The tractor and machinery industry is welcoming a challenge by the Minister of Agriculture to train New Zealanders rather than continue relying on seasonal migrant workers.
AGCO’S Green Harvest range has evolved as tedders, rakes, loader wagons and baler/wrapper combinations.
Now for 2019 comes a new range of disc mowers – the DM-TL-V series made at the Feucht factory in Germany, of interest to operators wanting greater mowing widths but powered by tractors of ‘reasonable’ size.
Available in three models, the DM 265, 316 and 367 TL-V offer working widths of 2.6m, 3.1m and 3.6m, respectively, in 5-, 6- and 7-disc configurations, each carrying two quick-attach blades. (A KC-designation indicates a rear conditioning element for rapidly increasing dry matter content.)
The designation TL-V shows that the mower is equipped with the Turbo Lift hydro-pneumatic lift system -- with vertical folding for transport -- that allows the mower to fold to 30 degrees past the vertical, centring its mass over the three-point linkage and the centre line of the tractor.
This is said to allow safe, comfortable transport between jobs, and it minimises overhang beyond the rear fenders of the tractor.
The layout sees a heavy-duty headstock, with the cutter mounted at a centralised pivot position, allowing ground adaptation up to 28 degrees above horizontal and 20 degrees below.
A hydro-pneumatic circuit can be steplessly adjusted to ground pressure, depending on terrain and forward speed and to minimise damage to the turf.
The heart of the machine -- the cutter-bar -- has a flat profile protected by large hardened steel wear plates and a sealed-for-life oil bath needing little or no maintenance. Large, hardened spur gears work with oversized disc drive gears with always three teeth engaged, resulting in minimal gear backlash and quiet running.
A heavy-duty driveline takes power to the first disc assembly, with protection from overload and a free-wheeling clutch for controlled wind down after the PTO is disengaged. A separate, protected drive-line is used for powering the conditioner.
In the paddock, the integral Safety Swing function allows the mower bed to move up and over obstacles, making use of a patented pivoting gearbox to prevent damage to the drivelines. Reset is achieved by gravity, without the operator having to leave the tractor seat.
Set-up is said to be particularly easy, only needing setting of the tractor’s lower links, from where the TL system is used for lifting and lowering via a single-acting hydraulic connection.
The operating position is set by centralising two marker arrows on the mower frames; a compensation cylinder sets up the machine for contours of +/- 13 degrees and locks out the cutter-bar for headland turns.
Standard equipment includes quick attach blades, a rear-mounted toolbox, safety lock and integral parking stand. Optional conditioner units are available with spring steel tines or roller elements for general or delicate crop types.