Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Using a Grey Fergie T20 For Grass Cutting

Masterco UK Ltd is a specialist in the Compact Tractor and Machinery market. With many customers in the Equestrian , small holder , large garden with paddock and commercial sectors we are often asked “Can you supply a mower for use with my Grey Fergie?”

Well the answer is Yes, but there are some important safety issues to consider along with the fact that T20 Grey Fergie tractors are usually well over 50 years old!

Which type of mower?
There are a number of different type of mowers around. The most common types are Topper mower, Finishing mower and Flail mower. All will work with the T20, however the type of mower is linked to the grass that’s being cut. Paddocks are usually dealt with using a Topper mower. Lawns, parkland and sports fields are suited to a Finishing mower. Verges, footpath clearance such as around fishing lakes or banks are more suited to a Flail mower.

Preparing the tractor
The variety of T20’s built means that there are a number of variants in use today. The simplest division is diesel power or petrol  (TVO). The diesel provides a bit more power and is usually the more suitable for mowing. Petrol is fine, but is less powerful and sometime not too happy if the engine is working hard.
I have used petrol /TVO tractors with 4ft toppers, 4ft and 5ft finishing mowers but never with a flail mower. The T20 was fine with the mowers and coped quite easily. We cut some quite long grass with very good results. I have used a 4 Cylinder Diesel with a 5ft Topper and it worked very well. The tractor was happy to drive the machine and was capable of lifting it on the rear hydraulics. I feel that a Flail mower is not really suitable for a T20 as these mowers require very high revs to work effectively plus a slow forward speed.
If you are going to run a T20 with a mower,  you need to ensure the tractor is running well.  Check the cooling is OK and that the engine, either Petrol or Diesel, is running well and is happy to rev and a maintain an even  RPM  when under load. The first issue to deal with is the PTO. A Grey Fergie as standard has a 1 1/8 inch shaft. All current equipment has a 1 3/8 inch shaft. This means that some form of an adapter is needed.

PTO adapter & Overrun Clutch.
There are 3 basic adapters available.
1 Sleeve type
2 Male and female adapter
3 Over run clutch with adapter
By far the best and safest is the Overrun clutch adapter. They cost usually less than £100 and are quite easy to fit. The reason they are the best is that the provide protection for the transmission  and allow the operator greater control particularly when using a Topper, as they prevent the tractor being driven forward by the inertia from the spinning blades. Masterco has a stock of overrun clutches for T20’s
Safe use of a topper.

This is where the age of the T20 comes into play and also the way the PTO and Hydraulics operate. The Hydraulic pump is in the back axle and only pumps when the PTO is engaged and spinning. This means very simply that you can only raise or lower the rear arms when the PTO and any connected drive shaft is rotating under power. It’s obviously not safe to raise a spinning blade and drive off down the road! If you raise the machine and disengage the PTO then the arms will lower down.
There are only two methods to deal with this. Either disconnect the PTO drive shaft with the engine stopped. Then restart, engage the PTO and use the Hydraulics as normal. The alternative is to raise the mower with PTO engaged then , using a chain or stay bar to take the weight, lower the mower and disengage the PTO. This means that the mower is supported for transport use and does not require the PTO to be engaged. Never touch the PTO with the engine running. Always stop the engine before touching the PTO.

With care your Grey Fergie will happily run a modern topper. The machines that Masterco supply are CE tested and come with an operators manual.

Masterco are always happy to offer any advice and supply the PTO overrun clutch. Call us on 01278 686352 or 07590 443499.