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Tractor Mounted Swather
"You don't spend all day looking over your shoulder because it lays the swaths right alongside the tractor. Cost just $10,000 to build," says Carl Gillis, Gray, Sask., about his home-built 48-ft. swather mounted on a Deere 4430 tractor.
Gillis says his main goal when building the swather was to keep it simple. Reel, cutterhead and canvas on each swather are driven by a single hydraulic motor that replaces the pto drive. He hooks the hydraulic motors to the gearbox and drives the knives with a spring-loaded tightener and belt.
Gillis used two 24-ft. Versatile wathers modified from center delivery to side delivery. One swather pushes ahead of the tractor and dumps to the right. The other, which mounts on the right side of the tractor, dumps to the left, about 1 ft. away from the first windrow to facillitate drying. Gillis says it's easy to convert the swathers to right or left hand delivery by simply changing direction of one side of the canvas with a short chain on the canvas rollers. Because of the extra weight of moving grain the length of the canvas, he increased canvas speed about 10%.
The front swather mounts entirely on the tractor frame. The second swather has a single caster wheel. The cross carrier between the two swathers is made from 8-in. sq. pipe with 3/8-in. wall. The carrier, and its hinge, is the heart of the entire assembly, according to Gillis. The carrier is angled back along the right side of the tractor. It hinges where it attaches to the second swather. In field position, a simple hitch tube made from two pieces of heavy wall black pipe holds the rear swather in position. By simply pulling a -in. pin, the swather folds back to transport position. Takes just 5 min. to go from field to transport. In transport position, the swather caster wheel runs directly behind the inside tractor dual which means the entire swather can go down any road or through any gate that would accommodate a 24-ft. swather.
A single hydraulic pump mounted on the tractor pto with a flow divider runs both swather assemblies. Gillis runs the swather tables with dual hydraulic levers on the tractor. A special Deere adaptor block lets him operate the reel lift. It installs between the main casting and the hydraulic outlet block. He runs that high-pressure oil source to a pair of electric solenoid-controlled hydraulic valves so he can run the reels with electric switches.
"I worked out most of the problems ahead of time so that by the time I got to the shop, most of the problems had already been anticipated. If you start with two used swathers you should be able to build it for $10,000 or less. That's just a fraction of what you could spend for a comparable commercial big swather," notes Gillis.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Gillis, Box 45, Gray, Sask. S0G 2A0 Canada (ph 306 738-4416).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #3