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Turn Around Kit For Pull Type Choppers
"You get all the advantages of a factory-made, self-propelled silage chopper for a lot less cost," says Charles Thor, inventor-manufacturer of a unique kit that adapts pull-type forage choppers for front hitching.
Instead of pulling it, you push it, operating at 5 to 6 mph. And, instead of tying up a lot of money in a power unit, you use the tractor you already own to provide the power, explains Thor who has made several key improvements in his adapter kit since it was first featured in FARM SHOW seven years ago (Vol. 4, No. 1, 1980).
He's redesigned the chopper's blower pipe which, initially, had a curve in it that occasionally plugged when chopping wet, sticky material. The new pipe (8 in. dia. and 12 ft. long) has no curve whatsoever and provides enough "blast force" to direct freshly-chopped material, regardless of how wet or sticky, into the far end of a long, trailing wagon, Thor points out.
He also revamped the blower (32 in. dia.) itself. Originally, it was mounted on the cutter head shaft and turned in the same direction. He now powers the blower via a separate gear case. It, and the cutter head, turn in opposite directions, causing chopped material to flow to the outer edge of the fan for greater propelling force in blowing material back and into the trailing wagon. "We run the fan at 650 rpm's but can adjust speed up or down simply by changing pulley sizes," Thor points out.
His kit will adapt to most newer makes of forage choppers including Deere 3940 and the older 3800 to conventional tractors, or to Versatile's new Bi-Directional model 276 which, says Thor, is "tailor-made" for the conversion.
For conventional tractors not equipped with a front pto or 3 pt., Thor supplies a special hookup which transfers pto power (from the rear of the tractor) through an enclosed roller chain and from it via a long extension shaft running alongside the tractor to the front-hitched chopper. The converted chopper rides on "dolly" wheels and follows ground contours independent of the tractor itself. (The "dolly" wheels aren't needed when mounting the chopper on Versatile's Bi-Directional tractor.)
"Our converted chopper, with a 2-wheel silage wagon behind so a lot of weight is transferred to the tractor hitch, will go through mud and other tough sledding that a regular self-propelled silage chopper can't get through. Our unit will also go over ditches and up steep banks that a factory-made unit can't handle. Another advantage in converting to self-propelled is that you don't get any down rows when opening the field," Thor notes.
Other key features of his conversion kit include automatic control of the discharge spout to allow cutting around sharp durves without any spillage of material; and a special hitch which allows the driver to hitch and unhitch silage wagons without leaving the driver's seat.
Cost of the complete conversion, with 3 row head, is right at $20,000. "That's about one-fifth the going rate for a factory-made, self-propelled chopper," says Thor.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Custom Made Equipment, Charles Thor, President, Box 654, Hutchinson, Minn. 55350 (ph 612 587-2380).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #1