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Hawk Bilt and Vermeer owned by Eric Tyler

Here’s what Eric had to say about his groundsaw and trenchers on Feb. 18, 2012:

“I have purchased a Ground Saw!  The Hawk Bilt Ground Saw is a model 1200. It is on a 122. Came from Western Ohio, was painted blue and white, and put back to it’s current condition by a fellow who bought it to work it laying electrical lines for his work. Once he found out what he had, he stored it and quit using it. I spoke with him 5 years ago but did not have the money at the time, or a way to get it home.  It resurfaced on a forum post, and I contacted him again and bought it.  It found it’s way to upstate NY thanks to fellow Cub Cadet addict Dave Kamp who transported it, and thanks to Levi Day another addict who let us use his property to house it until I picked it up and brought it home to NH. I I believe it to be original to the 122, though the pump mount is not factory I do have the correct on that came with it. Runs ok but will need a head gasket, and I will give it a full restore. Chain and boom are excellent.  Has the correct right hand foot brake and the left clutch pedal is only a clutch so the tractor can move free with the left pedal locked down without engaging the brake for trenching use. It is in working condition, though I will need to install a height adjust handle as there is only a nut there currently.  I will keep a picture log of the restore.

The Vermeer trenchers have a neat story.  I was browsing online and found a Cub Cadet 147 with a cobbled up looking trencher on the back, it was in southern CA.  I shrugged it off as someone’s back yard invention and forgot about it.  About a year later I saw it again for sale in Arizona, I saved the picture this time on my computer. Three months later I saw another in Alabama, compared the picture to the one in AZ that I saved and they were not the same machine, but had the same trencher by Vermeer on it.  I figure now that the one I saw in CA for sale is a different one from the others, 3 separate machines. I asked the experts on the forums to see if it were a real thing or not, the experts said no, had to be back yard inventions.  I bought the one in Alabama, and called on the one in Arizona too, it had been sold, BUT he gave me the number of the fellow who bought it.  I called him and he did not need it any longer, I bought it too.  I had the AZ one sent to NC to a place where a friend of mine winters. He went and picked up the one in Alabama, and brought them both here to NH.  We split the costs and he has one and I do as well.  We contacted Vermeer and they verified they were real and sent us the literature on them.  As I mentioned before, Vermeer bought the tractors from IH, stripped down 147 and 149’s, and installed their trenchers on them.  They were rebadged as the Vermeer M147A, and the M147H. ”

Eric pic 1




He just obtained (February, 2012) a Model 1200 Hawk Bilt Ground Saw (and apparently has another groundsaw in the works!!!).

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As I mentioned in the discussion on the operation of Hawk Bilt Ground Saws and Eric discussed above, Hawk Bilt replaced the brake on a Cub Cadet with one of their own.  Eric’s Cub Cadet has that brake.

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As Eric mentined, the hydraulic pump on his ground saw is mounted on the side unlike any others I’ve seen.  I can see an advantage of having a clutch on the hydraulic pump as the direct drive makes for hard starting in the winter time.  But, as Eric discussed, it’s not original to the design.

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Last Modified On: 2014-03-12 16:33:46