PDA

View Full Version : BushHog Mower Deck repair Ahead



Mondo
12-07-2008, 12:24 PM
After installing the bucket extenders ( http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=25045 )the tractor owner directs my attention to a pair of rotary mowers. Says when they hit hard stuff the blades tend to rise up and score the underside of the sheet metal deck. Both have a circular ridge in the top surface where the sheet metal has been deformed upwards from this action. At the front of one deck the metal has been sliced through. Pictures below.

Owner is thinking of 3/8 flat bar on top, installed at regular intervals perpendicular to the circular damage. I am thinking of heating and hammering back into reasonable flatness, welding up the openings, and cutting a large circular ring from 1/4" plate - perhaps 2" to 3 " wide, and welding this under the deck as a wear surface. Would have to be continuous, smooth and flat all the way around. Could be done in sections, welded and ground flat where the sections meet to maintain uniformly smooth surface.

I am open to any suggestions or recommendations on how best to repair this and perhaps reducing this from happening in the future (other than plowing, dozing, leveling and reseeding the fields he mows.)

gordon stephenson
12-07-2008, 12:44 PM
Hello Mondo,
Just my line of thinking, but adding 3/8£ plate under the bed is going to make the contact a whole lot worse. How long has it taken for the blades to do the damage we see? I would be thinking about flattening the existing ridges a little and plating on the TOP side. If it's taken a while to reach this condition maybe plate underneath with 1/8" which is most likely thicker than the original bed.

Cheers Gordon.

mrmikey
12-07-2008, 01:04 PM
We have similar mowers at work although on a bit bigger scale as they are attached to a grader. The mower head and booms are independant powered via a Cat 3208 running a 40 and 12 gpm hyd pump.
I've made a few mower heads using 1/4" for the actual deck and they still get beat up i.e. cut thru. Averaging 4-5 years before it's totaled.
What I'm trying to say is it's just a cost of doing business IMHO. You could put a piece over it for protection from flying objects but it's going to end up the same way. Only alternative is to only mow lawn greens :)
On the same note, couple of years ago one of the blades let go while the machine was mowing the shoulder on one of the back roahds. The blade, roughly 3" x 16" x 1/2" thick flew off and stuck in the side of an old farmhouse, lucky no one was around. I still don't see why they're not banned, damn dangerous machines.
They have them off the graders now for snow removal, I'll take a couple of pics if I get a chance....Mike

flatbustedbroke
12-07-2008, 01:48 PM
Our brush hogs have never gotten to that point. I would check the bolts that pin the blades and any other area that could have worn and allowed this much slop to occur also check to see how much the deck flexes as it might be easier to just put an additional 1/4" plate under the gear bow . Something has to either have worn or is allowing to much flex.

lugweld
12-07-2008, 02:03 PM
Mondo,

This damage is a result of abused and neglected blades. The blade bolts are loose or bent. Or the gearbox's shaft may also be slightly bent. The stump jumper may be loose on the shaft. Either case, it can be a dangerous condition. Make sure he puts new blades and bolt kits on it before he starts or it will happen again. Check the nut on the stump jumper if it has one.
What brand rotary cutter is it?

There is no "fixing" to that kind of metal once it is stressed to that point. The machine will just start to flex more and eventually the stress will lead to failure at the point where the gear box is attatched. Ever see that happen? You don't want to be within a 1000 yards because heavy pieces of metal will fly that far at the speeds they turn.

The best thing to do is start over with 1/4 in plate. Cut all the frame work off and use the old piece for a pattern. The original is probably only 11 gauge. Trying to brace this thing up is not worth the effort or the time. It is an inexpensive cutter at that.

I have fixed several and telling you from experience: don't try to patch. Either fix it with new plate or tell him you will build him a new one for less than a cost of a new one from a dealer using the basic frame parts, which is essentially putting new plate under it, but at least it sounds better.

specter
12-07-2008, 03:23 PM
Problem with most brush hogs is that they do not have stump jumpers installed.

I have repaired alot of brushhogs usually the damage is done by keeping the unit running on the ground level with those side runners resting on the surface of the ground.

I keep my Dixie Chopper off the ground by at least an 1" and normally 1/1/2" in rough ground. Even at those gaps between the ground I still stuff that has heaved thru the ground surface.

Given the shape/condition of the deck in that picture is would try to fix it. Best thing to do would be to cut the deck off and use heavier guage steel on the deck.

Also if those blades are bent then you need to get some new ones.

Tom

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 03:27 PM
Mondo,

This damage is a result of abused and neglected blades. The blade bolts are loose or bent. Or the gearbox's shaft may also be slightly bent. The stump jumper may be loose on the shaft. Either case, it can be a dangerous condition. Make sure he puts new blades and bolt kits on it before he starts or it will happen again. Check the nut on the stump jumper if it has one.
What brand rotary cutter is it?

There is no "fixing" to that kind of metal once it is stressed to that point. The machine will just start to flex more and eventually the stress will lead to failure at the point where the gear box is attatched. Ever see that happen? You don't want to be within a 1000 yards because heavy pieces of metal will fly that far at the speeds they turn.

The best thing to do is start over with 1/4 in plate. Cut all the frame work off and use the old piece for a pattern. The original is probably only 11 gauge. Trying to brace this thing up is not worth the effort or the time. It is an inexpensive cutter at that.

I have fixed several and telling you from experience: don't try to patch. Either fix it with new plate or tell him you will build him a new one for less than a cost of a new one from a dealer using the basic frame parts, which is essentially putting new plate under it, but at least it sounds better.

I think Lugweld's right. If the gearbox is still good, and blades are good, it would be the best way to go.

I don't know what kind torch you have/don't have, but it ought to be real easy to cut it apart if you're real careful.

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 03:34 PM
One of the most handy, and most dangerous things on anybody's place. On older tractors I've even heard of them climbing over the top of the operator.

I've got a 6' Rhino, and it's stout. It'll cut a cedar that's about chest high, but leaves punji sticks for your tires and cows to encounter later on. Also does a neat job of cutting rear tires when stuff comes flyin' out the front(chains or no chains)

Mondo
12-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Lugweld:
Both units are Massey's. One is RC500, the other is RC600. MF specs show the decks as 10 gauge. You offer good advice. I will need to make some measurments and do some arithmetic to see what the increased weight will be to replace the top deck with 1/4" plate.

Farmersamm:
I have a Harris Port-O-Torch kit. I am sure the torch is big enough, but if I use O/A I will get bigger cylinders. I also have a Hypertherm Powermax 30. I think that will be the cutting tool of choice. MUCH cheaper to operate. :)

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 03:44 PM
Lugweld:
Both units are Massey's. One is RC500, the other is RC600. MF specs show the decks as 10 gauge. You offer good advice. I will need to make some measurments and do some arithmetic to see what the increased weight will be to replace the top deck with 1/4" plate.

Farmersamm:
I have a Harris Port-O-Torch kit. I am sure the torch is big enough, but if I use O/A I will get bigger cylinders. I also have a Hypertherm Powermax 30. I think that will be the cutting tool of choice. MUCH cheaper to operate. :)

Cool.

And it might not need 1/4 plate on the rebuild. You might be able to get away with 3/16 depending on how you feel about it. The extra 1/16 adds quite a bit of weight and cost. I'd have to look for my weights chart. Maybe someone else has one handy

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 03:48 PM
here we go.

3/16 weighs 7.66lbs/sf

1/4 weighs 10.21lbs/sf

specter
12-07-2008, 04:01 PM
Use your PowerMax 30 to cut off the ole deck as close to the frame as you can get. Using the plasma cutter will not only be cheaper to run than the oxy/axy torch but you'll get a cleaner cut with less heat warpage on the steel.

Gee Sam one of my most favorites at cutting time is the dredged Black Walnuts. Without shields on a deck I have sent those green baseball sized nuts everywhere. Thru windows, siding and out into the road where they have taken out car windows. That is why brush cutter shields are so important.

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 04:15 PM
Spector- I used to have some chain aprons on the thing, but most of the chains got torn off. I need to replace 'em. They helped somewhat, but I still got tire damage once in a while. You are absolutely right.

the Q
12-07-2008, 04:19 PM
i rebuilt mine using 1/4" plate all around with 3/8" chain front and back. the extra weight is an added benefit because the mower doesn't flex and jump as much.

Mondo
12-07-2008, 04:20 PM
Hello Mondo,
Just my line of thinking, but adding 3/8£ plate under the bed is going to make the contact a whole lot worse. How long has it taken for the blades to do the damage we see? I would be thinking about flattening the existing ridges a little and plating on the TOP side. If it's taken a while to reach this condition maybe plate underneath with 1/8" which is most likely thicker than the original bed.

Cheers Gordon.

I wouldn't put the 3/8 repair material under the deck. Owner wanted to put strips of 3/8cross-wise to the damage on top. I don't think that will gain him anything but weight, and perhaps more damage. My idea was to fabricate a wear ring of 1/4" installed under the deck so when the blades flex up they have something thicker to wear against, but I have my doubts about how well this would actually work. I think Lugweld is right- replace the entire top deck surface - with something thicker than the original (MF web site specs say 10g.) 3/16 will add about 100 lbs to the machine, 1/4 will add about 225 lbs. The weight is not a problem with the hitch, but maybe with counter balance.

We have plenty of time to investigate details and options while the snow flies. This repair is slated for mud season, 2009. Responses from everyone are all helpful. Thanks!

-Mondo

Scott Young
12-07-2008, 05:01 PM
i just rebuilt one finished it up this month. the gear box was in relatively good shape. i had the bearing redone on it as the bottom bearing was a little gritty. i then cut the bracing and deck off. with a 10 ga new deck i put the bracing back and she was good to go. the mower was a woods 7 foot. the deck had rusted out from underneath. it was a chore to say the least. over all it would have been cheaper to buy a good used one.

lugweld
12-07-2008, 05:15 PM
10 gauge material should be about 3/16 or slightly under. Massey just marketed those mowers. They were originally made by another company, of which I can't remember, maybe Taylor/Pittsburg.

Specter, most all rotary cutters in the last 20 years have stump "knockers" or "jumpers" whether they are the stamped dish style or a fabricated "european"style. If they have a round dish underneath of any type and not just a T-bar, they are considered to have a "jumper".

Even the cheapest: Howse, Darrell Harp, Southern and Kodiak, all have these features.

specter
12-07-2008, 07:00 PM
I have the stump jumper on my Wood's Dixie Cutter. But recently I went to tractor supply and noticed they had the brush hogs standing on end, none of the brush hogs in stock had a stump jumper on them or anything that looked like one. I did not see any nearby the brushhogs either. But when I went over to John Deer in town I noticed their brushhog did have stump jumpers installed as well as chain guards front and back. The tractor supply brushhogs were also missing the chain guards.

Tom

lugweld
12-07-2008, 07:40 PM
Around here, King Kutter is there standard line for TSC. All the KK's have stump jumpers per there site. http://www.kingkutter.com/WholeGood.asp?item=liftkutter

Chains are required only if you have employees operating mower.

Are you talking about finishing mowers?

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 09:06 PM
They sell the King Kutter here at Atwoods. I think Tractor Supply has them up in the northern part of the state near Kansas.

I've never really liked their stuff. It seems ok for light use, and that's about it. But it's probably good stuff for a guy with small acreage and light chores.

lugweld
12-07-2008, 09:20 PM
Its decent stuff, there are cheaper built things out there. It is fairly strongly built in comparison to its price, but there are a lot better looking products out there. There rototillers are well built incidently.

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 09:25 PM
Where are they made. The rototiller I saw a couple of weeks back looked like some of the ones built in China.

:angry: GD fly just fell in my beer:angry: Ain't throwin' out half a cup of beer. I guess I'll rescue the little creep

lugweld
12-07-2008, 09:39 PM
No, I had investigated there tillers for some proprietary reasons I can't discuss, and the majority are built in the USA, but their gears are China. So is every rotary cutter or anything with a gearbox on the market made now, with exception of possibly some of Bushog equipment.

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 09:44 PM
Well I hope that damn fly had some propriety, and didn't whizz in my beer before I fished him out:laugh::laugh:

specter
12-07-2008, 09:49 PM
nope not a finishing mower it said brush cutter on the label. with no price. I guess I should have asked the saleperson. But either way I am not in the market. Next time I go in TSC I'll ask.

Tom

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 09:53 PM
nope not a finishing mower it said brush cutter on the label. with no price. I guess I should have asked the saleperson. But either way I am not in the market. Next time I go in TSC I'll ask.

Tom

What is the difference between a finishing mower and a regular brush hog? I've seen them advertised on auction bills, but never actually looked at one.

Mondo
12-07-2008, 10:14 PM
... :angry: GD fly just fell in my beer:angry: Ain't throwin' out half a cup of beer. I guess I'll rescue the little creep

Reminds me of old joke:

Restaraunt patron: "Waiter! Waiter! What is this fly doing in my soup?"
Waiter, closely examining the patron's bowl of soup: "Monsieur, it appears zee fly is doing zee back stroke!" :laugh:

lugweld
12-07-2008, 10:14 PM
Finishing mower is what it looks like you could use around your house.:laugh::laugh: Keep those blazing grass fires away from your jungle.

These are belt driven machines that fit on the three point that have heavy duty(or not) lawn mower type blades and are available up to 7ft+ widths. Make quick work of a big lawn, as fast as any Z turn. May have up to 5 blades.

Mondo
12-07-2008, 10:36 PM
What is the difference between a finishing mower and a regular brush hog? I've seen them advertised on auction bills, but never actually looked at one.

First off, Bush Hog, though a term commonly used in reference to rotary cutter type field mowers, is actually a trademarked brand name. See www.bushhog.com

I haven't found a bona-fide definition of either, but the difference seems to be the maximum diameter of the material to be cut. Most general purpose rotary field mower spec sheets I have seen list maximum cutting diameter (material to be cut) as 1 1/2 ", sometimes more. Finishing mower brochures I have seen do not list such a specification, the machines are intended for large lawn type mowing where there isn't anything larger than a blade of grass. Golf course fairways come to mind, though around here most of those are cut with gangs of reel mowers.

-Mondo

ps: what Lugweld said. Nice picture, too!
-m

farmersamm
12-07-2008, 11:25 PM
First off, Bush Hog, though a term commonly used in reference to rotary cutter type field mowers, is actually a trademarked brand name. See www.bushhog.com

I haven't found a bona-fide definition of either, but the difference seems to be the maximum diameter of the material to be cut. Most general purpose rotary field mower spec sheets I have seen list maximum cutting diameter (material to be cut) as 1 1/2 ", sometimes more. Finishing mower brochures I have seen do not list such a specification, the machines are intended for large lawn type mowing where there isn't anything larger than a blade of grass. Golf course fairways come to mind, though around here most of those are cut with gangs of reel mowers.

-Mondo

ps: what Lugweld said. Nice picture, too!
-m

Well, a "Bush Hog" is what I am when I get lucky:jester::jester::D

Now a "Brush Hog" is one of these:jester::laugh:

This ol' girl will cut up to 3" dia. cedars. 6" slip clutch instead of shear pin. Go slow, and it'll do it. Makes one hell of a lot of noise, bucks pretty good, and powers on.

I have a clutch driven PTO on the tractor, and between the clutch on this thing, and the tractor, sometimes things get pretty hot cutting heavy stuff. Not something to do on a regular basis:nono: Slows down when you hit the stump, and speeds up after ya roll over it.

Got crazy once, and was trying to cut some pretty heavy stuff, and tore the battery boxes offa the tractor when the trees hit 'em before passing under the rear axle.:blob2:

It's an old timer, probably around 30 some years old, and pretty heavy. All original, and every bearing in it stamped Timken USA. Gears made outta good ol' Pittsburgh iron.

weldbead
12-08-2008, 12:25 PM
maybe hes a polite fly and wants to top it off for you?:D

Bruce
12-08-2008, 06:16 PM
Finishing mower is what it looks like you could use around your house.:laugh::laugh: Keep those blazing grass fires away from your jungle.

These are belt driven machines that fit on the three point that have heavy duty(or not) lawn mower type blades and are available up to 7ft+ widths. Make quick work of a big lawn, as fast as any Z turn. May have up to 5 blades.

I have both, the finishing mower,and a bush-hog, we cut our padock area with the FM, easy to sharpen, belts are even easier. The bush hog/stump-jumper is another story, we jack it up and sharpen the flale blades with a grinder.
The HG is almost to big for my little 23 hp 8N Ferd!
( :help: said the Ferd)

lugweld
12-08-2008, 06:55 PM
Make sure you have a overrunning clutch. You don't won't to be pushed a half mile through a fence and down a ravine. Its happened you know.

Bruce
12-08-2008, 06:58 PM
Is that the gismo on the pto?

lugweld
12-08-2008, 07:01 PM
It could be... Does it go clickety clickety clickety when you disengage the clutch? Does the PTO shaft continue to turn?

farmersamm
12-08-2008, 07:31 PM
Bruce-- It looks like this, and works like the old bicycles. Allows power one way only, otherwise coasts.

