Wednesday, November 22, 2017

MacDon: Forage role for Canadian-built windrowers?

By WniF editors

MacDon Windrowers could be ideal for contractors or large-scale farmers looking for an alternative solution for cutting grass for silage. The machines are already used for this purpose in North America, and there are good reasons to think it could catch on here too.

The Canadian company says that while three-mower solutions are a common high-output solution in Europe, they need experienced operators. Windrowers, meanwhile, are well proven and easy to use, even by inexperienced labour. And productivity shouldn’t be an issue as  headers up to 10.6m (34 feet) wide are available.

The crop is all pulled into a single windrow, so an additional tractor isn’t needed to pull a rake or tedder, and the smaller power requirement saves fuel – although you do have the issue of the self-propelled machine sitting in the shed for much of the year, whereas a tractor could move onto other tasks.

That, however, could be about to change, as MacDon says climate change and alternative weed control strategies could also favour a move to much greater use of windrowing in Europe.

MacDon’s latest M155E4 windrowers deliver speed, innovation, and performance. Dual Direction steering, Stage IV emissions engines, an unobstructed 116cm below-frame clearance, a choice of three cutting platforms, and Harvest Manager Pro cutting control are some of the notable characteristics of these M Series Windrowers.

Efficiency, comfort, and speed
With 148hp (156 hp boosted) tuned for performance to handle fluctuating loads in less-than-ideal harvesting conditions, the highly efficient Cummins 4.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbo diesel engines deliver excellent fuel economy with AdBlue consumption as low as three per cent of fuel. There’s no Diesel Particulate Filter, making this a low-maintenance system.

The Ultra Glide cab features a four-corner independent gas shock suspension system for a smooth ride. The cab’s forward design and curved glass provides unmatched visibility of the cutterbar and field conditions. The ergonomic cab design is ideal for operator comfort and control, and reduces operator fatigue even on long working days.

Dual Direction turns the driver seat and controls 180 degrees allowing for quick travel between fields with speeds up to 37km/hr.

Headers suitable for cutting grass for silage are available at up to 10.6m wide.

Choice of cutting platforms
Rotary, auger and draper headers are available for MacDon windrowers. The R Series Rotary Disk Headers are available 4.0m (13 feet) wide, there are two A Series Auger Headers at 4.9m or 5.5m (16 or 18 feet) wide, and six sizes ranging from 4.6m to 12.2m (15 to 40 feet) in the D65 Draper header segment.

Harvest Manager Pro is a fully computerised monitoring and header control system, providing real-time readouts of the header’s performance and other critical information.

“All header functions are controlled intuitively at the operator’s fingertips, including MacDon’s popular Return-To-Cut feature that returns the header to its previous cut settings after being lifted,” the general manager of MacDon Europe, Benedikt von Riedesel, said. “The Hydraulic Center Link also allows for on-the-go adjustments of the header angle, allowing operators to instantly adapt to changing field conditions. These are just a few of the features that make operation of our windrowers so simple and efficient.”

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