Stephen Leslie

A few years ago we got an engineering neighbor to help us restore a McD no.6 mowing machine. Trouble was, with Fjord draft ponies we couldn’t get the yoke high enough to get the cutting angle or balance of the machine correct (Lynn Miller suggests 32″ as the ideal yoke height in his book on Mowers).
I’d seen Donn Hewes with a no.7 mower with a new dolly wheel on it at the 1st NEAPFD and called to ask him more about it. He gave me the contact to purchase one and was very helpful in describing how to put it together with the mower. I’m not sure who actually makes them but you can get these dolly wheels from Leon M Brubaker in Trevorton, PA (and just about anything else HD you’re looking for). With the dolly wheel on you can then easily determine the ideal tongue length for your team. Best of all, the tongue pivots up and down from the wheel to the correct yoke height without impacting the angle or balance of the mower. Although this 3rd wheel creates a slight bit more draft, to my mind this is more than offset by the fact that it removes all the tongue weight off of your horses, increasing their comfort level to an enormous degree. Good luck mowing—waiting for the rain to stop here so we can bring in the rest of the 1st cutting, or as an old Vermont neighbor of mine says, “We’ll be bringing in 1st and 2nd cut at the same time!”

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