Video: Mower test: Kuhn FC 313

The French-made Kuhn 313 is powerful and easy to use. Hitching on and off is pretty straightforward and the adjustable hydro-pneumatic safety break back protection system is effective.

Transport isn’t ideal though, which makes swinging off of busy roads into field gateways potentially awkward.

Watch the video and read the full report below.

 

Hitching and unhitching

Kuhn’s FC 313 can be fitted to tractor to suit its track width via a Cat III linkage. As with most of the mowers, two hydraulic services are required – one single-acting and one double-acting. During the test we had to detach and attach the mowers five or six times, and the Kuhn certainly proved one of the most straightforward to hitch on and off.

Support comes by way of a simple frame with a leg under each axis which can be pulled into place in seconds. It’s just a case of unscrewing the arms and toplink – there’s no need to worry about releasing the pressure before dropping the mower off.

Folding

Folding and controlling the 313’s working position is controlled by the double-acting spool. Once the cylinder has been activated, the mower pivots 90° and positions itself behind the tractor parallel to the ground. To unlock transport position, the operator must pull the cord in the cab to control the double-acting cylinder.

Although a horizontally folded machine means rear visibility is clearer, tractor ride quality suffers slightly because the implement sticks so far out the back. Kuhn says the mower has a transport damper fitted, but tractor ride can still be affected. The length of the mower can also cause problems when it comes to entering tight gateways or going round bends.

Power transmission

Power is transmitted by two shafts and one transfer gearbox. After being channelled into the first disc it then continues to the other discs via gear assemblies. All disc bearing assemblies incorporate the Kuhn patented Protecta drive safety feature. In the case of a collision with a foreign object the bearing assembly can be replaced in 15 minutes. The conditioner is powered by a triple belt drive.

Protection

Kuhn uses a non-stop safety device consisting of a single-acting cylinder with two nitrogen accumulators. If the mower meets an obstacle, the cutterbar pivots backward by 11°, then lifts up. Reset is automatic and there’s a gauge to let the driver know how much pressure remains in the circuit. Pressure level can then be adjusted using a spanner.

Suspension

Fitted with a central pivot point, the 313 uses a hydropneumatic and nitrogen-charged suspension system, which works on a single-acting cylinder that controls the ground pressure. A different pressure gauge from the protection device shows the operator the downward pressure on the cutterbar and pressure is released once the cylinder retracts.

Conditioner

Driven by four belts, the conditioner can either work at 615rpm or 888rpm, altered by inverting the drive pullies. The 2.6m rotor has six rows of ten twin nylon tines, each of which is completely fixed. Kuhn offers six positions for its conditioning plate which can be adjusted by a large lever. A sticker shows by how much and in what direction the lever should be adjusted for the desired conditioning.

Swathing

Two ring bolts need to be unscrewed to switch from spreading to swathing mode, done using the special tool provided to change the blades. Swath width can be adjusted between 1.2m and 2.7m if required.

Cutterbar

The cutterbar is well protected. Eight oval-shaped discs each have two reversible blades that are completely free mounted and can rotate through 360°. The top of the bed is flat which means the crop can flow straight over and into the conditioner easily. The disc bed was actually the shallowest on test.

Kuhn’s quick-change system requires the company’s special rubber-handled wrench with a large bar to release the locking mechanism. The locking point must be lined with the hole on the cutterbed in order to slide the blades easily out of their holders.

Working width: 3.1m

Weight distribution: 180kg/100kg (inside/outside)

Number of discs: 8

Conditioner speed: 888rpm

Price: £15,021

Likes:

  • Quick hitching/unhitching
  • Spreading width (2.7m)
  • Adjustable Hydro-pneumatic safety break back protection system

     

Gripes:

  • Comfort on the road
  • Electric cable for lights crosses the cutterbar

     

  • Access into narrow gateways difficult