Around 45 years ago my father bought a quick hitch International 22 seven foot sickle bar mower to mow hay with behind his of favorite Farmall 400 diesel tractor, 1957 model!!! It was that same mower today, only behind my favorite 1969 JD4020 (see photo) The itch to dig the mower out of moth balls began last week when noticing the corn ground left fallow (cropless) this year to spread manure on during the summer months, had a small hay crop on it! Luckily this field is one of our smoother ones, with few stones, sand so far we have been spreading manure on land we are reclaiming.
After a coin flip, I jumped into the skidsteer with chain in hand and headed to the shed housing the old equipment, where she sat waiting almost 10 years to be used!!! With a ride in the bucket to the shop the once-over began. A change over from a quick hitch to three point hitch was done years ago, but at the expense of the original PTO shaft. The replacement shaft needed to be shortened. Next the Pittman it attaches to was worn; this is the main point that runs the sickle bar knives that do the cutting.
The perfect fix would be to dismantle everything so I could weld up the shaft, then machine it down to proper size! With this mower being 45 years old, that is not happening! Istead, many slivers of flashing material were cut out so I could shim up the shaft under the bearing the Pittman rotates on! A new knife replacing one that was broken, also checking thru storage in the shop, some doubles were found. Air tool grinder in hand, one double becamne two singles… With no new parts, just a lot of old fashioned cobbin’; without even crossing my fingers, went right ahead and engaged the PTO!That sound, if you have ever heard it; the cuk-cuk-cukof a sicle bar in motion…how sweet it is!!! Even being late, time to start chores with Carol, I just had to do it; went for a test run around the field, or maybe six… What can I say, it’s soothing!!!