The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: jbthecamel on September 20, 2015, 07:55:13 pm

Title: how to set up a topper
Post by: jbthecamel on September 20, 2015, 07:55:13 pm

I have a topper powered by a PTO i use with my 25hp Kubota tractor.

It is the type which has a wheel at the back.

I am completely new to this and i wonder if somebody could give me some pointers as to how to set it up ?

At the front of the topper there is what i would assume to be a skid plate on each side, and as i said on the back there is a wheel which has 5 adjustment holes, I guess for different heights.

My question is I guess is the topper supposed dragged along the ground on the skids, in which case what is the point of the rear wheel, or is the lowest it should go being the lowest setting on the rear wheel with the front held up in the air with the three point linkage ?

Hope that makes sense ?


Title: Re: how to set up a topper
Post by: shep53 on September 22, 2015, 12:40:33 pm
Sorry only just noticed this post , various design of toppers with wheels but basically  they run on the skids and you lower the wheel to alter cut height , the top link when on the ground should be loose ( maybe chains to the rear should be loose only tightening when lifting ) you can lift or lower the skids slightly if you want on the tractor arms .   The rear wheel design allows you to go round corners or backwards with out the skids damaging the ground .   Hope this helps
Title: Re: how to set up a topper
Post by: stufe35 on September 22, 2015, 01:23:32 pm
It is advantageous to hold the front of the topper up slightly on the hydraulics of the tractor rather than letting the full weight of the topper just drag along on the skids.
-Creates less wear on skids
-Less strain on linkages when turning
-Less damage to the ground especially in damp conditions.

Ideally to set up park tractor and mower on a level yard.
1.  Remove the top link.
2.   Set rear wheel on the topper to the height you want.
3.   Lift hydraulic arms so skids are say 2 inches off the ground. 
4.   Mark the position of your hydraulic control lever so you can easily regain this may have a           stop you can adjust/set
5.   Reconnect your top link adjusting it to suit the length it now needs to be.
(it should rattle around with no pressure on it when you grab it. Too short it will have tension on it. Too long it will be in compression (unless the topper is one with chain stays going to the back in which case the top link should be long enough to leave these slightly slack- it enables the topper to follow the contours of undulating ground better))

Away you go.

You can fine adjust your hydraulics to get the ride height right  if you are unhappy ie the skids touch the ground too much or the cut height is too high. it will depend how uneven your ground is. The skids will sometimes touch the ground, this stops the machine going too low and damaging your blade; it's fine.

If going gets too hard due to heavy crop lift hydraulics a bit more, cut once, then go over the land again at the lower height.

Hope that helps

Ps you can usually alter the height of the skids too , this is normally a spanner job and if the topper is old they will be siezed . The rougher the ground the higher you want the skids set, to protect the blade from contact with the ground.
You should seek an operators/user manual for your topper....a Google search will often turn up a free download.....reading a manual of another make is better than nothing.--read the manual for your tractor whilst your on a roll.

On a safety note,
1. Be aware stones can be flicked out of the topper at high speed, so always make sure bystanders are well clear when using the topper.
2. Never get off the tractor with the PTO still running...
3. Always switch the tractor off when attaching the PTO or making adjustments.
4. Do not wear loose clothing in particular scarfs when using PTO driven equipment...imagine what can happen if your scarf caught the pto whilst you are sat on the tractor. (it has happened)
5. If your PTO does not have a functioning guard..treat yourself to one, they might seem a little expensive..but what price do you put on your arm ?....or indeed your life. Its no good buying the guard after the incident !
Title: Re: how to set up a topper
Post by: jbthecamel on September 25, 2015, 07:46:50 am
Thanks so much for your help, i know where to start now.  In particular the safely aspects

Title: Re: how to set up a topper
Post by: bazzais on September 26, 2015, 12:21:26 am
Dump it on the floor, drag it round, listen to your engine and topper - and lift when stalling :)
Title: Re: how to set up a topper
Post by: stufe35 on September 26, 2015, 06:41:49 am
There are people that keep sheep.....and then there are shepherds ; you just have to work out which one you want to be.