More mower capacity needs no extra power
THE way to increased mower capacity – but not at the expense of extra labour and tractor power – is to operate mowers in groups of three, reasons Adrian Phillips of Dyfed-based Elm Farms.
Earlier this year Mr Phillips, working in conjunction with his local Renault dealer, set about constructing a carrying frame in which three Greenland PZ 2.8m (8ft 9in) mowers could be operated to create a working width of about 7.6m (25ft) – and an output in excess of 8ha(20 acres)/hr.
The main frame is supported on the rear linkage of the tractor, in this case, a 145hp Renault 155.54 which is operated in reverse drive. The middle mower section is then mounted to a second three-point linkage and the outer wing-mowers to two extension arms. It is a configuration which not only allows individual sections to float but also to be raised out of work if required.
Drive to the mowers is via three gear boxes – a main splitter box which takes the 1000 rpm pto drive and distributes it to the middle section and out to the two wing sections, and two outer gear boxes on the wing-sections themselves.
For transport, the outer section folds vertically before rotating through 90í to provide a compact travelling width of about 2.8m – the width of the middle mower.
Mr Phillips estimates he has spent £5000 on developing the three-mower assembly. But he considers the tractor and man-power saving on 800ha (2000 acres) of silaging this year has made it worthwhile.