If your hay operation includes two or three mowers, each with its own tractor and driver, you might consider a triple mower system so you can cut nearly 30 feet with one tractor. You have two choices to make this work. One, you get a tractor with 150-hp or more than can also drive backwards. With a bidirectional tractor, you can push all three mowers in a triple set up. Matt Jaynes, product manager with Claas, says the only bidirectional tractors big enough to handle Claas triple mowers are Claas Xerion, Fendt or Valtra models. New Holland’s aren’t powerful enough, he says.
The other choice is get a tractor with PTO and three-point hitches on the back and front. With this set up, you mount the middle mower on the front and pull the other two mowers behind. John Deere, Case IH, AGCO (AGCO, Massey, Fendt, Valtra), JCB, McCormick and Deutz all make a tractor that can be ordered with front three-point and PTO or have them installed after market, Jaynes says.
Claas has two new models in its Disco three-mower system. Disco 9300C, with tine conditioner, can be installed in a front/ rear combination or converted to a bidirectional method. Disco 9100 with no conditioner can only be installed in a front/rear combination.
“The top features of our new mowers are the hydraulic float, wider working widths, quick knife blade change and heavy duty cutter bar with Safety Link,” Jaynes says.
“Hydraulic float allows the mowers to float more efficiently (less wear) and have less drag on the ground. It is also better in wetter conditions because it will reduce the amount of mud build up,” he says.
The Disco 9100 Plus mower without conditioner has a working width of 29 feet, three inches. Model 9300C with its tine conditioning system has a mowing width of 29 feet, 10 inches in bidirectional mode.
With the Quick Knife change system, you need only a special prying tool to change knives.
And finally, the heavy duty cutter bar is a planetary gear-to-gear drive with 25 per cent thicker gears than the closest competitor, Jaynes says. The Safety Link system protects the gears inside. If the mower bar comes in contact with a destructive object, only the shaft below the disc breaks and no contamination can occur to the internal cutter bed. “You simply remove the disc and module and replace it with a new module. This all can be done in under 10 minutes,” he says.