Attaching Mower-Conditioner


1. Carry out the following procedure to attach the mower-conditioner properly.

Attaching to three-point hitch:

The mower-conditioner can be attached to any tractor with a three-point hitch conforming to category II or III. See your John Deere dealer to adapt the features of your tractor to those offered by the machine.

a. Drive tractor backwards until hitch points are approximately in line.

b. Attach the draft links to the corresponding lower hitch pins (A) and secure with quick-lock pins (B) if necessary.

IMPORTANT: Make sure all three jackstands (C) stay on the ground.

c. With all jackstands (C) on the ground, attach center link (F) to upper hitch point (D) so that, with machine fully raised, the main gear case input shaft is parallel to the ground. Then secure with quick-lock pin (E) if necessary.

A-Lower hitch pins
B-Quick-lock pins
D-Upper hitch pin
E-Quick-lock pin
F-Center link
II-Category II lower hitch pins
III-Category III lower hitch pins


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NOTE: Adjust length of center link (F) to carry out this adjustment.

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d. Slightly raise the mower-conditioner. On all jackstands (A), remove quick-lock pin (B) and safety pin (C). Raise each jackstand (A) up to its storage position. Insert safety pin (C) into hole (D) and secure with quick-lock pin (B).

B-Quick-lock pin
C-Safety pin
D-Storage position hole


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2. Setting machine frame to correct operating height:

For field operation and road transport, the machine frame must be set to a specific distance from the ground.

a. For transport position: Set position control so that lower hitch pins (A) are at a distance (B) of 500 mm (19.68 in.) from the ground.

b. For working position: Set position control so that lower hitch pins (A) are at a distance (B) of 600 mm (23.62 in.) from the ground.

IMPORTANT: Depending on tractor type with the 388 mower-conditioner in transport position, it may be required to set the machine frame below 500 mm (19.68 in.) to maintain the 4 m (13 ft 1.44 in.) road transport height limit.

NOTE: Refer to the tractor basic Operator's Manual to set hitch height correctly.

A-Lower hitch pins
B-600 mm (23.62 in.)-Working position
B-500 mm (19.68 in.)-Transport position


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3. Connecting hydraulic hoses 1 :

  • Connect hydraulic hoses (A) coming from the ports P and T of the mower-conditioner hydraulic block to the tractor hydraulic couplers (double-acting selective control valve).
  • Connect hydraulic hoses (B) coming from the mower-conditioner offset cylinder to the tractor hydraulic couplers (double-acting selective control valve).
  • Connect hydraulic hose (C) coming from the front mower-conditioner raise/lower cylinders to the tractor hydraulic coupler (single-acting selective control valve).

4. Check that both floating hydraulic valves are closed (II).

A-Hydraulic hoses from hydraulic block
B-Hydraulic hoses from offset cylinder
C-Hydraulic hose from front mower-conditioner
I-Open position
II-Closed position


17000 Series tractor shown.

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5. Connecting hydraulic hoses to the front mower-conditioner:

One additional hydraulic hose is provided for the front mower-conditioner. The front mower-conditioner is partially controlled by the control monitor (see Operating Control Monitor Section) and must be connected as follows:

  • Connect floating coupler (A) of the front mower-conditioner to coupler (B) located on mower-conditioner frame.
  • Connect raise and lower coupler (C) of the front mower-conditioner to the tractor hydraulic coupler.

A-Front mower-conditioner floating coupler
C-Front mower-conditioner raising/lowering coupler


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6. Tractor electrical connections:

IMPORTANT: All electrical equipment installed on the mower-conditioner is designed for use on 12 Volt electrical systems with negative ground.

Attach warning light plug to tractor (if not equipped, RE17282 kit for 7-terminal auxiliary outlet is required on tractor).

Connect machine wiring harness to connector (A) of the control monitor (B).

A-Machine wiring harness connector
B-Control monitor


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7. Adjusting telescoping hook-up:

Make sure telescoping hook-up length is correct.

  • When the telescoping hook-up is in its maximum extended position, a minimum tube overlap of 250 mm (10 in.) must be maintained.
  • When the telescoping hook-up is in its maximum overlap position (retracted), tubes should not butt against the yokes. As a safety measure a clearance of at least 10 mm (0.4 in.) must be maintained.

If this is not the case, reduce length of both half drive lines (A) and their relevant shaft guards (B) by the same amount.

IMPORTANT: Never operate telescoping hook-up with a too large angle (30 degrees maximum).

NOTE: Once cut, round off all sharp edges and remove burrs, particularly on the inner face of the outer hook-up half. Lubricate inside of outer hook-up half.

A-Drive line


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8. Connecting telescoping hook-up:

causym CAUTION: Never attach telescoping hook-up while the tractor is running. Never use a steel hammer to connect or disconnect the hook-up on PTO shaft.

IMPORTANT: Keep hook-up and PTO shaft splines free from paint, dirt, chaff and burrs.

  • Make sure that telescoping members are assembled so that joint planes are in proper position as shown.
  • Refer to the basic telescoping hook-up Operator's Manual to connect telescoping hook-up properly to the tractor PTO shaft.
  • Make sure hook-up is firmly latched to tractor PTO shaft.
  • Reinstall all shields, if removed.
  • Secure telescoping hook-up shield by hooking safety chain to any tractor/machine anchor.

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9. Attaching transport latch rope:

causym CAUTION: Avoid personal injury and/or machine damage. Do not attach rope to operator's seat or other locations that could cause snagging. This could change the machine position.

Attach the transport latch rope (A) to a convenient location near tractor centerline. This will reduce the possibility of tractor tires snagging the rope.


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