NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Finger bar mower question  (Read 6347 times)

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Finger bar mower question
« on: July 03, 2013, 05:27:34 pm »
Hi all- I am considering using a finger bar mower to top (just lowish density of thistles after hard grazing over 3 acres) and also to cut about 3 acres of land that is slightly uneven in places. Are they difficult to handle in this situation? I assume the hay cut will not be as clean as a drum mower and I will have to go v. slow to keep my eye on the end 'toeing in'? Could that be uncontrolled and dangerous? Will this give me problems with a haybob, wuffler or baler? I will send in sheep to clear up the aftermath- I am not bothered if it looks tatty.
Many thanks - and for advice in other posts...it is really helping me get a clear(er!) understanding of what I need to do  :farmer:
Voss Electric Fence

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
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Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 05:46:46 pm »
A finger bar mower should do what you want fine.

However, they are much slower cutting than drum mowers. If the land is uneven or stony you may break blades if you cut too low. Repairing them is a pain because you have to take the whole blade out, drill out or grind off the rivets holding the triangular section of blade and rivet in a new section.

No problems using a haybob or wuffler after cutting.

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 05:52:06 pm »
Finger bar mower should work fine, as you say take it steady.  By extending the top link you can keep the mower looking upwards, which will help it ride over the rough ground.

On a note of safety, don't have anyone near when you are using it, do not get off the tractor with the pto engaged, switch the engine off if adjusting the mower.  If it jams beware of stored energy when releasing things, keep your fingers well out of the way !

Is it borrowed or are you buying it ?  If buying is it the older floppy type or the newer, with square frame ?

BlackBoab

  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 07:04:27 pm »
As the previous poster has said lengthen the top link .International mowers had an adjuster as well and for topping there were shoes at each end of the bar that you extended for topping.
regards bb

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 09:33:06 pm »
Hi all- thanks- I am just weighing this up vs. a drum mower at the moment. I fancy one of the older types. Would you suggest a newer more rigid type?

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 10:40:32 pm »
If you can run to a drum mower get one, they are better at there job, easier to maintain and spares more easily available.  If you go with the finger mower forget the early ones and get a later rigid framed model, they are now old technology, but were very successful in their day, and can still do the job.

Of course just to confuse the issue there were disc mowers which were ideally suited to the 135, ( a 5'6" drum mower being near the limit of what a 135 can handle) but they seem to really rare these days.

If buying a drum I wouldn't risk buying one without seeing it operating, they spin a massive rpm and need to be in balance, they could be uneconomical to repair if damaged. Hence my earlier suggestion of buying new.

The dilemmas of life !

Cheers stu
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 08:54:08 am by stufe35 »

crown42

  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 02:14:19 pm »
Hi there,
I realise that this is an old topic but it addresses precisely my dillemma.
You said that "  If you go with the finger mower forget the early ones and get a later rigid framed model, they are now old technology, but were very successful in their day, and can still do the job." Could you please tell me which year would mark the end of the Early Ones and which manufacturer would be generally regarded as the Rolls Royce of finger bar mowers please?

Stephen

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Finger bar mower question
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 09:56:57 pm »
The fergi ones are the most common and probably (I imagine)the easiest to buy spares for. They changed the design I've no idea what year. Early ones just look like a pile of metal.  Later ones have a solid square frame of round tubing where the 3 point linkage of your tractor fits, so are quite easy to recognise.
Early model:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Finger-bar-mower-old-tractor-massey-ferguson-t20-fergie-fordson-John-deere-/252416084068?hash=item3ac52bc864:g:NOgAAOSwsN9XBuXH

and later model.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MF-Finger-Mower-/222161272998?hash=item33b9d800a6:g:Z7YAAOSwmtJXaWJq


If you search 'finger mower' on ebay you will see Ransome, bamford , international all made them.  What spares are like to get for any model im unsure.  Its quite possible the knives are the same on all manufactures but I really don't know.  Remember they stopped making these things in the late 60s early 70s as disc and drum mowers took over.

They were a revelation in their day - but remember they took over from the sythe or a land driven horse drawn mower.  They still can be used very successfully so long as your expectations are realistic and you take time to set them up correctly and maintain them.

What are you proposing to mow and what acreage ?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 07:57:38 am by stufe35 »

 

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