Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:21 am

Hey folks. It's been a while since I posted, so I decided to start our week off the proper way. :lol:

Here's my question: I know very little about a Farmall Cub with a sickle mower. I do have a Farmall Cub, but it has a Woods 42 on it.

I'm expecting to move back home to where there is a nice pond. I will not mow the backside of the pond dam, but will do the front side. One of the local farmers just finished mowing around the pond for me with some kind of tractor that had a sickle mower, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't any kind of a Farmall.

So, please tell me about the operation of a Farmall Cub with the sickle mower mounted. This includes taking the sickle mower from the upright position to the normal mowing position. What happens in those steps?

I'm sure there is plenty of vibration there too, right?

Please fill me in as this is an option I'm looking into for next year.

Cheers!

BTW, Rick Prentice: I'm still enjoying the goodies you made for my Cub.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:57 am

Not exactly sure what you're looking for, because the steps are pretty obvious once you have the mower in front of you.

It takes some bull work to lift/lower the bar because it's kinda heavy. There's a rod that holds the bar in transport position, which is held with a special nut. You undo the nut while pushing in on the bar, then remove the rod and lower the bar into mowing position. Then you go back and stow the transport rod in a hole in the top of the mower's head, and reinstall the nut.

To go back to transport position, reverse the process. Again, the bar is heavy, so if you've got a bad back it may not be the solution for you.

Also switching back and forth between the 42" Woods and the sickle will take a long time, and you'll have to do it about once a week. Pick one mower or the other, or get a second tractor.

You really just have to take the mower out and use it, and feel it out for yourself. Start in 1st with a low throttle setting until you get used to it. Then you can speed up the process.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:03 am

Matt,

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. The description you gave is enough information for me to know not to mess with this thing.

I would have bought a separate tractor, but the deal of bad back + two bad shoulders is a deal killer. I'd read where the sickle bar was heavy, but I thought that was pretty much for installing - not using.

I'm going to have to rethink how I can mow around the edges of the pond to help keep it clean. Weed eating will do a number on my back and shoulders, so that isn't really an option either.

I'll figure something out.

Thanks for your reply. It is very much appreciated.

SS

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:22 am

SundaySailor wrote:I would have bought a separate tractor, but the deal of bad back + two bad shoulders is a deal killer.


I can relate to the agony caused by running a string trimmer with a bad back, I just can't do it.

If you were able to aquire a second cub dedicated to sickle bar mowing, once the mounting of the implement is overcome, lifting the bar to and from the highway transport position can be done with a come-along ratcheted up at a comfortable pace.

I could sickle bar mow for hours but 50' of fence line is impossible for me to do with a weed whacker.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:28 am

Use Roundup or similar where you cant mow?

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:44 am

Another thing to think about, they were designed to run level with the tractor, or just slightly below or above. To run at much of an angle above or below the cub you need a balance head mower, which are pretty rare for a cub. A different line of thought would be to get one of the trail mowers. The have their own engine and hitch to the drawbar. Many have a tongue that can be offset to the side, allowing the to reach well over to the side and allow mowing a wider swath when combined with your Woods 42 or used without the woods for reaching down the pond bank a ways. They are not cheap however normally running in the price range of $1300 to $1500. You can get them at most Farm Supply places or at ATV stores, though the ATV places normally have higher prices. Here is a listing for one from Tractor Supply.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/swisher-re ... hp-4414324
Make sure it has the offset hitch though, not all of them do.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:58 am

Dale Shaw wrote:Use Roundup or similar where you cant mow?



Dale, can you use Roundup around a pond that is stocked? Does it dissipate enough to not poison the fish? I'm also concerned about runoff to neighboring land.

John, I looked at that tag behind mower. It looks good, but look at the wheels on the side. One of them would be in the water before the mowing blades would hit the grass. I would think it would want to pull itself into the water.

Those were good points to bring up about the angle of the sickle mower. I was wondering about that too.

I do have a Simplicity Landlord garden tractor with a 50" mowing deck on it. I'm wondering if that might be able to have enough overhang without endangering myself or the tractor.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:57 pm

Yeah, probably not the best implement to be messing with, with a bad back. I got the feeling just by the way you were asking, that back issues were a factor in your decision...

