So, I got my Broyhill M4100 Lawn Machine going and the though occurred to me that it would be ideal for doing lawn maintenance tasks---duhhhh!!! that's what it was built for!!!
Anyway, my lawn badly needed de-thatching. Broyhill makes a dethatcher for my machine.-- it's 48" wide, and mounts in the middle of the machine, and--- it costs $400.
I needed to get it done, so I bought an inexpensive Agri-Fab towing dethatcher from the local farm store (Cal-Ranch) for $90. It's very similar to the Brinly-Hardy dethatcher that's sold at Home Depot for $80, but Cal-Ranch had 9 in stock and gave me an assembled model, while I would have had to drive 15 miles with a lot of congested traffic, to the Home Depot in Ogden to get one.
So I bought the (slightly) more expensive model It worked good dethatching the lawn with only two cinder brick-sized pavers for weight
-- only problem was if you needed to back up...it IS possible, but takes a bit of maneuvering, and what would normally be a 3 point turn, works out to be a 30-point turn.
I knew I wanted to mount the dethatcher on the machine. Problem was where to do it and how. I pondered the pros and cons of 3 available options Rear mount, mid mount, front mount. The rear and mid mount locations have hydraulic lift, the front doesn't
The disadvantage of a rear mount unit is it would be hard to see how it was working, plus I would have the whole length of the machine that wouldn't be dethatched if I used that location--ditto for the center (mid-) mount location.
There is a tool bar of sorts on the front that is manually raised and lowered. It's kind of like the lift mechanism on a sleeve hitch without the actual hitch.
I started out by making a couple of arms from 2" channel that went from the pivot point on the tool bar up to the front of the machine.
I tried raising and lowering the de thatcher and what was pretty stout.
I decided to make a hitch plate that would slip down over the top of the tool bar and bolt front to rear at the bottom kind of like the mounting point for a sleeve hitch. However, I can't put vertical tubes through the tool bar, so it pushes the hitch out farther if I try a sleeve-type hitch. Not saying I won't do it, it's just more effective weight on the front.
I got the hitch plate made up,
but I'm a little stymied as how to hook attachments up. I'd like to do something like the JD QA mount for the snowplows, but need to use a lighter attachment due to the manual lift and only one tire at the front end of the machine. Obviously I'd want something that I could use to quickly install and remove attachments like a snow plow, de- thathcher and a front mount mower.
The dethatcher also has to have a provision for leveling it out so all the times are even and working in the lawn. I made some brackets and bolted them in, then made slotted tabs that will be used at the back of the dethatcher to permit leveling.
Because of the curves in the tool bar, the hitch plate is limited to 16" overall width. The one I fabricated is 16"wide by 3 1/4" high... it hangs 1" below the tool bar to permit bolting it through the two plates below the bar to hold it on.
So, if anyone has done something like this on a GT or other piece of landscape equipment, please chime in.
Edited by Utah Smitty, March 23, 2014 - 01:07 AM.