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48" 3 Point Hitch Finish Mower Price Question

6031 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  xfolkboat
If I had the opportunity to buy a 3 PTH finish mower with under and hour on it for $1200, would that be a fair deal? It's under an hour away. Would I be happy with it on a 7020? I plan on using it to keep a field under control. I plan on mowing high (between 8" and 12") once or twice a year. I was told I might have to use a case drain with it, but would my relief valve keep me safe?

Thanks for the help and expert opinions.

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The 3 pt finish mower is the same basic deck as used on all the garden tractors and should perform in a similar fashion. If that is what you have a need for then the price is probably fair for a like new unit. It sounds like what you really want is a hydracutter (bushhog) that will cut through heavy growth easily. I would not want to do any significant amount of mowing with a 7020 due to the slow ground speed but the speed would be fine for a hydracutter.
A "finishing mower", whether it is front-mounted, mid-mounted or rear-mounted, is designed to mow lawns to a maximum height of 3 1/2 inches. They were not designed for field work. The 4 foot Hydra-cutter is best suited for that application because it uses one pair of blades that swing on pivots to protect themselves and the mower deck. The finish mower uses three blades that are fixed.

The Hydra-cutter is like a trailer that is towed. It follows in the path of the tractor while following the contours of the ground. The finishing mower is mounted on the three-point and if you have the mower in the air, it will bounce up and down with the tractor when you are driving over rough ground. I suspect that you will be in the seat much longer with the finishing mower than with the Hydracutter.

Like Bart, I have no problem with the asking price because a new one is double that amount. For me, the issue is whether a finishing mower is the best tool for the job and in my opinion, the answer is no. Will you be able to cut the field with the finishing mower? Yes, it will do the job as long as it is grass you are cutting. The Hydracutter will easily handle small bushes and tiny trees that are sprouting.
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I have an Ingersoll 6018 with an HRM48H 3 pt finish mower.
Based on your needs, I don't think the 3 pt finish mower is a good choice
1) Utility - As Tom and Bart mentioned, the 3 pt is not a first choice for field mowing.
2) Price/Benefit - While $1200 might be a reasonable price for the mower, it is a high price to pay for a piece of equipment that you once or twice a year.

If I were in your shoes, I would be on the lookout for a used Swisher/DR style tow-behind brush/trail mower. It will probably cost less, and can be pulled behind ATVs or other tractors (non Case/Ingersoll).
Just buy a 644 or 646 and you can put a regular mid mount deck on it for $1500
The field is only grass with no shrubs or brush. I pay my neighbor $75 to mow it once a year and he ruts the hell out of it with his huge JD tractor ag wheels. It is rolling hills and a little wet in one spot. I used to have a 44" Swisher offset trail mower, and it sucked. I was trying to pull it with a craftsman tractor, but when I wasn't stuck, I was scalping the hell out of the ground. I couldn't get it to mow high enough. On the off chance that I could find a hydra-cutter for the same price and condition as this deck, how high could mow with it? What if I splurged put Meg-Mo blades on it?

ING6018: When you use the finish mower, do you set the 3pth on float and set the height with the wheels on the deck? I've never seen one up close.
You don't see too many hydracutters for sale but they seem to sell in the $600-800 range when they do pop up. I can't tell you the max cutting height off hand but I'm sure it's higher than a finish mower. You wouldn't need Meg Mo type blades on the hydracutter because it already has the swinging blade tips.
Hops_Farmer said:
On the off chance that I could find a hydra-cutter for the same price and condition as this deck, how high could mow with it? What if I splurged put Meg-Mo blades on it?.
A Hydra-cutter will cut as low as 1 1/2" or as high as 6". It discharges to the rear which means you never have to cut the same grass twice and you are free to travel in clockwise or counter clockwise directions at will. These are a very rugged mower and they weigh in at a hefty 310 pounds. Make sure you choose a HC48 or 1048 model and not a AHC48 because the latter model needs 10 gpm minimum to spin it up to operating speed.

Your loader should have a case drain coupler on the rear of it, not far from the other two couplers for the PTO. Any attachment that has three lines, must have all three lines connected or you will blow the front seal out of the motor.

You won't find a Bush Hog/Brush Hog style mower around that will cut at 10 inches. Installation of the optional front bumper that clips onto the Snap Fast mounts is highly recommended when mowing fields as it helps protect the front of the tractor.
Hops_Farmer said:
ING6018: When you use the finish mower, do you set the 3pth on float and set the height with the wheels on the deck? I've never seen one up close.
On the 3 point mowers, mowing deck height is adjusted by 4 spacers (1", 3/4", 1/2", 1/4") that are repositioned on the bottom of the rear caster wheel shafts to raise the deck. The front is supported by a chain that attaches to the upper bars (top link).

Here is where it gets iffy-
All the posts I found online indicate that the deck should be operated with the 3 point in the float position. However, in this position, the front of the mower
(and lift arms) are supported by the chain. This puts a lot of weight on the clevis pin where the chain attaches to the top link. Last weekend, the pin broke
and ended up with the chain getting tangled up in the mower blades.

I rummaged around and found the operators manual. According to the book, the 3 point is not in the float position when mowing. The instructions say to lower the 3 point until the cylinder rod is completely retracted.

The 3 point mower also requires a Cylinder Rod Mounting Adapter (as it is called in the Operator's manual). This adapter attaches to the top of the lift cylinder rod attachment point at the rock shaft.

It consists of Ingersoll Part#
C33210 ARM - lift cylinder
C28105 RING - retaining
C29693 PIN - clevis ½"

I do not have this part and suspect it gets misplaced and forgotten over time.

Here is a view from the parts list

This is a view from the operator's manual.

Look at the diagram from the Operator's Manual and notice 3 key points:
1) The adapter moves the rod attachment point outward and lower than the normal attach point.
2) The adapter has an elongated hole where the 1/2" clevis pin attaches to the lift rockshaft. This slot allows some free motion of the lift arms (independent of the cylinder rod.
3) This part is only used with the 3 pt rotary mower.
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I agree, look for a Hydracutter. Then you can let the field grow a few years, mow it with the beast, and the fuel savings will let it pay for itself.
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