So Let’s Knock It Down!
By: Colin J. Cleary
Well, we’re coming out of the cold months and heading into summer with haying season looking us dead in the eyes. Maybe the ranch is due to upgrade mower conditioners to help speed up the process or get rid of that worn out, unreliable machine. Either way, I did a little research and contacted John Deere, Vermeer, Kuhn, New Holland, Case IH, and Hesston® by Massey Ferguson to see what new products they have out on the market that would be of interest to our WR readers.
JOHN DEERE The folks over at John Deere wanted the readers of Working Ranch to know they have four words when it comes to cutting hay: fast cutting & quick repairs. Want the functions of a centerpivot machine but not necessarily the big size that comes along with it? Well, John Deere’s 830 and 835 may just be the right mower for you. These two models are available with urethane rolls or impeller conditioners, and when attaching it to the tractor you have three options; clevis, equal angle hitch, and rockshaft hitch (2pt). This gives you a wide variety of options to help select the best mower set-up for you. The 830 mower cuts at 9ft 9 inches while the 835 cuts at a nice 11ft 6 inches, a perfect mid-size mower with lower horsepower requirements than the larger models. To learn more about Deere’s lineup of mower-conditioners visit them on the web at www.deere.com or swing on in to your local dealership.
VERMEER Vermeer has three new models to choose from this year; the MC2800, MC3300, and MC3700 are equipped with the all-new Q3 cutter bar which gives operators better performance with reduced horsepower requirements, thus saving fuel. With the modular disc design and simplistic cutter bar access, maintenance and repair becomes a breeze (always a high point!). This is possible due to their Quick-Clip Blade Retention System and Quick-Change Shear Ring. There are no spring systems on the MC lineup; they consist of a nitrogencharged accumulator suspension system which provides steady ground contact and a consistent cut. The MC mowerconditioners from Vermeer are available in sizes from 9-12 feet. I was out at Vermeer’s proving grounds last fall and ran one of these for myself; let me tell you I was very impressed with the uniformness in cut and how smooth the mower ran. For more information visit Vermeer online at www.vermeer.com or visit your local dealer.
KUHN The folks over at Kuhn offer one heck of a line-up of new generation mower conditioners, most of which are now available with a roller conditioner. Two choices of roller are available; 1) roller set in polyurethane with specific SQUAREFLEX profile to ensure maximum stem pinch no matter how the stems are positioned between the two rollers; 2) roller set in steel – more economical, and especially suited to regions confronted with highly abrasive conditions. Both roller types operate at a speed of 780 rpm and boast a large diameter of 240 mm. Kuhn mowers feature the Optidisc® cutter bar which requires no break-in oil change or scheduled maintenance for the entire life of the machine! FastFit makes changing knives a breeze with just one tool. They also feature an integral drive system in a closed gearbox (maintenance-free) providing reliable roller synchronization, and the POSIGUARD safety system to protect the machine and its rollers from foreign bodies passing through. Check them out online www.kuhnnorthamerica.com or at your local dealer!
NEW HOLLAND New Holland wanted the readers of Working Ranch to know about their new Discbine 313 and 316 models. These two models feature the all new MowerMax II™ with larger gears, bearings and shafts. The cutter bar also features a ShockPRO™ hub which is larger and heavier than in previous years; this feature protects the cutter bar driveline for maximum uptime. New Holland is also proud to feature the 125”
WideDry™ system (a 22% increase in size over previous models) which delivers a thinner crop mat that feeds more smoothly and speeds up drydown time. The 313 and 316 can come equipped with either chevron-patterned intermeshing rubber rolls, steel rolls, or LeaningEdge™ flails to match whatever your haying needs happen to be. New Holland also improved access to the cutter bar with poly bifold upper shields which are light, easy to lift and foldable which would make life a lot easier when replacing blades. For more information swing on in to your local dealer or go online to www.newholland.com.
CASE IH Take a look at the two new mowerconditioners from Case IH; the DC133 and DC163. The new DC mowers feature simplified drivelines; they are driven from the left side of the machine, which delivers consistent power across the entire mower. Being left-hand driven, the swivel gear box does not require a steering link, meaning the PTO shaft stays perfectly aligned.
The DC133 and DC136 from Case IH have three options in the conditioning system; rubber on rubber rolls, flail conditioning, and steel on steel rolls, which gives you plenty of options in selecting a mower for your ranch. The new cutterbar features larger gears, bearings and interconnecting shafts for a more durable and fuel efficient mower. The DC133 can cut a nice 13ft. and the DC163 knocks down a whopping 16ft. For more information check out www.caseih.com or visit your friendly local dealership.
KUBOTA Finally, let’s take a look at the Kubota DMC8500 models, which are equipped with a center pivot drawbar. The SemiSwing conditioner utilizes centrifugal force to offer an aggressive conditioning effect while providing excellent tine protection. The 8.8″ diameter wide chevron rubber rollers are made from highly durable polyurethane with a steel core. If a foreign object is encountered, the spring-controlled pressure system will allow the rollers to separate leaving an opening of up to 2.4″ for the object to pass through without damaging the machine.
The complete mowing section is suspended independently from the main chassis with four long adjustable suspension springs, allowing field contours to be closely followed. If an obstacle is encountered in the field, the mowing section will lift up and backwards, protecting the cutter bar from damage.
With three blades per disc, Kubota mowers are constantly cutting, resulting in a third less load per blade; an even load on the drive; smooth power usage; and a neat, cleanly cut stubble. The long curved gear wheels run smoothly in oil and provide efficient power transfer. DMC8500 Series mower conditioners can be fitted with the ‘Express’ system for quick and easy changing of knives.
For more information, go to www.kubota.com and click on ‘hay tools’, or head down to your local dealer. Overall, these super six manufacturers have some very impressive mowerconditioners… it’s just a matter of getting out and deciding which one fits your operation the best. So, with hay season right around the corner it’s time to hook up and be ready to knock it down fast and efficiently.