2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Ganged Mowers Flex On Uneven Terrain
"I started out with three mowers in a rigid gang, but it wasn't big enough, and it didn't flex," says Kuntz. "When I went to five mowers, I made some changes. Now they flex on uneven terrain and come apart easily, if needed."
The gang of mowers consists of two mowers in the front row with a mower following on each side and in the center. The gang structure is designed so each mower is connected independently of the other mowers. The gang pushes the front two mowers while the rear mowers are towed.
The key to the gang's flexibility is a short length of channel iron that's positioned between the two front mowers and rigidly attached to the center rear mower. Two 33-in. lengths of 1 1/4-in. steel tube are bolted to the rear decks of each front mower with about 11 in. overhanging each deck toward the center and bolted to the ends of the channel iron. The single bolt hinges the tubes to the channel iron and allows the front mowers to flex separately from the center rear mower.
Each outside rear mower is connected to the gang by 2-in. wide steel straps. The straps form a V with their open ends bolted to the mowers and the point bolted to the end of a short length of 1-in. steel tube. The other end slides into the free ends of the 1 1/4-in. tubes. The combination of steel strap and a single bolt connecting them to the tubing allows them to flex individually. In order to back the gang mower up, Kuntz ran a third strap from the front bar to one side of the V straps on each of the mowers. This acts like a stabilizer, keeping it in line with the other mowers without affecting flexing action.
"If I want to drop the outside mowers, all I have to do is pull a pin and slide the 1-in. tube out," says Kuntz. "For the other mowers, I just have to pull a couple of bolts."
The tow bar or tongue of the gang is a 1 1/2-in. steel tube. It's pinned to the front of the channel iron.
"When I built my first three mower gangs, I bolted the connectors between the mowers directly to the decks," says Kuntz. "The deck material is too soft and can't take the flexing. On these mowers, I bolted steel tubing to the decks and then bolted the straps or other connectors to the tubing. That reduces wear."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Kuntz, 19328 State Highway 104, Glenwood, Minn. 56334 (ph 320 634-3212; dmkuntz @usfamily.net).
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