The Discbine 313 and Discbine 316 are our new models for 2014,” says Seth Doman, marketing manager for hay and forage crop preparation products. “We’ve simplified the driveline (compared to the previous H7000 Series models).”
That simplified driveline now looks considerably different from what was used on the previous H7000 Series models. The cutterbar is now driven only from the left side, unlike the earlier version which was powered from both sides. The new engineering reduces the number of driveline gearboxes, and it also means the 313 and 316 get a redesigned cutterbar as well.
According to Doman the new MowMax II cutterbar not only accommodates the simpler driveline, it incorporates a range of performance and design improvements too. Each MowMax II cutting module uses a larger disc driven by heavier gears, bearings and connecting shafts. And the machine can cut closer to the ground with less cutterbar tilt, minimizing scalping. Larger discs with a “tapered skirt” profile are also better at moving the crop into the conditioner and out the back.
“The entire cutter bar has been beefed up,” says Doman. “The modules, connecting shafts and gears have now almost doubled in size. That’s important because it’s now driven from one side. It’s also important because we’re talking about reliability.”
If the inevitable happens and you hit a rock with one of the cutter discs, a new feature will help protect the driveline and keep repair time and costs down. “We have something we’ve created called a ShockPro hub,” explains Doman. “It’s under the top cover (of the disc module). It has five splines, so when you hit something one of these spines is going to shear off instead of damaging the bearings and gears inside the disc module. The ShockPro hub costs about $50, instead of about $300 if you were to damage the module. It only takes about five minutes to change in the field.”
The company is so confident in new the MowMax II cutterbar’s durability, it gets an extended three-year warranty on top of the standard one-year base warranty on the overall machine.
According to New Holland, all the design changes combine to provide one other advantage: they reduce the power demand on the tractor, lowering fuel consumption when cutting.
At the back, the WideDry conditioning rollers have been stretched out to 125 inches (317.5 centimetres) from 102 inches on the H7000 Series machines. Windrow shields have also been lengthened by 14-1/2 inches to accommodate the wider rollers. Customers can choose among rubber or steel rollers or a flail-type conditioner. With the wider conditioners, farmers can spread the hay out in a wider windrow to hasten dry-down times.
“The faster we can get that crop down to that 10 to 12 per cent moisture level, the better the hay quality will be,” notes Doman. “Laying it out will allow the sun to impact the crop that was just cut.”
Conditioning rollers also have a two-speed drive (750 or 640 RPMs), allowing farmers dealing with lighter crops to slow the rollers down to minimize the amount of material thrown around.
Farmers who buy a new Discbine also get a choice of six different knife options, ranging from one with a seven degree bevel, which minimizes the amount of dirt and debris pulled into the crop material, to one designed to deal better with rocky conditions.
New Holland also offers a biomass kit for the new Discbines to accommodate cutting typical tall and coarse biomass crops. †