Ground Speed Kills...
In one of our earlier newsletters we wrote about how ground speed affects the life of a mower, and how the lifetime reduction increases depreciation costs. We have had a number of customers mention the article as a good one so we thought that we would retype it to reinforce the message.
From August 1998 newsletter - The modern disc mower is a wonderful tool. They have the ability to cut low and fast, and still leave the paddock clean. The limiting factor is usually regarded as the speed and ground conditions rather than the performance of the mower. The problem with this approach is the life of the mower.
I had an instance recently where the client had a bent gearbox from a 3.2m mounted mower replaced under warranty. I went to discuss the circumstances under which the damage had occurred. The information I received indicated that the 110 hp tractor was run as fast as possible while still leaving a good job. We believe that it was being operated at about 16 km/hr or more across undulating but recently cultivated paddocks. The mower lasted 25 ha. from new before the gearbox bent.
We have clients who get 5,000 ha. out of their trailed mowers and 3,000 from mounted mowers. The common factor with them is their moderate ground speed in operation. They constantly work at 8-10 km/hr!
We have found the following table to apply:
The life is based on data from a range of 3.2m mowers operating in normal NZ conditions. The cost is the 1998 average depreciation only. Maintenance could be higher with faster operation but time also has a countering factor. The difference between $14.55 and $5.33 is more than the total profit for most operators.
Manager of the spare Parts Department
Brian has been our capable Parts Manager since 1987, but has been with the company since February 1984. Brian has been instrumental in implementing and developing the nationwide network system which provides all of our on-line dealers with the necessary information at their fingertips.
Brian has a good grip of what is going on in the front line and out in the field, and uses that feedback combined with a good old gut feeling to forecast the quantity of spare parts to bring in from overseas to support the machines in the field. This is a very difficult task when the seasons vary as much as they have done in the past 2-3 years.
Brian is married with 3 children, and enjoys driving the kids to their many and varied sporting activities during the weekends. When Brian gets a gap he heads for the golf course, and he keeps fit by swimming on a regular basis.
Andrew Tulloch, Masterton
"4 into 1 the ultimate silage system?"
Andrew Tulloch, contractor in and around Masterton, has just completed a test programme on a new model mower conditioner from Krone designated the AMT4000CV. The company uses Andrew to test most new models before releasing them for sale nationwide. This process ensures suitability to NZ conditions, and gives us a chance to iron out any bugs which shouldn’t, but often do appear in new models. Strangely enough, there has been very little to adjust on this high capacity machine from Krone. In fact, in using the machine some added bonuses came to light that no-one even considered before ordering the machine.
About the choice of mower conditioner
“Initially I planned to purchase a 4.8m Krone AMT5000CV mower conditioner. I liked the 2 independent cutterbars as it gave the ultimate in floatation, which is so important in extending the working life of the mower conditioner. However I finally settled for the 4.0m Krone AMT4000CV, because I thought that putting 8m into one row would suit both the round baler and forage harvester better.
It had the added advantage that it worked in with my Krone 6.2-6.8m rake. This size rake already fits perfectly with my AMT283CV (2.8m), so the whole business became more flexible.
About the mowing capacity
“We have a lot of narrow lanes and gates in this district, and the end-tow system proved to be a bonus with the narrower than normal transport width. The machine is quite a long unit in transport but this did not hinder us in any way. We have a policy to cut at a maximum of 10 km/hr (see mowing article elsewhere in this issue, ed.), and in good going it was feasible to cut 8 acres per hour without breaking any rules.”