Ask anyone who has tried it; the John Deere
Model B and the Number 5 Mower were, and perhaps still are, THE perfect
combination for mowing small fields. The tractor is large enough
to power the mower in tall grass, but small and agile enough to
make the 90 degree turns that are necessary to do a neat mowing job.
Just so as not to show any prejudice,
I would venture to guess that any color tractor of similar size
would do just as adequate a job. The important thing is that
it must be a rowcrop tractor with individual rear wheel brakes,
for making tight turns.|
Here are a few shots of me, mowing the field the way it used to be done, with a 1946 John Deere Model B, and a No. 5 mower. The tractor is the "early styled" type. It has an electric starter and hence, a "long hood". The mower is "semi-mounted" with a "quick-tache" arrangement. You back up into the mower and two round pegs slide into two clamps. You close the clamps, hook up the PTO, and you are almost ready to go. The only other thing that is necessary to do is to have a way to raise the cutterbar from where you are sitting in the seat. This can be done with a cable and pulleys from the rockshaft, or hydraulically with a remote cylinder. I chose to use the mechanical foot pedal mounted on top of the left rear axle. It is connected to the mower with an adjustable steel rod. I also have the hand-lever on the mower on the right side, behind me. I like this arrangement because I can use the pedal to raise the bar slightly to get past small obstructions, and if I push the pedal all the way down, the handle on the lever will lock the bar in the up position. Then when I am ready to resume mowing, I just reach behind me and squeeze the handle to unlock it.
This cutterbar is seven feet long! As you can see,
the grass lays down neatly behind it. The wooden "Grassboard" on the end
of the bar pushes just enough grass away from the unmowed part so that
the inboard shoe of the cutterbar travels on bare ground on the next pass,
and does not get tangled with already mowed grass. The round rod that
extends out of the board helps the board do its job in very tall grass.
When the shoes are set low, as they are here, the mower can even do a decent job on a large lawn, as long as you are not TOO fussy. I use it on mine, especially later on in the summer when all it needs is a quick trim and doesn't want to be cut too close.
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