Toplink Toplink vs Chain on bushhog attachment

   #1  

Anonymous Poster

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I remember a while back reading about discussion of using the toplink or a chain when using a bushhog type mower. NOW that I need it I cant find it. My mower doesnt have a flex link of any type and am concerned with going over some rough terain when cleaning up some woods/pature. Also I have a fairly strong hillside I have to mow and instead of turning around on the hillside I have to go into the trees, which need mowing around, to make the turn.
Anyway, does anyone know of the thread that talks about chains vs a solid toplink or would you please advise me how to rig a chain instead of a top link.
thanks........Dennis
 
   #2  

chim

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Dennis, I hooked up my rotary cutter with a chain. It was bought used, and I don't know if the swinging part of the attachment was lost or what. My hookup is simple, however it is not real adjustable. With the 3PH arms and rear wheel adjusted where I wanted them, I made up a loop of 3/8" chain that I put the toplink pin through on the tractor end, and what would be the pin for the swinging link on the mower.

This allows the mower/tractor connection to flex as they travel over uneven ground. The chain limits the amount the mower can drop as the tractor goes over a hump, but doesn't keep it from being pushed upward when the tractor approaches or departs from a hill. Works like a champ.

My rotary cutter doesn't see a lot of use. Generally about 3 or 4 times a year it gets used to cut/beat/grind big thick-stemmed weeds that range from 1 to 4 feet tall. I have an old finish mower that sometimes gets used for that, but there are some scary places (last week I ground up a cinder block that mysteriously appeared in one such place) that would wreck anything but a HD rotary cutter..........chim
 
   #3  

normde2001

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I ordered a set of Speeco check chains from http://www.valu-bilt.com for about $17 each, per attachment. It looks like 1 of them might make a good adjustable toplink. The Valu.bilt site was down for inventory update when I checked.
 
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#4  
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Norm and Chim.......thanks......guess I will try hooking my 15 feet of 3/8 logging chain up and try that instead of a top link.....on end around the pin on the tractor end and the other around the pin on the bush hog..........my only concern is the 10 feet of slack that will be available to get caught up in the PTO shaft if it happens to flop around.......guess I could wire it up someway so that it doesnt have that chance........that and safety wire the end of the chain that will hook onto the chain itself so that when I hit a bump and it gets slack it wont possibly come unhooked.....thanks for the replies.....Dennis
 
   #5  

normde2001

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You can always go to a home center and get a length of chain and attaching hardware for a few $$.
 
  
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Many of us do things that put us at risk every day - I don't wish to look like the Internet Nanny here, but just for the record:

Using a chain for a top link is dangerous. should the mower hit a solid object (like a stump) it can pivot up & fold on top of the tractor - right where the seat is. You know, where you are.

Now, with ROPS it's less likely to kill you, and it is pretty rare for this to happen. But, it could hiccup high enough to really mess up the pto, get the slack chain caught in something, etc. It has happened to people.

Not real thrilled about using some log chain you have around, & hoping the extra feet of it stay out of the way. Chain is cheap, at least buy the right length & some bolts, don't rely on the chain hooks. This part seems a sure problem to hurt you or the mower in the short term.

It is much much better to have a rigid top link with some small give in it, as the mowers mostly have from the factory these days.

--->Paul
 
   #7  

s1120

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Now let me say first that I have never used a 3ph brush hog, this is just an observation from an outsider. I was looking at a few used cutters this weekend, and all had The top A frame bent. My thought is that whatever caused that, had enough forse to jam that cutter into someones head, if there was not a top link to stop it. I am thinking losing a $600-$1500 cutter, is better then being in a coma. Agean this is from someone that has not gotten comfortable with the dangers. I could be wrong, and I hope to hear so if I am, but when I get my cutter, there will be a top link.
 
  
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Pauls......thanks for the input......wish I could find the thread that debated this in depth about the hazards of a mower that is allowed to flop around and possibly get one from the rear vs the rigidity of using a top link and it tearing up the tractor because there is no "give"........yes, I understand about the dangers of both..........and I really do agree about forgeting about the logging chain and acquire the correct length.......what I really wish is for a flex of some kind built into my ol mower.........maybe someone could advise me of this......no, I cant really make one-----or can I????.........or what am I really gonna tear up by keeping everything rigid by using a top link..............THANKS for the advice.....YOU have made me forget the idea of the logging chain and the dangers involved by good ol Murphy......dennis
 
   #9  

BillyP

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You could use a U shaped swivel to attach the top link to.
 
  
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There are top links on most new mowers that are 'almost' rigid. I agree you don't want a solid one either! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I've heard of like 3 chain links in the top at the mower end. This alows a lot of give for flexing, but will stop the mower from flipping very far - the rigid bar part will not allow it to come up far..

There are upper links with a clevis or 'U' joint that do the same thing.

I'm no expert on this by far, so I don't want to advise how to build something. But if you go to a dealer of the better name mowers, you should see several ideas on how they work, and you might be able to buy or make something like it.

You want 90% of a straight stiff bar to keep the mower down, but you want a pivot or flex in it near one end so it can float over the bumps & valleys. Perhaps just shorten up your upper link, and put a stout twist clevis on the mower end - would need to find one with the right dimentions to match up. Pin the clevis holes to the upper link, and put a pin through the clevis loop & the holes on your mower.

--->Paul
 
 
 
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