IRISH machinery manufacturer Keltec has launched what it believes to be the first front mounted mower with steering as a standard feature.
With a 3m cutting width the new model can be steered from the cab to eliminate uncut strips of grass when turning or running alongside bends in the headland.
This, the Limerick based company believes, is the first time that such a feature has been available on a standard mower rather than as a third party conversion. It was designed in response to feedback from the many contractor customers of the company’s present range.
The angle of the mower in relation to the tractor is directed via a ram which moves the entire unit through an arc of approximately 16 degrees. This is operated from a double acting spool valve in the cab and so remains under the control of the driver at all times.
Key to the ability of the mower to swing in either direction is a redesign of the mounting linkage to allow lateral movement between the tractor and mower. The hydraulically cushioned floatation is not affected by the mechanism and the cutting performance is still excellent.
The cutting width of all the company’s mowers is 3m (10 feet) and this unit is no exception. The cutting bar is supplied by Comer of Italy who have an enviable reputation in producing these components. There are seven discs each with two blades.
The crop is conditioned with forked steel tines and the degree of processing can be controlled by an adjustable steel hood. As an option the end skirts can be folded hydraulically.
All Keltec products are designed and built in the heart of Ireland’s dairy country where heavy crops and often irregular field conditions prevail.
As a safeguard, heavy gauge steel is used throughout and generously sized bearings specified for the moving parts. These features ensure that the mowers will stand up to the punishment of long hard silage seasons in the heaviest of forage crops.
If used in conjunction with the rear mounted mowers already available from Keltec the new mower combination provides a 9.5 metre cut. The standard fixed front mower will continue to be manufactured.
The full model range comprises trailed and mounted versions of the 3m design as well a butterfly set. A novel feature of these mowers is that they use auger groupers rather than belts which can save up to a tonne in weight, putting far less stress on the tractor’s rear end.
Article written by Chris McCullough