Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:02 pm

Tried mowing some grass hay tonight using my "new to me" cycle mower for the first time.
Mower wants to clog up with grass. The cut grass wants to cling to the top of te cutter bar and within 5' I've got a pile of hay instead of a windrow.

Does my cutter need sharpened or replaced, or could there be something else wrong.
I've been mowing hay for 20 years with a Haybine, but the 22 mower is new to me.

Any help appreciated.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:13 pm

The knife sections and ledger plates need to be sharp and in close contact with each other for the cutting action to take place. What you describe would lead me to believe that the sections and ledger plates are not close together. Also check the knife register. Information is in the C-22 manual found in the Manuals link at the top of this page.

Bill

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:15 pm

Bill Hudson wrote:The knife sections and ledger plates need to be sharp and in close contact with each other for the cutting action to take place. What you describe would lead me to believe that the sections and ledger plates are not close together. Also check the knife register. Information is in the C-22 manual found in the Manuals link at the top of this page.

Bill

I agree with Bill. If the cutter bar is not in contact with the ledger plates, the grass will be bent, not sheared cleanly. Ed

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:19 pm

:Dito: Also maybe try adjusting the pitch of the cutter bar, roll it back I would say. I typically have to adjust mine based on what I am cutting and what the terrain is. Good luck getting it honed in, thats always the best part in my opinion.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:23 pm

In addition to what the others have suggested, it sounds like your knife clips are worn and need a little adjusting with a BFH. They help keep the knife sections and ledger plates in close contact. Also, make sure everything is well lubricated to reduce friction.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:37 pm

An old mower you may find the ledger plates are worn and do not have sharp corners. They can be replaced. The cutters need good sharp edges too. The tension and even contact others have mentioned is important too.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:15 pm

In addition ground speed and engine speed will make somewhat of a difference on top of everything already mentioned. You have to have the engine going fast enough to cut the grass, and the tractor going fast enough to get out from under the cut grass as it falls rearward over the bar.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:09 am

Thanks guys. I'll play some more this weekend.
Had to load hay and haul some manure last night, so I ran out of time to work on dialing in.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:45 am

Most of us my age grew up with a sickle bar mower being the only power option to cut hay and clip pastures. It was not until recent years that a rotary mower came about and had a great impact on cutting grass. Most rotary mowers just keep on mowing, cutting thick brush and grass and even small trees. A sickle bar is much more fragile and temperamental. Even though the C-22 mower on here (I have one) gets a lot of favorable press, it is only a fair machine at best, for cutting grass. Because of these limitations of a sickle mover, the fairly new disc mowers took the hay cutting by storm, when introduced.

As stated above everything has to be set almost perfect to make mowing with a C-22 fun. The register has to be correct, sections either new or sharp, sections good contact with ledger plates, along with the right speed of tractor. You want to run the tractor as fast as you can and still stay on the seat. This lets you "runaway" from the cut. It is usually better to have the leading edge of the guards tilted up to allow the cut grass to fall back.

Another thing is, you cannot cross over already cut grass as you can with a rotary mower. This will clog the bar every time. That is the purpose of the grassboard; to clear a path for the next round of cutting.

My 2 cents worth.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:07 am

Interesting post. Just one thing, if you change the spelling to "sickle" it will be more searchable.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:18 am

I confess I quickly skimmed the comments, which were all good and on point but I did not see this one. Wet grass is tough and will clog sickle guards. Do not try to cut grass before the dew is off or until the grass has dried following a rain. As the saying goes, "hay when the sun shines." This concern is not as important with a rotary cutter.

Re: Cycle mower clogging

Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:44 am

challenger wrote:I confess I quickly skimmed the comments, which were all good and on point but I did not see this one. Wet grass is tough and will clog sickle guards. Do not try to cut grass before the dew is off or until the grass has dried following a rain. As the saying goes, "hay when the sun shines." This concern is not as important with a rotary cutter.

Agreed. A sickle mower is more suited for cutting weeds and hay (stem type plants). Grass is a finer, soft textured material and better suited for rotary cutting. A sickle mower can cut grass, but as stated in the above posts, the better it is maintained and set up the better chance it will have cutting grass.