Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:40 pm
I think the best solution here would be to hire someone to mow it with a gas powered trimmer.
Sounds way to wet to have a tractor around and still be safe plus the cost and dangers of weed killers sound like a bad choice to me.
Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:15 pm
I"m new to the forum and I'm sure this has been mentioned before many times but, every time I hear
someone talking about raising and lowering a sickle bar on a mower, my thought is be sure not to get your
fingers between the guards where the blade slides when raising or lowering the bar. I have a real funky looking little
finger on my right hand from learning this the hard way some 55 years ago.
Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:47 pm
I have used Roundup around my pond for 20 years, and it has not effected the fish at all. I have Bass, blue gill, and catfish in my pond. I do have stone all around the pond bank.. The stones go from the top of the bank down into the water. I spray the weeds that come up thru the stones.
Hope this helps.
Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:49 pm
The sickle probably wont work for the pond bank as has already been discussed due to being to wet or steep.
A couple thoughts anyway:
Lifting to transport position may not be necessary if you're close by. Mower is 5' (or 4.5') and Cub is about 5' wide. That'll easily go through a 12' gate or any similar opening. I've driven my Cub with a sickle about 1/2 mile down the highway in the lowered position. Have to watch out for mailboxes and signs though. Raising it makes it take up less room to park but that may not be an issue depending on available space.
You're only cutting at most a 5' width, so depending on how much bank and tall stuff you have, you'll still have to get within about 4' of the water.
Operating a sickle effectively takes practice. First gear on a Cub seems awfully slow until you try to operate a sickle and then it becomes Warp speed. You have to watch and keep the bar in the right place, at the right height, with the engine speed going fast enough to cut, that the grass is not clogging up, where's the end of the bar if there are obstacles to avoid, then try to keep the bar out of the already cut grass. Plus doing all that you still have to start, stop, and steer the tractor and operate the PTO.
Definitely get a second tractor if you have back issues. I put my sickle on in the spring and it stays on that Cub until fall. While it's easier after you do it a few times it's still a pain. I'm sure some sort of cradle/carrier could be made like some guys make for their mower decks. Changing back and forth between the Woods would also eat up a lot of time.
Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:03 am
And keep all pets and kids chained or inside. Well just the pets on the chain, not the kids. Many people don't realize how many pets and people have lost feet, fingers and whatever to a sickle bar. They are well hidden in tall grass and Ol' Bowser may run up to you before you can stop and there goes a leg. Kids get excited about Daddy on the tractor and are liable to come out of nowhere.
Also make sure the area to be mowed is clear of rocks, logs. fence posts etc. Sickle knives don't usually like those things.
Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:12 am
I would not use a Cub on a pond dam they are just too high center, don't ask me how I know, very dangerous
Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:21 am
Maybe I'm an old lady, but I wouldn't use my sickle mower on any ground over 10 degrees. Just this year, 2 guys in surrounding counties here have been killed when their tractors overturned on them.
That being said, look at your mower carefully, taking into account all the places where you don't want your fingers to be. They are good tools that do the job, but they are brutal and unforgiving.
The vibration causes the bolts that hold it on the tractor to work loose, so have a wrench with you and periodically tighten the bolts. Grease everything that moves daily.
If you can't find the drive pulley I posted a solution about a month ago.
Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:04 pm
Thanks gentlemen for the input. As a steward of the land, I certainly don't want to use any chemicals for fear of ruining not only my water, but possibly the waters below my land. This pond's water eventually flows into the Haw River, and that's big time.
As promised, here are some photos of the place:
(far side of pond bank with garden area in the background.)
far side of pond showing beginning of dam.
(near side of pond dam under pecan tree).
(Far side pond bank with trees pecan trees).
(pond dam with trees turning fall colors)
(near side pond bank near house)
(Far side of pond looking back towards house.
Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:15 pm
I will not address the mower issue, since it has been discussed thoroughly. However, I will wade in on the Roundup used on a pond.
Bottomline, even thou Roundup (glyphosate) works around a pond, IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE IT. PERIOD. Roundup is not labeled for use over water and to use it so is a violation and carries some very stiff penalties, penalties that you would not like to pay.
Rodeo is a glyphosate product formulated to work, and labeled, for use over water. USE THIS PRODUCT.
People who use pesticide products improperly are contributing to continued/increased regulations, regulations often not well thought out or effective. However, regulations that we must all live with.
READ THE LABEL. Apply according to the lable.
There, I will get off my soapbox.
Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:13 pm
Bill Hudson wrote:
People who use pesticide products improperly are contributing to continued/increased regulations
Not only do they contribute to increased regulations, they also contribute to the cost.
All products sold today whether it be a pesticide or any other material listed in the hazardous materials guidebook or beyond comes with an environmental disposal fee padded into the price because of consistent misuse of these products.
Not only do we pay for the product, we are paying for the cleanup of that product in case it is misused or spilled along the way.
A few decades of Carte Blanche hazardous materials disposal finally awakened the government, and probably for good cause, that we were polluting our land and water at a rate of no recovery.
We need to practice environmentally safe disposal practices in front of our children and grandchildren to impress upon them what was done 20 or 30 years ago with that leftover can of whatever may have not been the right choice.
