19 April 1996

Austrian firm aims to rake in the UK grassland market

AUSTRIAN grassland equipment manufacturer Pottinger is making its biggest effort yet to carve a slice of UK mower, tedder/rake and forage harvester sales.

The company, which claims to be among the top five European manufacturers of grassland equipment, has formed a new alliance with Deutz-Fahr tractor importer Watveare to form Pottinger GB as a distinct sales division within the Bearley, Warwicks-based firm.

Pottinger GB sales manager Ian Morton says the range has been well received by dealers considering the franchise and a substantial network has already been established with demonstration and stock machines ordered for the busy 1996 sales season.

Pottingers presence in the UK has been relatively low-key in recent years; after a period with two small importers in the 1960s and 1970s, Greenland took on the UK franchise, but only for the MEX flywheel forage harvesters as the rest of the range clashed with its PZ and Vicon equipment.

The development of new trailed mowers and high-workrate grass rakes which would suit UK farmers and contractors, however, prompted the Austrian company to review its import arrangements. The withdrawal of Deutz-Fahr grass equipment range from Watveare by Greenland last year opened the doors for the new signing.

UK a key export market?

Pottinger now hopes Britain will become a key export market; it already sells 68% of production outside its home country, chiefly to Germany, France and Ireland. Pretty much the complete range will be offered here, including a full complement of drum and disc mowers and mower-conditioners, grass tedders, grass rakes, trailed and reverse drive forage harvesters.

Among the newest models are the 2.56m and 3m (8ft 5in and 9ft 10in) cut Nova trailed disc mower-conditioners. The cutterbar on these machines is a slimline design with triple-plate construction incorporating a replaceable bottom wear plate. Twin-blade oval cutting discs give a wide overlap while recessed fastenings leave a smooth upper surface for clean crop flow.

The drive arrangement is unusual in employing belts to transfer drive from the main gearbox via lateral shafts; on one side, three belts drive the cutterbar, on the other, another set drive the steel Y- tine conditioning rotor.

"This design, using notched belts running on smooth pulleys, gives a positive separate drive to the cutterbar and conditioning rotor," says Ian Morton.

The public working debut of the range will be at Grassland 96, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire on May 22/23, where Watveare will also show the Elho range of mowers and mower-conditioners which the company continues to sell under its own name mainly through the Deutz-Fahr dealer network.

Pottinger grassland range

Drum mowers: 1.65m-2.25m rear-mounted; 2.65m front-mounted.

Disc mowers: 2.1m-2.85m rear-mounted; 3m front-mounted; 2.56m and 3m trailed.

Tedders: 4-, 6- and 8-rotors, working widths 5.4m to 9m.

Rotary rakes: single- and twin-rotor, working widths 3.4m to 13.2m.

Forage harvesters: trailed and reverse drive, flywheel type.

Pottinger Nova 310TCR trailed disc mower-conditioner has a swivel drawbar for tight turns, high-lift frame for big swath clearance, and shaft plus belt drive to cutterbar and conditioner.

Most versatile model in the trailed rotary rake range is the TOP 800 which can form either two swaths from 7.6m (25ft) of spread grass or side-rake 6.7m (22ft) of grass into a single swath; two passes in the opposite direction using the latter format brings 13.2m (43ft 4in) of grass into a single swath – sufficient grass for the largest machine.