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Al

Ditch Mower

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Al
Hi, Attached are some pics we took of a ditch mower that was manufactured in Guthrie Center Iowa. It had a Briggs 5 hp 2 cycle on it and the crank got bent and the flywheel ruined. We replaced the engine with a Honda OHV 4 cycle. The unit was mounted on a Landlord 101. The tractor with the governor gear that ruined the camshaft. (pic posted a couple of weeks ago. We traded for the tractor and put the ditch mower hitch on this Broadmoor. Think the unit is rather interesting.








Hope these come out OK. Al Eden

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tec2484
Thanks AL, I now have 1 more thing that I want to build. Mine will have to be a 2 cycle though, I have a steep incline down to the creek and a 4 cycle would starve for oil.

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Al
Hi, When it was new where the turnbuckle is there was an electric motor and a screw type linear actuator. It went bad and customer replaced it with the turnbuckle. The engine is basically the same engine Lawn Boy uses on their push mowers. When these engines replaced the 2 cycles on L Boy push mowers, I thought people would kill for 2 cycles and bought up all I could get. The Hondas were so popular, I ended up transferring the last of the 2 cycles to another dealer. Honda has done several things to ensure oiling. I have never seen one fail. I talked to my Honda distributor for all of Iowa, before we put it on and they have never seen one fail due to oiling problems either. Ideally the best would be to have the cylinder up hill but it don't seem to be that critical. Al Eden.

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Roy
From another post talking about the Kohler Triad TH-18: "They are a maintenance monster (IE very needy), and if neglected, will not last well at all." Above in this post: "Honda has done several things to ensure oiling. I have never seen one fail. I talked to my Honda distributor for all of Iowa, before we put it on and they have never seen one fail due to oiling problems either." Good example of why foreign manufacturers, Honda in this case, are eating Brigg's and Kohler's lunch. Wonder if and when our American manufacturers are going to catch on. US manufacturers can make the best products in the world and be competitive if they want to. My observation on the topic.

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andrewk
Especially for the cost. Briggs makes a full pressure lube 6.75 horse, OHV vertical shaft engine for lawn mowers, but I think its 100 bucks more than the Honda at cost, but I am not 100% sure. I think that in order to be competitive in the US, many labor issues need to change, and some "chiefs" need to be eliminated from the "tribes"... But I will quit trying to hijack the topic:D Al, isn't that Honda an OHC (which would make it OHV too) Engine? Looks like a GCV160 to me...

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Al
Hi, Yes it is the OHC engine. Roy, I agree with you. Back in the early 80s about when the Sun Stars came out, I was up at the Sim factory to The Simplicity Family Reunion. Out at the proving grounds they Briggs, Kohler and Tecumseh had tents set up with product and promo items. I asked "When are you coming with an oil pump and filter"? When OHVs? "Henry Ford put oil pumps in engines in 1933, it isn't rocket science". The response: People won't pay for it. The _ _ _ _ they won't I responded. A couple of years later I was at the Outdoor Power Xpo in Louisville. What I noticed was that all of the industrial equipment no longer had Briggs and Kohler engines, but Honda and Kawasaki engines with oil pumps and filters. HELLO!!!!! It was like an alarm clock going off for Rip Van Winkle. Briggs then came with the Vangard, which was a Dihatsiu design. It shows its Japanese heritage in the quality and finish of the castings etc. Kohler developed the Command family. I believe the Vangard and Command are on the same quality level as Honda and Kawasaki are now ands are again seen in industrial equipment. I don't consider the Briggs Intek to be anywhere near the engine the Vangard V twins are, remember it is cheaper. Both in price and cheapness. I also think that the v twin Tecumsehs are good engines, and I have never been a Tecumseh fan, but they impress me. They are smart enough to put a 5th head bolt in between the push rods. The Japanese use TQM (total quality management) programs and SPC ( Statistical Quality Control)process control programs as a bible for mfg. Dr Deming developed these programs for World War 2 production. When the war was over, Japan, Europe and Britain were all bombed to rubble. US had the most powerful production facilities in the world and the pent up demand for product when the war was over. They threw away TQM and SPC. Cars were built and the trunks leaked dust and doors and windshields leaked. It didn't matter, people bought them. Japan seeing that if they were to become a world mfg power, quality had to be their defining issue. They welcomed Dr. Deming and they took the programs he developed and carried them to new levels. By the 90s, American manufacturers started to see the light again. The small engine business, automobile business all were forced to new quality levels due to competition from Japanese products. I worked 38 years for a fortune 500 company and the last 3 years I spent 1/2 of my time on implementing these programs, and benchmarking other companies. We can do it. Management has to decide what level of quality they are willing to pay for. The big thing is how cheap can we make it and still "get there". It is sad that the Nippon Denso starters and alternators that are used on the large John Deere farm machinery last probablty 5 times as long as the Delco (American made) units that they also use. We would starve in the starter shop if we had to live off Nippon Denso. Sorry but it seems like the priorities of American Mfrs. are different. These are my personal thoughts and observations, and I respect other peoples views and perspectives that differ from mine. I'll get off my soap box. Al Eden

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Roy
Thanks Al. You expanded the topic then spelled it out and explained it much more eloquently that I could have. Heard the same things about the Japanese many times in training sessions during my career as an engineering manager. The sad part is my companies were doing it "because the Japanese were doing it" and not because they wanted to improve quality and reduce cost. Rather, they did it because it was the management "trendy" thing to do. Makes one wonder if US manufacturers are ever going to understand why they are losing, or have already lost, world market share. US labor cost is complicated major factor in the equation but it is another whole topic. Note, however, the Germans and Swiss remain active in world markets and market share despite their astronomical labor costs. Enough for now,

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goatfarmer
I worked for a farmer about 20 years ago, that had a similar setup he made for his Powermax. He used the hydraulics from the tractor to move the arm, and used a Toro pushmower, without wheels and handle, to do the cutting. He used it to trim around trees, under bushes, etc, and it could also be set up just outside the mower deck width, to give a larger cutting swath. What's old is new again......^

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Kent
Neat tool, Al. I want one! If someone's really concerned about the engine oiling, they may want to consider using a hydraulic pump and hydraulic motor combination. You could run the hydraulic pump off the rear PTO, similar to the generator sets (or tillers, or...) and use a hydraulic motor to drive the blade(s). Then you could turn it upside down, or sideways, or whatever angle you wanted, and it'd still mow without any oiling concerns. You could even plumb in a hydraulic tilt and extension controls for it, if you wanted... Here's the hydraulic boom mower that fits my PT. They really should put casters on it, IMO...
[img]http://power-trac.com/images/Attachments/boommower1.jpg[/img]

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johnmonkey
Hey Al have you read the book "The Machine That Changed The World, the story of LEAN production"? It is a fantastic book that talks about Demming and other manufacturing techniques. It is a MUST read. JH

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Al
Hi, Customer with the ditch mower was in today. He said it worked better than on the Landolord 101. We put it on a Broadmore 38" He said he mowed about 2 hours with the tractor and about 2 using the ditch mower. He said he couldn't believe the power difference between the new Honda and the old Briggs 2 cycle. Also the improvements we made to strengthen the hitch made it much easier to use. Very happy. Al Eden

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Nick
quote:
Originally posted by Al
I'll get off my soap box. Al Eden
No need to get of your soap box Al. Your posts are informative. Interesting piece of machinery that ditch mower is. I wonder how hard it would be to replicate such a thing?

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