The Lely is a straightforward machine with only one hydraulic service needed for all operations. The driver doesn’t have a chance to go wrong, either, with clear instructions for every function and a sticker showing working recommendations.
Watch the video and read the full report below.
Hitching and unhitching
A Category 2 hitch is standard on the Lely machine, and there are two positions for matching the track width. Only one double-acting spool is needed to control both the folding mechanism and the suspension, and because there’s only one pair of pipes, it makes hitching up quick and simple.
The parking stand is effective, consisting of a tube with a handle and locking pin. Before unhitching, it is important to activate the locking hook on the headstock using the rope control.
How the Splendimo folded split the test team as to whether they liked or disliked it. The principle is simple, a large clamp with several grooves drops over the cylinder.
The position of the clamp dictates what mode the mower is in – park, work or transport. To change position, simply pull hard on the rope control, however you will need to be fairly strong.
Once the clamp is removed, the operator needs to operate the spools at the same time to shift the cylinder out of the clamp notches. While some found this a nuisance, others found it straightforward. The Splendimo folded vertically over centre for well-balanced transport.
Power is delivered to the mower bed via a universal joint and two gearboxes to the first cutting disc. It is then transferred through an internal shaft which runs the width of the bed, driving each disc through bevel gears. The conditioner is driven via a pulley with four V-belts.
Until you see the Lely’s break back system in action it’s difficult to explain how it works. It’s a mechanical system which comprises of two flat bars, the first tilts backwards and the second upward. Gravity then automatically resets the system.
The mower’s single cylinder provides the suspension via a hydropneumatic circuit which is set from the cab. A gauge indicates the pressure level which is set initially at 75 bar, the pressure recommended by Lely. This can be changed according to conditions, but in normal conditions, there should be no need to alter anything.
Measuring 2.6m wide, the conditioner cylinder has 132 fixed nylon fingers arranged in a spiral pattern around the rotor. These are graduated with more fingers at the side where the forage flow is heaviest.
The conditioner plate has seven settings, which varies the distance between 3cm to 12cm, controllable by stiff lever at the front of the mower.
A bolt, loosened by hand, allows the operator to move the swath board. It’s quick and easy to adjust and allows the width of the swath to be switched between 1.7m and 2.6m. The Splendimo has no vanes.
The Lely is unique in that its cutterbar is modular and driven by a hex shaft with power transmitted to each bed via a gear wheel and pinion. Two knives are fitted to each disc with a 7cm cutting surface for each blade.
The Splendimo’s quick-change system involves knives being held on by a clip and pin system. A novel tool with a hammer-type arrangement on one end and a fork on the other involves the operator levering the clip out of place and then tapping a pin before releasing it and removing the blade completely.
Lely provides plenty of spare clips, leading the test team to think that it’s more than likely to lose them in heavier crops.
Working width: 3.22m
Weight distribution (inside/outside): 150/100kg
Number of discs: 8
Conditioner speed: 900rpm
Easy to adjust swath and spreading settings
Changing the knives
Ropes difficult to pull