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15588Re: [IH CUB LoBoy Series] Sickle Bar Mower on a 184?

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  • Mike Sloane
    Jan 1, 2010
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      Having spent a fair amount of time on a Farmall Cub with a No. 22 sickle
      bar mower, I would not be enthusiastic about the idea of cutting hay or
      maintaining an orchard with something similar on a 184. Yes, the 184 has
      the advantages of being lower and having an electric PTO, which are Good
      Things. The problems are more with the nature of sickle bar mowers
      themselves. First off, I should state that they are one of the most
      dangerous implements you can find hooked up to a tractor - they can cut
      off a finger without even noticing and have done so too many times to
      even think about.

      But the real problem is that it takes a fair amount of power at fairly
      high speeds to cut hay. That means the mower has to be set up almost
      perfectly - the sections (blades) have to be sharp and firmly attached
      to the bar. The position of the blocks and fingers have to be exactly
      right, the guards have to be in good shape, and everything has to be
      aligned exactly. If any of those things aren't right, you are going to
      either miss a lot of hay or have to be clearing out the mower
      frequently, or both. (I am speaking from experience here, unfortunately.)

      Another problem with the 184 is that you only get three speeds to work
      with (unless you have the "creeper" gear set). Third is useless for
      cutting, and first is probably too slow, so you are left with second,
      which might, depending on conditions, be too fast.

      If I were going to cut hay with a sickle bar mower, I would look for a
      somewhat larger tractor with a better range of speeds and a three-point
      mounted mower. I happen to also have a Farmall 340 with an IH 100
      (pitmanless) mower. The 340 has 5 speeds and a Torque Amplifier which
      drops the ground speed by about 1/3 in any gear. That combination is
      very good for field cutting but wouldn't be much good in the orchard.
      For that, I would opt for a 340U (U for "utility" - essentially a
      machine that looks like a 184 on steroids) or something like that. I
      bought a 240U from a farmer who had been using it for years to maintain
      an orchard, and I can see that doing the job also (although it has only
      4 speeds). <http://public.fotki.com/mikesloane/international_240u/ns.html>

      All of this is just "food for thought". I am not saying that what you
      are thinking about is wrong or won't work; you just need to weigh some
      of the positives and negatives.


      rick wrote:
      > First off, Happy New Year. I don't post often, but have gained much
      > knowledge from the various posts.
      > I have a 184 with the regular underside grass mower. However, we are
      > going to be cutting some hay and maintaining a small orchard next
      > summer, so I am thinking about mounting a sickle bar mower on the 184.
      > The old Cubs had a nice little belly mounted bar mower, but I have never
      > seen such a unit on a the newer tractors.
      > Does such an animal exist that is made for these tractors? I imagine
      > adapting an older Cub bar mower to a 184 would involve a lot of adaptation.
      > Thanks.
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