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Author Topic: cutting weeds/grass on dam  (Read 1478 times)

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Offline ljmathias

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cutting weeds/grass on dam
« on: November 25, 2017, 09:28:00 PM »
Hey, all, need some advice on inexpensive (but not necessarily "cheap") equipment to cut the top slope of my dam and areas around the ponds on the land. Too steep a slope to tractor or use a mower of any kind that I have. Been looking at boom mowers but would need a much bigger tractor than I have now- wasted money for me. Also seen some pull-behinds and flail mowers that would work on one of my smaller tractors so I wouldn't have to take the backhoe off my biggest one.

Ideas? Suggestions? Leads? and using hand tools is pretty much out of the question. Not that my age is the problem (yeah, right) but I tore a part of my rotator cuff and it's healing real, real slow. May not get full function back in that arm, darn it.

Oh, I can't just kill everything with Roundup- dam would erode away. I did try a really risky technique a few years ago: launch my smallest tractor with bushhog over the edge of the dam and hand on for deal life as I careened down the face into the roll out at the bottom. Tedious, too, as I could only cut 4' wide at a time. Wife didn't like it for some reason...

LJ
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 09:35:13 PM »
If I remember right one of the other members would use some pipe hooked to his tractor bucket and suspend an old push mower from the pipe to mow around his pond. Is there any chance of getting a picture of the area ? If you used long enough pipe and had multiple attachment points you could mow as far as the pipe is long.
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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 12:55:18 AM »
I'm making one now...

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2017, 07:08:40 AM »
2, 4-D Amine will kill the leafy weeds, Sweetgums, etc. and leave the grass.
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Offline Papa1stuff

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 04:38:38 PM »



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Offline ljmathias

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 07:59:55 PM »
My daughter has the goats in the family but they stay on her side of the creek.

Kbietz: I love the design but there seems to be something missing? Or is it just me?

I actually thought of a slightly more elaborate version of this design, using front and rear mounted pipes tied to one of the old riding mowers siting in the barn now- bought a zero-turn last summer, something I should have done years ago for the few acres we keep cut. As to the riding mower suspended down slope- I need a way of shortening or lengthening both front and back connectors the same amount without having to jump off the tractor every time. Ideas?

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Offline Corley5

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 10:55:31 PM »
How often does the area need to be cut?  Maybe hire it out to someone with a weed wacker and liability insurance ??? ;D :)
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Offline Don P

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 11:20:44 PM »
Ventrac  ;D

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 01:27:00 AM »
My daughter has the goats in the family but they stay on her side of the creek.

Kbietz: I love the design but there seems to be something missing? Or is it just me?

I actually thought of a slightly more elaborate version of this design, using front and rear mounted pipes tied to one of the old riding mowers siting in the barn now- bought a zero-turn last summer, something I should have done years ago for the few acres we keep cut. As to the riding mower suspended down slope- I need a way of shortening or lengthening both front and back connectors the same amount without having to jump off the tractor every time. Ideas?

Lj

It's not finished yet. It needs the hydraulic motor hoses and clys put on.
I got the pump mounted.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 01:15:09 AM »
What about hooking multiple push mowers together with some hinge type brackets so they can move with the terrain. Modify them so they are rear discharge, get a worm drive type of hand powered winch and run it off a drill for extra speed also you have an easy forward and reverse. It will still take some time to mow it all depending on how much hill you have to mow and the speed of the drill. There are always used push mowers on Craigslist.
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Offline ljmathias

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 08:42:54 PM »
Interesting idea but way more complex than I can use. Forgot to mention that the terrain around the dam and pond is uneven plus I have other areas on the farm that are too steep to cut normally. Oh, well, I'll keep looking- did find some relatively light side mount mowers that might work including one that has it's own electric start engine. Just need to secure it to something to pull it along. Good news is I have all winter to work on this. Bad news is the house we're building is taking up all my free time. If it's not one thing it's another- Rosanna Rosannadanna. Or maybe it was, It's always something.

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 11:07:31 AM »
nevermind
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Offline John Mc

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 02:06:59 PM »
Have you considered one of those walk-behind, self propelled brush mowers? DR Field and Brush Mowers are one option. Not cheap, and I don't know a lot about the brand. I'm sure there are other brands out there (a lot of what DR Power sells seems to be clones of someone else's idea after their patent ran out).

One thing I do like about the DR Power Brush cutters is that they make attachments so you can swap out the brush cutter for other implements (snow plows, snow blowers, chippers, etc.) A nice idea if you happen to need any of those other functions.
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Offline Don P

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 04:54:12 PM »
There ya go, a Gravely with a sickle bar.

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 05:51:08 PM »
I saw one of these working on a ridiculously steep slope in Toronto a few years back.



