It’s spring, and there always seems to be a few weeds or brambles that didn’t get clipped in the fall.
If you plan to use a rough cut mower to clean things up, take a few minutes before you start to do a little preparation. Time spent up front will keep your mower in good shape for years to come.
As with any implement, make sure everything gets properly lubricated. Make sure safety shields are in place and tightly secured. PTO shields are critically important. An unshielded PTO shaft is an invitation to tragedy, and it takes only seconds for a loose bit of clothing to wrap itself and its wearer around the shaft.
Rough-cut mowers should be equipped with either a slip clutch or a shear pin. Either one will protect your mower’s gearbox should you run the mower over a hidden fence post, rock or other “immovable” object.
If your rough-cut mower has a slip clutch, it needs to be able to slip. Make checking it part of your pre start up routine. Simply loosen the clutches, and start the mower up. The blades shouldn’t spin if the clutches are free. If they do, shut down the mower and tractor. Disassemble the clutch, and separate the disks. All it takes is a little moisture to cause them to stick together.
If your mower uses shear pins to protect the gearbox, toss a couple of extras into your toolbox. The day you don’t is the day a pin will shear, just as the day you don’t check your slip clutch’s slip is the day you hit that post and wreck what otherwise may have been a beautiful spring day.