While bush Hog blades are one of the most durable parts on a Bush Hog tractor, they do wear down over time. In fact, the more you use your tractor, the faster you’ll see the blades dull out and lose their edge.
So by changing your bush blades regularly, you can keep your lawn looking much nicer than if you didn’t have them changed at all. Here’s how to change bush hog blades.
How To Change Bush Hog Blades
Changing the bush hog blades on your machine is a process that’s necessary for keeping your equipment running at its best. However, if you’ve never done it before, it can seem a little bit intimidating. Yet, you need some basic hand tools and a buddy to help you with the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, here are the items you’ll need:
- Replacement Cutting Blades.
Make sure you have replacement cutting blades on hand so that when you need them, they are readily available. The blades come in different sizes, so make sure that you get the right size for your blade.
- Torque Wrench.
You need a torque wrench for tightening the bolts on your bush hog. The torque valves are printed on each bolt and must be followed to the latter. This, in turn, would ensure the proper functioning of the tool.
- Work Gloves.
Work gloves protect your hands from cuts, scrapes, and bruises while protecting you from friction’s heat.
- Hammer & Sae Socket Set.
You will also need an SAE socket set to remove nuts in place when assembling your machine before using it for the first time after purchase or repair work.
Read: Brush hog cutting height
Before working on your tractor, ensure it is secure from people or equipment. Similarly, create enough space around the tractor such that there is no chance of getting hurt by any of its moving parts or falling objects.
Additionally, before you even start changing your blades, make sure your tractor’s engine has cooled down. After cooling, you will need to be keen and, if possible, wear gloves and goggles when changing your brush hog blades to avoid unnecessary casualties.
Typically, the blades will only need to be replaced once they are worn out to a point they hardly cut any grass, weeds, or shrubs. Replacing blades can seem intimidating at first, but it is relatively simple as the below steps.
1. Place the Tractor in Neutral and Engage the Parking Brake
Safety is the first priority. So foremost, place the tractor on neutral ground and engage the parking brake. Then remove the key from the ignition to prevent accidental starting of the tractor while you are changing your blades.
Using a jack, raise the tractor’s rear tires off of the ground until they clear your work area. Then place concrete blocks behind each tire and slowly press down on the jack handle until both tires have been lifted high enough to install new blades.
2. Wear Safety Glasses, Gloves, and Other Appropriate Safety Gear
You will need to wear safety glasses, gloves, and other appropriate gear. You’ll want to get a good grip on the blade to unsnap it from its mounting, but ideally, you’ll also want to protect your hands from any potential mishaps. So appropriate gear will serve you the best.
However, if you can find a suitable wrench for the task at hand, go for it—but if not, there are other options. We recommend using a pair of pliers with a rubber grip to prevent them from slipping off or even wrapping some duct tape around them if that’s all you have handy.
The key here is to avoid slips or cuts injuries while working with potentially sharp and heavy metals.
3. Remove Clevis Pin and Lift Bush Hog
Locate and remove the clevis pin that connects the lift rod to the bush hog using your adjustable wrench to loosen it, then use your hands to pull it out of its mounting holes. You will then have to remove any washers as spacers between the pin and lift rod before pulling it completely out of position.
Grasp the brush hog with both hands, one on each side, and lift upward until it releases from its lower mounting bracket. Then hit the center pin on each side of each blade with a hammer to tap it through to the other side of the bush hog’s mounting holes.
Ultimately, repeat this process for every blade, removing one at a time when they slip through to the far side of their mounting hole.
4. Ensure Blades Are Aligned Correctly
The next step will be to check if your blades align correctly with the sprockets. So in case one doesn’t adjust it until it matches with the other. The bottom line is that the blades must align properly for normal operation.
5. Check Sprocket Pulleys for Damage
In case the sprockets are broken or damaged, you will need to replace them with immediate effect. This will ensure that your machine runs smoothly after the operation and keeps your bush hog for long.
6. Replacing Old Blades With a New Set
The last step will be installing the new blades into their proper positions on each side of the cutter bar, using washers and bolts. So tighten down all nuts securely with wrenches or sockets until their maximum.
You will then need to check each blade for balance by holding them straight out while spinning them with your hands in opposite directions; they should spin smoothly without wobbling excessively or vibrating.
If they do not balance properly, adjust by adding or subtracting washers as necessary until they do so.
As you can see, changing bush hog blades is pretty simple only if you know what you’re doing. In the end, it’s really worth the time and effort involved. By keeping your bush hog blades sharp and regularly changing them out, you’ll be able to work for longer without stopping for a break—and that can save you several hours in the long run.
Yes, these tools are expensive, but if you take care of them and keep them working as they should, they will also care for you.