I'm not a tree hugger, I'm trying to improve upon what I observed and practiced as a kid.
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Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:23 am
I use mine to clear overgrown weeds and small sapplings around a pond and along the woods. If the bank is a little sloped, you get a nice cut. I wait for a dry period to do it. The blade will work at an [up] angle as well. Requires a lot of brute force to handle the blade all around. I have a smaller sickle that attaches to the front of an old walk behind tractor. That one does a really nice job in tight spots and it's considerably easier to handle. I've taken that one into mud with no issues. Handles like a snow blower, but with bigger wheels.
Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:14 am
Believe me, I don't really care to use Roundup or any other chemicals around this pond if I can possibly avoid it. This water hole has served me in my younger years with many years of pleasure.
The swimming in the deepest part of the pond with the outside temperatures in the 90+ degree area, and floating around hovering just above the underground springs was a real pleasure for not only myself, but past girlfriends.
Yogie, I did try to get three different guys to weedeat around the pond. Everyone of them did it one time and one time only. They swore they'd never do it again, even though I was paying them. They all wanted quick money for the job. It takes a lot of time to weedeat around a pond and do it right.
I'm currently thinking about using my 2000 yr model Simplicity with a 50" mowing deck around the pond to see what it will do. I'm hoping there is enough mower deck overhang to at least get the worst of the grass/weeds. I really have little other choice right now.
I am going to see if I can find an older model garden tractor - Cub Cadet/Allis Chalmers/Simplicity/Sears Suburban/etc with a sickle mower attachment and see if I can get by with that. I'm aware that most of the engines in those tractors are oil sling, so I'll probably ruin the engine. But, maybe I can do an engine upgrade to a new model pressure lube and not have to worry about it.
Too bad my back and shoulders can't take the beating anymore. Oh well. That's life I guess.
Thank you all for your input. You've all raised some great issues to consider.
Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:47 pm
What you really need is a bat-wing mower that will mow depressions. That would take care of the grass on the side of the pond yet still allow you to keep the tractor on terra firma.
So far I haven't been able to find anything to mow the water side of my pond either. I will be paying attention to what you find.
Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:09 pm
Yea, don't bother with a Cub & sickle mower around that pond. I tried it at our pond at the Decoy Club, and it was worthless. Similar banks and you either could not get the bar down enough to actually cut, or it felt like the tractor was going to tip over. I handle the tractors for the club, and I recently picked up a Cub Cadet 1864 with a 54" mower deck. I like this machine because it still has dash mounted hydro lever, and a Kohler 18-hp Magnum engine with spin on oil filter and full pressure lubrication. I actually made 2 1/2" wide wheel spacers for the back and put Ag tires on the back. Tell you what, you can mow almost right down to the water's edge with that tractor. With the wheel spacers and ag tires, it is VERY stable. The 54" mower is nice too, because it mows about 10" wider than the rear wheels. The dash mounted hydro lever is nice because you don't have to worry about having a foot available for the ground speed control, if you shift your butt around on the tractor to balance things out, you can always reach the dash lever to control the ground speed.
I think your Simplicity Landlord will work good, and you may even think about the wheel spacer and Ag tires. Also, your Simplicity should be a full pressure lubrication engine, with a spin-on oil filter, so there's no way to starve the engine of oil. It also has the dash mounted hydro controls, which I think is a plus (for this application) Sounds like the way I'd go if it were me. Another Simplicity to look for may be a Conquest or a Prestige. They are the same size as the Landlord, but newer, and were offered with 54" mower decks. I had a Conquest before buying my Legacy 4x4, and I still think that it was a better mowing machine than the Legacy. The nice thing about the Conquest is that it is still a manual lift, manual steering machine, so all the power from the engine goes to the tranny and PTO. The Prestige is the exact same tractor, with hydraulic lift and power steering, so you have some power losses there, and it's a bit heavier because of the extra equipment. The down side to either of these is the foot controlled hydro controls. Just not sure if that would work if you had to shift your weight around on the tractor, and couldnt reach the pedal.
Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:02 pm
Hi Bill - Gitractorman.
Here's some photos of my Simplicity:
Left Side of the Simplicity.
Right Side of my Simplicity.
Left side showing differential lock lever.
This Simplicity has a 50 " mowing deck with gator blades on it. Auto traction control (Posi-traction for some of us folks), and then the locking differential. Locking differential is nice, but you lose your steering. The tractor wants to go in a straight line, so use cautiously!
I bought this tractor after moving from the old place, so I have no idea how it will work. I'm thinking now that maybe I can use this to get close to the edge of the pond bank, then use the Cub with the Woods 42 to do the rest. Doing it that way means *more* seat time, and both tractors get some usage.
The Simplicity does have spin on oil filter and pressure lube. With the rollers on the back of the mowing deck, that should provide some extra stability near the edge of the pond bank. It does have foot controlled hydro, but it also has those pucker factor hand holds on the fenders too.
I'd still love to have a Farmall Cub with sickle mower to do this chore, but safety is a primary factor here.
Now what do you think? Floor is wide open gents.
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