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Swather Cuts Trees As It Opens Fields
"I can trim tree branches as I make the first round to open a field," says John Rauch, Delia, Alberta, who equipped a Massey Ferguson 36 self-propelled swather with a vertical 9-ft. sicklebar.
  Rows of trees line the sides of many of Rauch's fields. The trees trap snow and help retard soil erosion but the branches grow out over the fields. "The add-on sicklebar lets me trim back branches and open a field at the same time," says Rauch. "If necessary, I can raise the cutting table all the way up to reach branches 12 ft. high."
  After he opens a field with the tree-trimming swather, Rauch usually switches to another swather to finish the field.
  He built the tree trimmming sicklebar by cutting up an 18-ft. sicklebar off a Massey Ferguson 34 swather. He built a frame out of steel tubing to hold the sicklebar. The sicklebar pivots at the bottom on a 1-in. dia. steel rod. To operate the sicklebar he plumbed an orbital motor into the swather's hydraulic system.
  "I have seven miles of trees lining my fields so it really comes in handy. It makes the tree rows look nice, too," says Rauch. "I usually only have to cut off 1 to 2 ft. of new growth so it handles it well.
  "The add-on sicklebar was originally driven by a pitman head. However, the add-on sicklebar and frame already added a lot of weight to the swather, and I thought that the pitman's extra weight would be too heavy for the original hydraulic cylinder that raises the cutting table. So I replaced the pitman with the orbital motor. It's connected to the pitman arm off another Massey Ferguson 34 swather that I already had."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Rauch, Box 330, Delia, Alberta, Canada T0J 0W0 (ph 403 364-2112).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4