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Built an ATV tow behind mower

35-acre

5 year old buck +
2 mowers, some wood, some wheels, and old hitch, and about 12-15 hours (including 2 trips to the store and time out to buy the 2nd mower).


I tested it out. It tows, both mowers run without blades touching, the wheels are adjustable up/down. All-in-all a good weekend.


Next weekend, I try it out in the field.
 

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Kdog

5 year old buck +
Hey y'all, watch this....

in all seriousness, it's a great idea, just not sure how safe it will be.
 

Ruffdude

A good 3 year old buck
I like your ingenuity but think it's a nice template and would be driving it down to the nearest fab shop to have them duplicate it out of steel.
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
I'll let you know next week. In the meantime, enjoy this photo montage... LOL!

Lag bolts in all 4 corners (not shown in photos).
The mowers are good.
The deck is 3/4". If it starts to give away, I'll buy some metal.

For me, I've got to store this stuff 3 miles in the woods on a dead-end road. A lot of stuff grows legs. And locks and buildings don't mean much. So I don't have a place to store a tractor (nor do I want to spend the $$). Each time I pull up to my place and my riding mower is still there I'm shocked. This setup cost me about $100. It's not something most guys would want to steal so I think it will be there for a while.

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Telemark

5 year old buck +
I've been planning something like this for a while. Looks pretty cool. Did you treat the wood with anything?
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
I've been planning something like this for a while. Looks pretty cool. Did you treat the wood with anything?
I was the same - thinking about it but not having gotten around to it. I had seen a version on another site. I made a couple of adjustments to that design:

* Like the adjustable wheels.
* The placement of the motors. The design that I saw had a 2 x 4 in the middle on the underside for support. That caused a section of grass (in my case this would be clover) to not get cut. So I took that out and placed the blades within 1/2" of each other.
* The other design had a pin system for towing behind something that was attached right to the deck. But the deck would be really close to my ATV tires if I did that (I probably wouldn't have much of a turning ratio). I had the hitch laying around and used that and by extending it out about 18" I have the tightest ratio that my ATV will give me. AND... by going this route, I have the same support in the middle but it's on the top-side of the deck.

I haven't treated it yet. I plan to paint it. The 2 x 6 frame is pressure treated, the 3/4" plywood is not.
 

cavey

5 year old buck +
My first thought was "job security" but In a strange way I like it.... It got me thinking as my pull behind is up on jack stands right now waiting for some repair work to be done...

I am curious how she's going to take the first solid blade strike on a rock or stump.... the stall your motor kind of a hit, my mower blade is belt driven off the crank.... but millions of push mowers are direct so ....

I really like the wheel elevation Idea.... That is a brilliantly simple approach to a problem for elevation, only issue would be the pitch of the blades which a drop or raised receiver could correct.

You'll have to let us know how it holds up or blows up. I think it could be wickedly interesting.

I get the concept and reasoning so... :emoji_thumbsup:
 

jsasker007

5 year old buck +
Please replace the wood with steel. Shouldn't cost more than a couple hundred.
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
1/2" between blades seems a little dangerous. If that wood flexes or the mowers tilt a bit, they could hit and then all hell could break loose. I'm not sure how you have them rigged up to run or stop but you might want to figure out an engine kill button.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
Mount a go pro on your rear ATV rack facing the mower since this will get interesting. If you are mowing a flat lawn/field with light vegetation it might work for a little while. If you are going to use it on slopes or in areas with wood or rocks I don't think it will go well. But I wish you luck either way.

I sheared a bolt on the tongue of my Swisher rough cut mower when I went over an uneven patch of ground that turned the front of my rough cut brush cutter into a road grader. The wood tongue would likely snap off if you hit dirt with the wooden frame and tongue. I used a homemade wooden tongue on an old disk I pulled out of an overgrown fenceline and it worked really well for about an hour!

I like your height adjustment plan for the wheels though. I wish my brush cutter had a simple way like that to adjust height.
 
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Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Redneck stuff I make too lol
Love the idea, I am working on getting a used Swisher pull behind but I was toying with the idea of taking 3 push mowers and doing roughly what you have there, but keeping the metal decks, just joining the 3 alongside each other and put larger wheels on them since I will be mowing plots at 8" as opposed to lawns at 3-4".
Good stuff man, stay safe bud!
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
Thanks for all the feedback. I will definitely have to get some video Ben!
The two mowers definitely run really well together - but time will tell.

Like Troubles Trees - I am only planning on top-cutting my clover, not mowing anything short like a lawn. I've used my rider in this clover field and recently just my trimmer so, I'm good on the rocks side of things. I've gotten any big ones out years ago and if my rider can do it without finding rocks, which cuts a LOT shorter, this should be ok.

I started out by looking at some of the "purchase options" and what's out there is either really (REALLY) expensive for what I want and where I can store it OR it won't work with my ATV. So, this will be a fun adventure. For what it cost me, I've learned a ton and like Dr. Frankenstein - I'm proud of my creation!

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Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
This should work really well. If it works as planned you have the brush hog you've always wanted. If it hits a big stick and explodes into a giant flaming mushroom cloud you could make enough off the youtube views to pay for a new ATV and brush cutter. You win either way!
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
And Ben - I'll have the video based on your recommendation.
 

Telemark

5 year old buck +
I've never had a mower explode when I hit a stone or stick. It just breaks the shear pin / flywheel key and stops the mower.
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
I've never had a mower explode when I hit a stone or stick. It just breaks the shear pin / flywheel key and stops the mower.
That makes me feel better.... much appreciated.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Just a thought ... you may want to consider a metal top plate below the engine mounting face and under the wood deck. Vibration on wood will quickly wear the mounting stability. It would act as a heat shield to the wood also.
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
Tha
Just a thought ... you may want to consider a metal top plate below the engine mounting face and under the wood deck. Vibration on wood will quickly wear the mounting stability. It would act as a heat shield to the wood also.
Thanks. I'm going to be watching for that. The mounting is my #1 concern for sure. It's just bolts through 3/4" plywood. So If something starts to go, that's what I think will be the first thing.

I'm also going to be setting up a kill switch for each motor that I can trip from my ATV. I watched a quick video on doing that - and it's a trip to the store to grab 2 rocker switches. Basically those just act as a ground to the spark plug (like an older motor). So that will be added before I go into the field.
 
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