If you happened across a "balanced head" mower, those can be fitted with power lift to raise the bar to transport position, but those for a Cub are pretty rare.

Part of the reason for the growth on the pond banks is erosion protection. You don't want to kill off the vegetation with Roundup.

How steep is the bank? Can you just run around the pond with the Woods 42?

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:01 pm

Rick:

Roundup is a contact based pesticide and should be inert if it hits the ground or water. However with that said, I don't use roundup near my pond - I am not sure how my trout will respond to it or the other biologicals that inhabit that area of our yard. I think the tag-a-long mower may be the best option. I have seen a number of home built (nicely done ones) tag-a-longs to increase the swath size and it can be accomplished using pushem type mowers. It can be done frugally :D

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:25 pm

"How steep is the bank? Can you just run around the pond with the Woods 42?"

The ground next to the pond is very, very wet year round. This pond is supplied with underground springs all over the place. Even in the upper garden area, I remember many years ago hitting wet spots during July (no rain) when plowing with the old Super A. In fact, I managed to get the the Super A stuck a couple of times.

So, it isn't just a matter of the bank's steepness, but also how easy it would be to hit a soft spot and end up in the water. That was the primary reason why I considered a sickle mower - I could get reasonably close and let the blade hang over the water without any real problems. Well, unless a bass jumped up to get some of the grasshoppers and other insects being sprayed whilst mowing and it happened to get caught in the sickle bar mower. Minced meat fish anyone?

Rudi, thanks for the info on the Roundup. I'm very leary about spraying chemicals in this area. Not just for the fishs' sake, but also because the water does drain onto someone else's land below me. I don't want any kinds of problems with accidentally poisoning the water.

I will try to post some photos of the pond area in question soon. I did take some over the weekend, but just haven't had time to upload them yet.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:11 pm

Rudi wrote:Roundup is a contact based pesticide and should be inert if it hits the ground or water.

For Roundup to kill a plant, it must be taken into the plant, typically through the leaves. It is (as far as I know) not taken up by roots and thus any that hits the ground is not effective. It has a pretty short half-life when it gets into the ground. So it breaks down and is gone quickly. However, I do not believe that the same is true if it gets into water. It may persist if it actually gets into the pond water. I base this suspicion on the fact that I can mix up a batch in a hand sprayer and use part of it. If I pick it up MUCH later, I find the spray is still effective. It is no doubt degrading over time, but the rate seems to be pretty slow.

I will happliy withdraw that observation if someone has documentation otherwise.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:52 pm

This is getting off topic, but here is some light reading on Roundup, fish, ponds, breakdown time, etc.

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/ex ... e-ext.html

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:21 pm

LeeC wrote:http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html

Interesting. It looks like, in a broad sense, the time to break down in water isn't much different than in the soil. This comment:
An additive used in the Roundup formulation (modified tallow amine used as a surfactant) is apparently more toxic to fish than many common surfactants. For this reason, the formulation for use in aquatic situations (Rodeo) omits this ingredient.

along with the rest of the information, seems to indicate that using it around a pond is OK if you use the alternate version. I wold probably still keep it out of the water if the pond drains on down to another body of water.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:33 pm

I have never used Roundup around a pond, but have used it under fence rows, etc. Remember, it kills everything, so soil washing into the pond and bank erosion will become a problem. and late the same year or early next year will get a bunch of tall weeds from their seeds blowing into the area and germinating.

Re: Please tell me about using a Farmall Cub Sickle mower

Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:35 pm

Jim:

As usual you are more eloquent than I am. That is precisely the point I worry about.

Rick:

The article says Rodeo is a better choice, but again I am leery. One other problem in using herbicides around ponds etc., is that if you kill all the vegetation then you have sediment wash problems. I know over the last couple years I have had huge problems with sediment entering my pond from the property next door. That is the biggest problem in fish health (I raise trout). I would not even contemplate using a herbicide especially on the inside slopes of my pond given the experience with soil erosion.