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Talntedmrgreen

Unique Front Mount Mower for B series

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Talntedmrgreen

Figured you guys may get a kick out of this one...many names come to mind when you see it operate, none of them endearing. Big thanks to David (simplicity707) for aiding me on the shipping end in IL, through Fastenal! Fastenal lost this for a month or so, but finally found it out at a store in Iowa, and then brought it my way at no charge.

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This is a 'Level Lift' front mount, rotary weed & brush cutter. I have not been able to find any literature on it, and not so much as a mention of this specific one for a Simplicity/Allis tractor...the PO believes it is a Bachtold model, but that has yet to be verified. We had a pretty neat discussion going when this popped up here in the cl/ebay forum, but I cannot find that to reference now. Several similar type mowers were offered for the B series, and some are within the club today. In searching, I have seen photos of a Level Lift for Case and one for JD. This one is a very nice design...the mower is huge, and VERY heavy. Poor man's PS is going to be a must.

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The engagement is real slick, and with a long travel handle, so as it will not be easy to mistakenly engage. The mower frame bolts to the tractor at the grill frame mounting bolts (4). Those are the only contact points to the tractor, other than the lift cable. The mower itself then simply slips onto the frame, and 2 clevis pins hold it from shifting. Power is a belt mule, to driveshaft combo. The driveshaft connects to the 'PTO' shaft with a shear bolt.

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The mower itself is triple-spring loaded, which helps it maintain a light footprint on the ground...it basically has enough tension to 'float' and follow the contour of the ground. It also aids in reducing lifting effort. It cantilevers in such a way that it lifts 'level' to the ground, and does not incline when raised. Looks like you can cut from about 2" to a foot in height.

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The single blade is 36" long....it swings for a VERY long time once disengaged. I'm curious what that blade weighs. This particular unit shows very little wear, and despite a nick in the blade, doesn't look like it's cut much. I test ran it for a moment (it's rained or I've been away from home, everyday since Fastenal brought it), and it cuts thick weeds at half throttle, with no sign of slowing down. I have a feeling it would throw a rock approximately 1 mile, or reduce the height of any bystanders quickly, if they don't watch their feet.

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I plan to give it a bath and have a "Level Lift" decal made up to mirror the image that can be seen by the witness marks on the cover.

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Should be fun to try out...I just blasted all my weeds with the big ol Mott flail behind the Legacy XL, so perhaps after next week's rains, I will have some more ditch lettuce to chop.

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Talntedmrgreen

The one benefit a rear mounted brush hog type of cutter has over this....you get a puncher's chance of seeing a hidden obstacle BEFORE you hit it with the mower!sm00 That baby sticks out a ways.

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B-16_IC

Looks like the one I had that was built for a Massey Ferguson. I have an ad from an old magazine showing one on a Wheel Horse. Here is the decal that was on it. I believe it was Aurora Illinois they were headquartered at.

mowerattachment2.jpg

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Talntedmrgreen
quote:Originally posted by Chris727

Interesting find. Seems like a lot of weight to be hanging off a component fastened into cage nuts.


id="quote">
id="quote">I thought the same thing, but the method is suprisingly strong. I did a "stand-on" test before my quick test run and hopped on it a bit. Nothin so much as budged. As far as weight, I will probably add my Stoddard-suitcase weight carrier, and will run a stinger to help the mower float with a lighter footprint. I foresee that runner up front burying itself in soft turf like the ones on a Weedcutter will.

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B-16_IC

I sold the mower to a Massey Ferguson GT collector. I thought I had a scan of the advertisement handy but can't find it. Here are a couple pictures of the one I had, very different mounting and drive due to the difference in intended brand.

mowerattachment1.jpg

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GLPointon

Very cool and rare attachment. I tried searching it too by name, mfg and even city...there's not much out there. Good luck, I hope you find some lit. I wonder if it was ever distributed by Sears or some other catalog store? Maybe an old catalog ad??

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Talntedmrgreen

Well, I had a Level Lift decal made up, and it arrived just in time for my show this weekend. Last night I went about washing the mower, and low and behold, the old decal is actually still on the mower! I thought it was merely some sticky goo.

Turns out, I can read more of the wording, and the mower is indeed a Bachtold. My level Lift decal is clear, with white letters, vs the white with black letters I had made. I can't capture it in a picture because it's so faint, but I can read:

"Level-Lift"id="size6">

"Bachtold Brothers, Inc."id="size2">

"Gibson City Illinois 60936"id="size1">

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tadams

A orphan one will claim?

I have a friend who was a Simplicity dealer & he said Simplicity would not claim the front mounted weed cutter when he talked to them about it.

Tom

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B-16_IC

And the waters just get muddier!:o I wonder how that came about? I have never come up with real good history on the Bachtold company. Google search comes up with too many articles about the BS lawsuits that ended productions. Looks like a lot of other l&g history, intertwined and interbred! Keep the posts coming Josh, this is sure fun.:D

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GLPointon

LAWSUITS??? against a company that built such a safe looking mower attachment as that! :D

Very cool Josh, I cant wait to see it in person someday. That pto reminds me of the front Sunstar pto...double belts down to a shaft drive. I dont know HOW you keep finding these rare items dOd

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Talntedmrgreen

Quick update....I finally got enough done around home to allow myself some playtime and kept my Legacy/flail away from a few patches of weeds long enough to have a target for brush mowing, to give this mower a test run.

As with anything, it takes some getting used to and video taking is a distraction, but here is an attempt at some operating of this mower.

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RickS

Hey Josh,

I have an old horse pasture that I need brush-hogged. There is plenty of room for a truck and trailer; when I can I expect you.... It should only take you about fourteen hours to make the trip.

That looks neat.

Rick......

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