Thursday, 03 October 2019 11:25

Simple butterfly makes mowing a breeze

Written by  Mark Daniel
Jason Holdem, Taranaki with son Nixon. Jason Holdem, Taranaki with son Nixon.

Taranaki contractor Jason Holdem’s approach to farm machinery is straightforward: “It’s got to be simple to use and need minimum maintenance.”

In 2016 Holdem bought a new Kverneland 3232 mounted mower conditioner designed light yet strong, needing only low horsepower and easy to use. 

He was happy with his choice and when the time came to upgrade to deal with a larger workload Holdem knew what he wanted.

 His new KV5087MN butterfly mower conditioner, the first delivered in New Zealand, allows him to operate more efficiently even in small paddocks and it has markedly greater capacity.

The KV5087MN weighs only 2.13 kg, has a working width of 8.70m and can be driven by a modest tractor of about 150hp. 

On Holdem’s machine the rear butterfly unit is paired with a KV 3632FT front mower. The trio is powered by a New Holland T7.210 tractor.

 Holdem explains why he upgraded to a rear butterfly set-up: “It offered the same simplicity as the KV3232 with the opportunity to be more efficient”. 

“Having one fewer tractor go out the gate saves on a tractor and a man. This is important to us, because like most contractors we are struggling to find good reliable staff. The British boys I employed quickly became skilled operators, having never driven a butterfly unit before. That says a lot for its simplicity.” 

The 8.7m working width proved easy to handle in Taranaki, where paddock size can range from 1 - 10 ha. The mower is manoeuvrable and follows contours well on undulating ground. 

 The 3.2m mowing units carry eight round cutting discs and nylon conditioning tines which Holdem had previously praised on the earlier KV3232. 

The cutter bars use a spring suspension system from the central frame and non-stop break-back protection to help reduce damage and running costs. 

Two mounting positions on the suspension arm allow an optimal overlap between the front and rear mowers, while in-cab adjustment via the hydraulic system can be used to adjust ground pressure. 

Holdem sums up the new arrival simply: “The KV 5087 has the same simplicity as the KV3232 -- we grease it, use it, change the knives and that’s about it.”

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