Ask the Mechanic

Safety Tip of the Month June 2024

(Steve Thompson)

The sickle mower has become very popular for cutting hay with a small compact tractor. It requires little horsepower and no hydraulics, and most models will fit right on the 3-point hitch.

They will do a good job cutting hay but are very dangerous to be around when in operation. A big safety risk of these manually folded sickle cutters occurs when the sickle is ready to be placed in cutting position or, from cutting position, back to transport position. It must be unfolded for cutting, and it must be folded back for transport.

The big safety issue is when the mower is unfolded or folded, the cutting sections will move just as they do when cutting hay. Never put your fingers inside the bar when unfolding or folding.


-- Email Steve Thompson at, and be sure to include your contact information and phone number.