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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2003
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    337
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    Los Angeles/Central Coast, California
    Tractor
    Kubota L35

    Default Brush Hog Positioning

    Here in California we are getting close to spring so I attached my new(used) brush hog to make sure it works OK and to do a bit of practice. Quite an effort to attach that thing! But I guess you all are used to the process of muscling 900 pound implements onto 6000 pound tractors.

    So anyway. I do not have Top and Tilt and would like to know how the brush hog should be adjusted on the top link. Is it best to set it level to the ground? Or best to have rear lower than front? Front lower than rear?

    My brush hog has one rear wheel on a caster.

    During 'practice' the cutter scalped a lot of dirt. I belive that was caused because my land is not even. But I was not sure that I had the adjustment right either.

    Thanks

    Martin Petersen

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bjcsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    559
    Location
    Johns Island, SC
    Tractor
    JD 5225, JD 555B

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    The front to back adjustment is not made with the toplink, but instead is a combination of how high you have the tailwheel set and the 3pt. The toplink should be adjusted so that it is slack. You want the toplink yoke ~ 45deg angle from horizontal. If you want to cut with minimum horsepower and rougher cut, adjust the tailwheel side higher than the front. If you want to really shred the material, adjust the tailwheel lower than the front (uses more power). If you think about it, it makes sense. With the tailwheel side adjusted lower, it cuts twice (higher cut in front and lower as the back gets there).

  3. #3
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    6,808
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    What bjcsc said.
    For general cutting I set the front an inch or so lower than the back. If you're land is uneven and you're cutting a lot of dirt, set the tail wheel a lot higher. Sometimes it's not important to cut real low anyway. You can lower the front a little more when you can get away with it without cutting dirt, but raise it again when the ground gets real uneven. You do that with your 3pt while you're cutting. Just watch for throwing rocks and limbs. Make sure no one is around when you're running that thing. Chain guards will help, but it's still dangerous to be around in case something gets airborne.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  4. #4
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    One thing you may want to look into is check chains. Without them you have two options. 1- Let the front ride on the skid shoes in the front which tears up the ground and cuts pretty low or 2- raise the front with the 3 ph which puts a lot of weight on the hitch apparatus. When you're bouncing around that multiplies the stress on the internal components of the 3 ph more than I like so I use check chains. These are two chains that attach from each lower 3 pt arm to the tractor near where the top link attaches. You adjust the travel by the number of links you use and they limit the downwars travel of the lower arms, effectively taking all the weight off the 3 ph component. Only cost about $20 and a cheap insurance policy IMHO
    Experience is something you get right after you need it!

    Kubota L2500 DT w/ 5 foot FEL and Pat's easy change system
    5ft box blade, 5ft bushhog, 6ft york rake w/ guage wheels, 7ft backblade w/skid shoes , post hole digger, 5 foot snowblower, dual axel 16 foot landscape trailer, 330 gal water tank, Ford 250 diesel, 6 wheel drive polaris ranger, bale spears for loader

  5. #5
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,801
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    I set my brush hog down on a 1by4 board with castors at each end of the board (board is reinforced at the ends, and I have some "L" brackets on top to position the "hog" onto the board). Being able to move an implement makes all the difference in the world in getting it off and on. I've all my implements on castors or on 1 bys (long side parallel with tractor rear to front) if they'll slide easily on the 1bys (like my back blade).

    You set the rear height of the hog with the tail wheel assembly. It probably has a bunch of difference holes to select from to put a bolt through. Set the front where you generally want to run it. Then position the tail wheel to get the rear 1 to 1 1/2" above the front. This is with the top link off.

    Now, put the top link on or connect a slack chain between the tractor and top link point. On my "hog", it has about a 4" movable mechanism in the top link. I just adjust the top link to where this mechanism is in the middle of its travel.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    6,548

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    Here's the basics and a bit more. (do all this with the top link OFF)

    1) measure the distance from the bottom of the blade to the bottom of the cutter sides. Paint that on the top of the cutter so you don't forget.