Too much $$$ for me. I temporarily solved the problem by adding a 1/4" rope to a push mower and letting it roll down the slope, pull it up, move over and repeat. I permanently solved the problem by adding a flail mower on a quick tach to my Kubota excavator. That sucker will destroy grass and anything up to around 4" in diameter.
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Offline Don P

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 06:40:01 PM »
That thing ought to be able to recognize grass and work all by itself. Return to shed for fuel or service. I want the one that recognizes multiflora and autumn olive and swings out a chainsaw neatly right above ground level  :D

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2017, 09:21:39 PM »
I like the goat idea. :D :D :D :D
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Offline Briankinley2004

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2017, 10:01:13 PM »
bobcat makes an attachment for their "mini" excavators. If you can find one to rent thats probably best route.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2017, 11:17:28 PM »
We mow dam, embankments and road shoulders with a Kubota diesel zero turn.  We bought it for that purpose, it has a very low CG and has pretty wide set tires.  It will mow a much steeper embankment than my tractor.  It will slip sideways before it flips.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2017, 12:47:49 AM »
Quote
It will slip sideways before it flips.

Which could get interesting when there is a pond at the bottom of the slope. :D surfer-smiley
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2017, 06:05:11 AM »
 :D Well if the story gets told you might be surprised how many mowers of a sort have taken a dip in a pond .Guilty myself .

Offline ljmathias

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2017, 06:27:22 AM »
Yeah, put one in my own self. Luckily it stopped before the engine was submerged: pulled it out with the backhoe, so no harm done except to my pride- wife wondered why I had two "tools" in use at the same time...

Got a zero turn now and that helps a lot but not on the water side of the dam. It won't climb to the top or even close on the down side, though. Slips a lot which tears up the sod making things even worse.

Gotta be some low cost and effective way to do this. Probably DoD has funded a laser powered version that is a military secret? Or Elon Musk has one that's battery powered?

How about this: three point hitch mounted rod held perfectly at 90 degrees but able to rotate up and done. Put an electric winch on it down to a push mower attached to the rod with a circular clamp that's bigger inside diameter than the rod so it can move up and down the rod. Every pass forward and backward, winch the mower up toward the top for another cut. Might be slow but seems like it might work. Any engineers out that for comment?

LJ
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Offline John Mc

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2017, 08:18:57 AM »
:D Well if the story gets told you might be surprised how many mowers of a sort have taken a dip in a pond .Guilty myself .

Guilty, and have photographic evidence that a Craftsman GT5000 is not, in fact, amphibious:
(my apologies to the OP for this topic drift, but hope you find this entertaining)

Back in December 2013 I was snow-blowing the pond for use as a skating rink. Prior to going out on the ice, I punched a hole in it about 6 feet out from shore to check the thickness. It was about 6" thick - plenty to support the little garden tractor (7" will support a car). I started snowblowing, spiraling in towards the center. As I got near the middle, I saw the ice change color. It was then I remembered that I had just turned off the bubbler a couple of weeks ago, which kept a hole open and the pond water oxygenated for the fish and amphibians. Just as I was thinking "I'd better call it quits here", the left rear wheel broke through... I thought "no way I'm driving out of this; better get the tractor and pull it out." then the right rear wheel broke through... and the tractor rear end started slowly sinking. As my seat approached the level of the ice/water, I rolled off and over to the shore. Fortunately, the machine hung from the snowblower on the ice, otherwise, it would have stayed on the bottom of the pond until the next summer. Even so, it took a bit of doing to get it out.

Hanging off the ice from the snowblower (pond is almost 15 feet deep at this spot)
   

Attaching the chain (it's about 15˚F/-9˚C out - fees even colder when you have to have your arms underwater searching for a place to attach the chain):
 

Could not pull it directly out. The ice was too thick. Had to use my rock bar to break a path:
 

The incredible Amphibious Craftsman GT5000 emerges from the deep (fortunately, it came to shore wheels down):
 

Fresh from the swimming lesson:
 

I was advised not to let it freeze, so it went in the garage with a heater aimed at it all night. The next day, it went in to the small engine shop in a neighboring town. Within 24 hours, he had it running. After draining all the water out of the engine and replacing gas an oil, all it needed was a new ignition switch and a starter.

Took this photo the following winter after the first pond clearing:
   
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Offline John Mc

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 08:27:49 AM »
Kbietz: I love the design but there seems to be something missing? Or is it just me?

I actually thought of a slightly more elaborate version of this design, using front and rear mounted pipes tied to one of the old riding mowers siting in the barn now... As to the riding mower suspended down slope- I need a way of shortening or lengthening both front and back connectors the same amount without having to jump off the tractor every time. Ideas?

Since it's all hinged, how about a small electric winch to crank it in and let it out? Not sure how well the mower deck would slide sideways, though, unless you replaced the wheels with some sort of pivoting caster. Or maybe it would pull sideways if you were rolling as you pulled?
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 08:53:29 AM »
Quote
It will slip sideways before it flips.

