often, too. I bet my temp gauge reads cooler than it should. Fully warmed up and running, it reads about a quarter up from cold. The time it inched up about two thirds toward the red, the coolant was boiling in the reservoir. I'll take a look at that and the gasket.

    So what's your take on the 59" Caroni flail? Is it an improvement on the rotary mower? 59" is wider than I would have thought the B7500 could handle.

    --
    OnO

  4. #4
    Gold Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Hampton Township, Bay County, Michigan
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    Default Re: Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNOrnery View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Rusty. I have no idea what a shutter plate is.
    The shutter plate is a heavy perforated screen that slides in under the radiator screen from the front of the tractor. You need to remove the front grille to remove it. Slide the shutter plate out and wipe off the bottom surface. Mine is usually caked with debris.

    Sounds like I need to brush the screen and grille more often, too. I bet my temp gauge reads cooler than it should. Fully warmed up and running, it reads about a quarter up from cold. The time it inched up about two thirds toward the red, the coolant was boiling in the reservoir. I'll take a look at that and the gasket.
    It sounds like your radiator fins may be dirty - as in not really getting clean when you clean them. Try blowing them out from behind the fan blades with compressed air. A long-reach air gun works well for this task. You might be surprised how much stuff comes out! You can also try washing the fins with a gentle flow from a garden hose. I would use compressed air first to remove as much as possible before using water.

    So what's your take on the 59" Caroni flail? Is it an improvement on the rotary mower? 59" is wider than I would have thought the B7500 could handle.
    My experience with the flail is very limited. So far, I am impressed. The B7500 has not shown any problem lifting, transporting, nor powering the flail. There is another thread with my initial observations. I will link to it in a separate post to you.
    Rusty
    2003 Kubota B7500 HSD-R, LA302, RCK60-24B, Caroni TL1500FSC

  5. #5
    Gold Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Hampton Township, Bay County, Michigan
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    Default Re: Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    OldNOrnery - Here is the link to my observations on the Caroni TL1500FSC Flail and my B7500HSD.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...ns.htmlhttp://
    Last edited by Rusty; 07-08-2011 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Correct typo.
    Rusty
    2003 Kubota B7500 HSD-R, LA302, RCK60-24B, Caroni TL1500FSC

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Default Re: Improve my mowing? B7500 + Gearmore rotary mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    The shutter plate is a heavy perforated screen that slides in under the radiator screen from the front of the tractor. You need to remove the front grille to remove it. Slide the shutter plate out and wipe off the bottom surface. Mine is usually caked with debris.
    Ah, I didn't know that screen was called a shutter plate (see it in the FM now) or that it was removable because the FEL looks it would block the shutter plate from sliding forward. But it does slide out. You're right, the front 3/4 of the screen was caked with mud that I couldn't see from above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    It sounds like your radiator fins may be dirty - as in not really getting clean when you clean them. Try blowing them out from behind the fan blades with compressed air. A long-reach air gun works well for this task. You might be surprised how much stuff comes out! You can also try washing the fins with a gentle flow from a garden hose. I would use compressed air first to remove as much as possible before using water.
    No question the radiator fins are dirty based on their color compared to the back of the radiator on the fan blade side. I'll dig out the air compressor. I've been blowing stuff off with a leaf blower up to now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    My experience with the flail is very limited. So far, I am impressed. The B7500 has not shown any problem lifting, transporting, nor powering the flail. There is another thread with my initial observations. I will link to it in a separate post to you.
    I'll take a look at the link. Thanks.

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