Flail Mower Let's talk flail mowers

   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,581  
I’m sorry but what degree did you get and what metallurgical and machinery specialty do you have to say this?

First 540 or even 2000 rpm is considered a low speed application for bearings

Second the manual generally speaking is absolutely correct. Depending on design clearances and specific bearing tolerances more grease can definitely work against reliability. It is not uncommon in general industry, where bearings at this speed carry far greater loads, to only need grease every 8000 hours. In that case overgreasing (too much or too often) can and will result in overheating, premature grease breakdown, and bearing failure.

It may be that the OEM supplied a poor quality bearing or simply had a defective assembly. That does not mean the manual is incorrect based on anecdotal evidence from 40 years ago. You simply cannot say their manual or engineering is wrong based on a single case when (to my knowledge) you have not done a full inspection of the failed unit. And recommending against an OEM in a public forum is irresponsible ; hopefully no one who reads your post will follow your specific advice.

Based on that reasoning - I guess adding lead to the gas for my car will make it run better…it did in 1960!

It is obvious you have a huge wealth of knowledge and expertise around flail mowers. That does not make you an expert on all aspects of modern equipment, so please consider that when you post because so many (including me) do look to you for that advice.

This is very true. I design machines in the food industry (specifically meat forming equipment). We have bearings that go for 800 hours of run time between greasing. The machines are in wet environments and food grade grease sucks compared to regular grease. Every day a cleaning crew comes in to the cold (~40°F) plant and sprays hot water all over the machine to clean it (usually getting it into areas it doesn't belong). Every inch of the machine is covered in water, whether from direct spray or condensation. Yet the bearings last with greasing them only every 800 hours. 500 hour grease interval on a sealed bearing on a flail mower is not unreasonable.

Over greasing can cause a seal to come loose. At that point you are inviting anything and everything into your bearings to destroy them. Bearing materials and greases have come a long way in recent years giving extended life to both. I would personally stick to the 250-hour grease schedule as mowing is going to generally be either dusty or wet. Either the grass is dry and dusty or its green and wet. My Alamo mower says to grease every 8 hours of use, but it is older and it appears to have shielded bearings instead of sealed.

A number of things could have caused this bearing to fail. To me it more looks like the shaft wasn't fully in the bearing. It was only holding on by a little bit causing excess pressure on the inner race where it is not supported by the balls. The other possibility is that bearing race missed heat-treat day, as typically when bearings fail the race is still in a recognizable shape. Or it could be an unfortunate combination of both. I don't see excessive heat on either the bearing or the shaft indicating the bearing seized up, and it looks like the balls are still there as well as what appears to be the rubber seal. I would rule this a manufacturing defect, not a lack of greasing.

The manufacturer of the machine has to warranty the machine. If they didn't honestly feel that the greasing interval was correct, would they suggest it? If machines fail due to under-greasing per their manual they are on the line for expensive parts. If they are offering to replace all the components, they are confident that it wasn't due to you not greasing it, but rather a manufacturing defect.

I would take their offer, as you're getting an extra set of hammers for your time. I would also inspect the assembly when you reassemble it to make sure the shaft is fully in the bearing race. Pop off grease covers to verify there is grease in the bearings if you feel concerned about lack of grease. I would chalk it up to "stuff happens".
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,582  
He deserves a full refund as all he has now is scrap metal. He is protected by the state consumer protection laws in his state.
He needs to pursue a full refund of the total purchase price plus shipping costs via legal means in small claims court.
He should not have to mess with tearing it down completely and then reassembling it to make it work.
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,583  
Found the spool of wire I was missing….

I was cutting nicely until I found my missing spool of fence wire. After untangling the mess, here is what I’m left with. Looks like I need parts 5,6,8.
Will I be able to get this off with a standard bearing puller?
Any tips would be appreciated as this is my first bearing replacement.
It looks like I can only find aftermarket parts for this JD 26.


   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,584  
For situations like that I usually use a Dremel and cut-off wheel to score the bearing race in 3 locations evenly space around the circumference. Usually the bearing will crack at one of the scores when they get deep enough. At that point I can begin to pry it off and it will break at the remaining scores. I haven't had luck with a bearing puller on something like that or even with a bearing splitter in a press. I've also done a single score, then a bearing puller when it cracked. That one was on a boss where I could only get a Dremel to one side of it, and It had to be a spiral cut at that. Don't worry too much if you cut too deep and mark the shaft, there is plenty of surface area left to hold the new bearing. I would cut as deep as you can on the first cut to create heat in the bearing race. When the bearing race cools down is when it tends to crack. I've had it crack as I was putting the Dremel away. If you get to a point that you don't feel comfortable going any deeper and it still doesn't crack you can hit it with a chisel in the cut to see if it will split.
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,585  
I'd weld a couple of tabs on it for a puller to have something to pull on.
Also, I have seen bearing races free up with a good heavy bead laid on them.
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,586  
I have seen bearing races free up with a good heavy bead laid on them.

That is how I remove just about all races anymore, so simple and it really does not that big of a bead.
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,588  
New tractor owner and first time poster here.

After reading a lot of this thread and some others, I settled on a flail mower instead of a brush hog.

I ended up getting this Titan FL135 from a dealer in my state. Apparently these are not very popular in Alabama and this dealer was the only one I found that stocked small flail mowers.

I haven't seen much info out there on this model, so I thought I would share.

This is an Italian mower made by Cosmo and imported by Titan Implements (not palletforks dot com). I paid $2000 for it at Dixie Horse and Mule Company. It came with hammers installed but also included the Y blades. I wouldn't say it's QH compatible but I was able to connect it to my QH.

My little Kubota BX has no problem at all running it and I have been abusing it quite hard clearing some woods. I have been very pleased so far.
   / Let's talk flail mowers #7,590  
I always get a kick out of folks that post about cleaning up their woods... No criticism in any way. I kinda wish I could.
The woods at my place is in fact trees living in an endless pile of rocks. If I tried to take any kind of mower through there it would be destroyed in short order.
This is becoming more of a concern of late. With the ash die off, I've got a whole lot of open canopy now, and the ferns, and a couple other plants have taken off along the old logging roads. Those roads are bad enough to drive when you can see the ground, but with a 2-3' tall carpet of ferns, it can become real exciting on a tractor with no power steering...