mrmikey
12-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Finally got some pics of the bush cutter that I had mentioned awhile back. It was raining outside + cell phone camera so ...
The origonal was a Roanoke Bush cutter that mounted on a grader like this one http://www.roanokemfg.com/brushcutter.htm . It had a few problems, the hydraulics (tandem hyudraulic pump 30 and 12 gpm or close to it) were driven via a direct coupling from the grader engine. You had to keep the revs up to keep the cutter head running at a good speed which led to a problem. Not to mention the twist it was putting on the main frame of the grader.
The grader was travelling too fast and wouldn't cut properly. Slow the engine down and the cutter head slowed down, a catch 22 situation.
Soo a co-worker and myself were asked if we could come up with something, we had a bunch of Cat 3208 diesels kicking around, from there it kept getting bigger and bigger until we ended up making a complete unit.
I did most of the steel work, he did most of the mechanical and we met in the middle :-)
Ended up rebuilding, no, better term building, the cutter head from scratch reinforcing it where it loked like it needed it etc. That led to the booms being too light, yep, made them stronger too, more weight = a bigger main boom cylinder went from 5" to 6".
Carries 40 gal fuel, 150 gal hydraulic fluid, totally self powered other than the grader to haul it around obviously. Once you drop it down using the moldboard hydraulics you can use the booms to crab it out from under the machine.
First one we made we had to test it of course. It'll take a 6" pine and starting up as high as you can reach will pulverize it down to a stump almost as fast as you can drop the boom. It was chucking pieces of wood the size of paint cans 60-70' at least, scary weapon.
We ended up making 5 all told.
Don't ask what it'll do to a telephone pole guy wire :-). or a bag of floor dry.
I'm gonna half to get a better camera if I keep hanging around here..Mike

lugweld
12-12-2008, 08:43 PM
That thing is a tazmanian devil. We have those here. They cut the trees back that crowd the road. The technical term is "tree cutter" isn' t it?

farmersamm
12-12-2008, 08:43 PM
Man o Man.:eek::eek::eek:

The nuts on that little puny thing of mine just puckered up and fell off.

THE TERMINATOR:blob2::blob2:

farmersamm
12-12-2008, 08:49 PM
It's a damn shame you can't go out and do this kinda stuff on your own. The startup costs would be a killer, but you turn out good stuff. I mean really good stuff.

lugweld
12-12-2008, 08:54 PM
Samm,

You can get a boom mower for your Oliver. They are about 10k. Hydraulically driven through the remotes. The sub contract that out down here in many areas such as the power company and state road dept.

Mondo
12-12-2008, 09:14 PM
... It was chucking pieces of wood the size of paint cans 60-70' at least, scary weapon.
...

That will keep the spectators away! :gunsfirin

-Mondo

farmersamm
12-12-2008, 09:29 PM
Hey Mondo, have you had time to start yet?

Mondo
12-12-2008, 09:40 PM
Hey Mondo, have you had time to start yet?

No, mower repair is slated for mud season 2009. Late March to early April I figure. 1st mowing will probably be mid to late May, early June at the latest. We shall see what the owner decides to do over the next three months. Meanwhile I'm keeping my day job. :)

-Mondo

mrmikey
12-12-2008, 10:46 PM
They cut the trees back that crowd the road. The technical term is "tree cutter" isn' t it?
Yep, we call 'em mower, bush cutter, widow maker plus a few more unprintable. They have a hard life, you can imagine the vibration and strain on.....everything. Propane cylinders in the ditch are a bitch too, the operators tell me some scary tales.


The nuts on that little puny thing of mine just puckered up and fell off.
Nah, like they say, size doesn't matter, it's how you use it:D. You wanna know scary? First one we did we had to know the speed of the cutter head, I volunteered to hold the tach on the outputshaft as it was running. How do you do that you ask? by standing on the mower head, while it's running full tilt and hold the tach against the motorcoupling.now that was a major pucker moment. Not clear in the picture but the actual cutters protrude past the leading edge of the hood, walk too close while it's running, poof, your new nickname is stubby.


It's a damn shame you can't go out and do this kinda stuff on your own. The startup costs would be a killer, but you turn out good stuff. I mean really good stuff.
Thanks Samm I appreciate that,

On another note, we work on these in the summer, they'll come in and need something repaired, usually on the head. One came in a couple of summers ago at quitting time, figured ah hell, I'l, start it in the morning.
Walked over to it the next am and was looking at the head. Did you ever look at something and you, for some reason, could not get you eyes focused. that's what happened to me, it looked like the cutter head was moving, somthing like when heat comes off a pice of plate, wavy.
After regaining my composure and balance I bent over to get close and have a look see. Ended up it was moving alright, the complete head was covered in a sheet of tiny white maggotts, 'bout the size of a Rice Krispie, damn near dropped my cookies right on the spot. Needless to say, the steam bay got a quick visit.....Mike