Which could get interesting when there is a pond at the bottom of the slope. :D surfer-smiley
Yeah, there have been some heart stoppers, especially since the other side of the dam is bordered by a barb wire fence.  I kind of did an unexpected power slide down that side and got the mower stuck into the fence a few weeks ago, and had to pull it out with the 4wd. However since there were no witnesses, except the cows who know they better not spill the beans, it never happened.   ;D

Here one of our farm road embankments I mow with the zero turn.  For certain  reasons, it gets priority every fall.  I took this photo about a week ago.

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 05:28:19 PM »
There's a reason the pro's use a hydraulic motor powered mower on the end of a boom to do this kind of mowing. An old push mower sounds like a good idea, BUT after a hour or so, the old briggs goes bang bang and seizes up. Most small gas motors, when tilted more than about 15 degrees, the splash lubrication for the con rod ceases to do the job. Unless you can find one of them REAL old lawn boy's with the 2 stroke motor.
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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 06:14:10 PM »
On that splash lube the 18 HP twins can be tipped to the left but to the right it will hang in a very short time .Snaps the connecting rods like tooth picks .I knew that but the former owners of two blown twins at my shop did not .

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2017, 06:23:31 PM »
An observation on zero turn mowers .It seems to me by design those that have the caster wheels in front will hold a slope much better than those with trailing casters .My Toro does good .My father had a Grasshopper that didn't .He'd get that thing stuck in a ditch bank and had to get his Jeep to pull it out .
Having said that just this past summer my buddy put about 3 feet of his Toro in his pond .He had a 4 wheeler on hand to save the day .
Another thing why pray tell they ever put tubeless tires on a lawn mower I'll never know .I tubed mine and as of yet never had a problem rolling the bead loose on a slope .Prior to I had a lot of problems .

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 06:33:52 PM »
On that splash lube the 18 HP twins can be tipped to the left but to the right it will hang in a very short time .Snaps the connecting rods like tooth picks .I knew that but the former owners of two blown twins at my shop did not .

Al - Are you referring to a specific brand of engine? How do you tell which way is left and which is right on a vertical shaft engine? (On a horizontal shaft, I'm guessing left and right are as view from the output side of the engine?) I'd love to get it straight so I can favor the best side when operating on a slope.
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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2017, 06:20:45 AM »
Briggs vertical shaft flat head,14 to 19.5 HP .The grass blows out the right side referenced by being in the seat .You have to blow the grass up hill on a slope .
If I'm not mistaken the Kawasaki and Kohler engines are pressure lubed while the Briggs is a splash .
On that though the only thing I've personally seen the flat head used on was tractor type mowers not zero turns .

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2017, 06:24:11 AM »
Now talk about small engines my dad had an old Ford rider with a 16 HP Kohler single .That thing had a piston about the same size as a 350 Chevy .It high grass all it did was get louder .I think it's still sitting in the barn,has to be 40 years old .

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2017, 07:06:50 AM »
An observation on zero turn mowers .It seems to me by design those that have the caster wheels in front will hold a slope much better than those with trailing casters .
We bought our Kubota Zero Turn for the purpose of mowing slopes that were way too steep for our tractor.  They are very low center of gravity and extremely stable when side sloping.  However, when they slip, the best maneuver is to spin the castors downhill, and simply roll and mow downhill.  However, when both back tires are slipping when going down hill, its too steep. 
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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2017, 01:55:47 PM »
Yep... Been there ... Done that...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2017, 02:00:20 PM »
I got plenty of time mowing steep banks.

 

 

 

 
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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2017, 03:32:29 PM »
Saw one of their ads the other day for these guys, Brielmeyer https://www.brielmaier.com/en/brielmaier-in-action/am-berg, not sure of cost or if they are even in the States.  But they sure do look pretty INTERESTING

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2017, 11:30:18 PM »
Interesting....I'd say, looks like the sicklebar mower to have for the zombie apocalypse. It would give a literal meaning to mowing them down.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2017, 12:24:37 PM »
I put atv flotation tires on my zero turn because of the many times I slid into the pond. Best $60 I ever spent on it. Only thing is you cannot do a 180 degree turn unless you are rolling. It will tear a small circle in the grass.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2017, 01:57:37 PM »
Saw one of their ads the other day for these guys, Brielmeyer https://www.brielmaier.com/en/brielmaier-in-action/am-berg, not sure of cost or if they are even in the States.  But they sure do look pretty INTERESTING

Well that is quite a bit more fancy than my 2 wheeled Gravely with sickle bar!  I might have to add dual wheel adapters.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cutting weeds/grass on dam
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2017, 03:50:25 PM »
 
They make "hill side" mowers .I've seen both tracked versions like a skid loader and wheeled versions .They hydraulically tilt the cab and engine portion of the machine and likewise the mowing part .No doubt they are probably very pricey .

 


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