    2) adjust the rear wheel so the cutting height (blade to ground distance) is 1 to 1.5" higher than what you want. If you want a 5" cut (good number), set the rear wheel so the blade is at 6.5" above the ground. Side note: the grass and brush is cut with the leading edge of the mower. If there is no front to back rake (tilt) the tractor needs more power to cut. 1 to 1.5" is the normal range. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit, go wild, try 2".

    3) Use the right side 3pt arm adjuster to level the cutter side to side. Use either a level on level ground or a ruler on the driveway. Double check it. Move the tractor so it points the other way and recheck. Measure the right side adjuster length. Now paint that number on the mower deck. Now you can always set the cutter side to side level with just a ruler.

    4) use the 3pt lift to set the front blade height to your target (5"). Set the 3pt stop at that as the bottom.

    5) Adjust the top link so that it takes out all the slack. Now extend the top link about 2-1/2". When the tractor goes over the top of a hill, you don't want the back of the cutter to pop off the ground. If the top link is tight, every crest will result in mower lift. The top attach point should have a free swinging pivot to allow this to smoothly take up this motion. If you are popping the back wheel off the ground, extend the top link a bit more (1/2" increments) until it is working well. If you can't pick up the cutter to clear an obstacle, shorten the top link.

    HTH,
    jb

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    337
    Location
    Los Angeles/Central Coast, California
    Tractor
    Kubota L35

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    Thanks all.

    My property now has hills, bumps, ground squirrel holes and many other features. The first (unexperienced/'practice') runs ended up scalping and gouging the dirt quite a bit. The tractor pushes the cutter down every time the tractor nose is pointed up.

    Gerard's technique sounds like it might work well for me. The cutter looks like it will float by attaching chains in that manner. Gerard - if I picture this accurately, you raise the lower arms only for installation of the chains. Then when you are cutting the arms are probably lowered all the way down which makes the cutter held up to the elevation set by the chains. Correct?

    You may not avoid all scalping that way, but the tractor itself will not be pushing the cutter down into the ground as much. Correct?

    Would there be any benefit in attaching the toplink with a chain also to increase and improve the floating even more?

    Martin Petersen

  8. #8
    Gold Member sunspot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    414
    Location
    Rural Birmingham, AL
    Tractor
    Ford 3910 86'

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    gerard
    Could you post a picture? I've never seen a setup using check chains and it sounds like a great idea.
    Dana in Alabama

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota L245DT

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    Hi -

    What if you want to cut more like 12" high over rough ground? This is what I will need to be doing to cut the weeds that will be overtopping my native grass seedlings in grassland restoration sites, without damaging the newly planted grasses.

    B/c I don't think the tail wheel adjusts that high, I was anticipating carrying the hog with the tail wheel fully off of the ground and the whole thing supported by the 3 pt. Is it too much to ask of my L245DT w/FEL for front ballast to carry a 420# 4ft hog up a hill this way?

    I assume in this case I would just set the front-to-back rake using the toplink? I don't have the cutter yet, so haven't had a chance to mess with this. Anyone have tips?

    Thanks
    Matt

  10. #10
    Gold Member Champy's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    429
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    John Deere 990

    Default Re: Brush Hog Positioning

    Quote Originally Posted by SLOBuds
    Here in California we are getting close to spring so I attached my new(used) brush hog to make sure it works OK and to do a bit of practice. Quite an effort to attach that thing! But I guess you all are used to the process of muscling 900 pound implements onto 6000 pound tractors.
    SLOBuds - someone else on TBN used this technique, and this past year I found it very helpful......store your brush hog on some old used tires. Then moving it to attach onto the 3PH is a breeze. The rimless tires flex and allow you to move it in any direction really easily.
    A life spent making mistakes is more honorable and useful than a life spent doing nothing.

    4BusyDads

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