“What is a lift kit, and why might I need one?” This is a question we get here at Tractor Tools Direct quite often when communicating with customers. This blog will answer that question.
First, what is a lift kit?
A lift kit consists of spacers, bolts, and skid plates that raise the cutting height of a drum mower by roughly an inch to an inch-and-a-half depending upon the model. With simple installation, the kit bolts to the underside of each drum and essentially raises the height of the entire machine. There are different lift kits for different models of drum mowers and each raises the machine a different amount. Therefore, knowing the specific type of mower you have is important before purchasing one.
Why might I need a lift kit?
Under normal conditions, most mowers are designed to cut at the correct height straight “out of the box.” However, this height will depend upon the forage you are cutting and even personal preference. Some crops are more sensitive to being cut too near the ground. Grasses store their energy at the base of the stem. Thus, cutting grasses too short can overly deplete these reserves, causing them to take longer to rejuvenate and cause longevity issues with the crop. The use of a lift kit might be a good idea in grass-heavy stands. As a rule, however, legumes like alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than grasses. This is because a legume’s energy reserves are located underground in the root. Legume-heavy stands may not require a lift kit.
Additionally, in drought conditions or in arid climates, forages become extremely sensitive to “scalping” and could have trouble regrowing if cut too short. Installing a lift kit is often a good idea in these situations as well.
For more information about lift kits, how to purchase, or how to install one, please visit our drum mower product page here. Installation guides can be found on each specific drum mower listing. Or, give us a call at 260-BALE-HAY. We’d be happy to help!