How to Attach a Ford 501 Sickle Mowerby Justin Mark
The Ford 501 Sickle Mower is piece of farm equipment used mainly for cutting grass and similar vegetation. It consists of a six- to eight-foot bar mounted on the right rear of a tractor and cuts with a shearing action. The 501 was designed as an accessory to Ford tractors equipped with a hydraulic system, but it will work with any tractor with a three-point lift linkage that mimics the Ford design. The cutter bar can easily be raised using the tractor's hydraulic control lever to prevent damage to the mower when passing over rocks or tree stumps. Attaching the mower takes several steps and should be followed carefully, as safety issues are involved with improper attachment.
Put on your work gloves. Check the frame size for your mower. It will either be a 56-inch frame mower or a 76-inch frame mower. When you have determined the frame size, adjust the tractor's rear wheels to the mower's frame size. For 56-inch frames, adjust the rear tractor wheels to 56-inch centers or less. The same rule applies for 76-inch frames.
Back the tractor into a position where you can align its left lower link to the mower's lift link pin. Attach these two parts together and secure the connection with the tractor linchpin.
Roll the tractor and adjust the leveling crank until the tractor's right lower link can be attached to the right link pin on the mower. Use the tractor linch pin to secure the connection.
Attach the upper link from the mower to the lower hole in the tractor rocker arm by using the link pin.
Start the tractor. Using the hydraulic control lever, lift the mower frame assembly slightly and move the mower to the left to allow attachment of the left stabilizer. Place the stabilizer guide under the tractor's left lift link. Position the clamp over the link and tighten the nut firmly.
Depending on the tractor type, install the clamp plate or push rod anchor assembly onto the left lower link. Install the push rod on either the clamp plate or anchor assembly.
Shift the mower assembly to the right to attach the right stabilizer. Place the stabilizer guide under the tractor's right lift link. Position the clamp over the link and tighten the nut firmly.
Raise the mower using the hydraulic control, then attach the mower lift spring to the spring links with the pins that have been provided. Lower the mower assembly and turn off the engine.
Remove the tractor power takeoff (PTO) cap and connect the splined end of the mower's drive shaft to the PTO shaft. Secure the connection with the snap coupler found on the yoke.
Rotate the leveling crank to lower the frame, ensuring that it is parallel to the ground. Use the leveling crank lock to secure the crank lever.
- Look at the mower's ledger plates if you are getting bad cuts. Ledger plates in bad condition will result in bad cuts even after you have adjusted the blades.
- When you are adjusting either the rock guards or the knife holders, do not have the knives directly on or below them. Try to position the point mid-distance between guards.
Things You'll Need
- Tractor with 3-point lift linkage
- Ford 501 sickle mower
- Work gloves
- A sickle mowing bar can shift unexpectedly and cut down anything in its path. Exercise extreme caution when the tractor is running.
Justin Mark started writing professionally in 2004. He worked as a writer for his town’s newspaper, "The Valley Reporter." His writing focuses on articles about automobiles, building, lawnmowers and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of California, Los Angeles.