Lawn Sweeper: Offset Hitch for Two Operations in One Pass

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About: I have worked in agriculture for forty years in south Georgia. If you live your life and never know me, you've lost nothing, but if you live your life and never know Jesus Christ, you've lost EVERYTHING!

When you have excess, even any, unsightly grass clippings left on your lawn after you mow, a sweeper is a great way to get them up fast!  While I love a good looking job, I am always in search of a way to get there faster.

I inherited a sweeper and had not really liked having to take all the extra time it took to make the second trip over, so rarely did so. Then I saw one advertised that had an offset tongue. That was what I needed!

I decided to retrofit my rigid tongue AgriFav model to be offset.

MATERIALS NEEDED:
6-8' of 3/4" EMT galvanized conduit
3 each clamps; I used U clamps, but imagine hose clamps would work fine

TOOLS
Hammer, a ball or sledge
Drill
1/2 inch bit
Wrench, pliers, screwdriver to tighten clamps
Grinder or file

Step 1: Adapt Conduit to Be a "Tongue"

I had an old sledge hammer that I used to beat one end of the conduit flat.

I then used my drill press to drill a hole in the end. I did some pretty intense measuring (at least by my standards) to get the hole in the exact center. I even used a punch to set a dimple for the start.  I slid into my home-made drill press rig (maybe a future Instructable) and used a step bit to drill the hole.  I matched the hole size to the hitch pin I use.

I have found that a tongue with rounded corners works better on a tight lawnmower drawbar, believe me, so I used the angle grinder to round the corners, and smooth the hole edges.

Step 2: Fit the New Offset Tongue

My sweeper is 42" wide, and my lawnmower cuts a 30" swath. I wanted to center to the next swath. In the first picture, I lined up based on lawnmower tire. HOWEVER, it's better to line up the sweeper to CENTER OF THE ROW OF DISCHARGED CLIPPINGS! Sorry, I don't have any pics of how I adjusted, but by using clamps, you can alter that final position.

Step 3: All DONE!

Here is a picture of how it looked as I began.

I learned the hard way that this thing works better in dry grass than grass with dew on it.  I usually cut mornings instead of afternoons, but will have to change to make this system work.

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    2 Discussions

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    testerin

    2 years ago

    Hello. What happens when you turn to the right. Doesn't the rear-right tire on your mower hit the EMT?

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    Schr8r

    4 years ago on Step 3

    Nice! I have been wanting to do this myself, but had not really put my mind to it. A great idea and easily understood instructable.