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Gooseneck-Mounted Mower Deck "Turns On A Dime"
"It's the best invention I've come up with in 45 years of farming and is worth its weight in gold," says Ken Reynolds, Linesville, Penn., about the 60-in. mower deck he mounted on front of his 1981 Cub Lo Boy tractor. "It works great for mowing fence corners and ditches and also eliminates a lot of hand trimming around trees on buildings."
  The front of the deck is equipped with a home-built gooseneck ball hitch that allows the mower to swivel 360 degrees when turning or backing up.
  Reynolds started with a 60-in. AcrEase mower that he bought new for $1,600 (Kunze Engineering, Mendota, Ill. ph 815 539-6954). The mower came with three blades and a 12 1/2 hp engine. It was designed to be pulled off to the side of a small riding mower. The deck rides on the original four pneumatic wheels - two rigid wheels on back and two castor wheels on front.
  Reynolds made a gooseneck hitch out of 2-in. dia. steel pipe. To make the ball hitch on the deck, he removed the tongue and then cut off part of a trailer ball hitch and welded it to a 1/4-in. thick steel plate that he bolted to the deck. He bent the pipe to clear the engine on top of the deck. The gooseneck attaches to the tractor with a 1-in. dia. pin that extends horizontally through steel plates bolted to both sides of the tractor. It allows the hitch to pivot up or down with the terrain.
  The gooseneck pipe spins freely on the ball hitch, so whenever Reynolds makes a turn or backs up, the mower deck is free to swivel left or right.
  "I came up with the idea two years ago and use it to mow my 5-acre lawn and also my horse pasture. It works great for mowing in fence corners because as soon as I turn, the mower deck automatically swivels 90 degrees. There's only a little unmowed grass left in the corner. It also works great for mowing back and forth along ditches. If the ditch is too steep to drive into it, I can shove the mower into the ditch for a ways and then back out. As I back out the mower will make a 180 degree turn.
  "The 60-in. deck cuts a little wider than the tractor wheels. The only problem is that the front castor wheels could be little bigger, because in soft ground the wheels tend to bog down a little."
  He stores the mower's original tongue on one side of the mower. "If I want, I can remove the gooseneck hitch, re-install the original hitch, and pull so the mower behind the tractor. It works great at an offset angle to mow ditches. It takes only about 10 minutes to make the switch," he notes.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Reynolds, 15826 Shermanville Rd., Linesville, Penn. 16424 (ph 814 683-4890).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3