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Side-Mount Mower Trims Hedges And Road Sides
Steve Flowers likes tall hedges along his property line for privacy, but trimming them used to be quite a job. His side-mount mower now makes trimming a snap and makes cleaning up road ditch sides easy, too. Simple hydraulics let him select the proper angle to cut across a 110 arc.
"I can tip the mower to a vertical position away from me or at a 20 degree angle facing me or anywhere in between," says Flowers. "It extends out about seven feet from the side of the tractor, and the arm raises the mower to five feet above the ground or lowers it to two feet below the tractor wheel if trimming a ditch bank."
Flowers used the existing front-end loader mount to support the mower arm. The loader joystick controls the two cylinders that raise and lower the arm and adjust the angle of the cut. An auxiliary hydraulic outlet at the back of the tractor runs the motor. While his initial design doesn't fold, Flowers is confident it would be easy to modify. However, he didn't want to add a third valve to the joystick at the time.
"The hydraulics, including the two cylinders, hoses and a motor to run the mower, were the most expensive part of the project," says Flowers. "I have about $700 in it. I had a lot of the other stuff, like the 30-in. mower deck. It's off an old riding lawn mower."
To unhook the side mount unit, Flowers drives up to two T-posts and lowers the arm between the posts until the mower rests on the ground. He then runs a chain under the arm, removes the single pin that locks the arm in the loader mount and sets the lightweight arm on the chain. All that's left at that point is to detach the 6 hydraulic hoses.
"I didn't want to have to counter weight it, so I designed it to be lightweight," says Flowers. "It only weighs about 300 lbs., and most of that is resting on the ground when hooking it up or unhooking."
The compact tractor Flowers uses for hedge and ditch trimming only puts out 8 gpm hydraulic flow. To get the mower blades up to speed, he had to play with different size pulleys between the hydraulic motor and the mower driveshaft.
"When I had it humming like a regular lawn mower, I knew I had it going fast enough," says Flowers. "It isn't built to use all day or on big bushes and trees, but it works great on small trees, hedges and big weeds."
Flowers likes his design so much, he is looking for a company that might be interested in manufacturing it.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Flowers, 781 SFC 267, Colt, Ark. 72326 (ph 870 630-3771).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6