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Combine-Mounted Mowers Chop Stalks On-The-Go
Pulling three rotary mower decks behind an otherwise unmodified combine has almost no effect on combine operation yet eliminates a trip over the field to chop stalks, says Einar Oftedal, Cottonwood, Minn.
His combine stalk chopper consists of three hydraulic-powered mower decks suspended from a bar that runs across the rear of the combine. Each mower chops two rows at a time.
The mowers are fitted with hydraulic motors powered by a "sectioned" hydraulic pump that's driven off a modified pulley on the combine's drive system. The triple-sectioned hydraulic pump (45 gpm - sectioned to pump three separate channels at 15 gpm) mounts on the side of the combine where it's easy to get to yet out of the way of other components. Hydraulic oil is supplied from a 55-gal. tank mounted above the pump. It's fitted with a sight glass to make it easy to determine fluid level.
A sectioned pump is more efficient than the use of dividers or operating the hydraulic motors in series and it produces much less heat as a result," notes Oftedal, adding that the cutters are powered by high torque, low speed hydraulic motors.
The 4-ft. wide mower decks have 3-pt. mounting linkages and 45 hp. gearboxes. They hang from a mounting bar bolted to the rear axle of the combine by two pins and a safety chain, which is used to control height of the cutters. It takes just minutes to remove the mowers when changing from corn to other crops.
Mower motors have quick disconnect fittings and each is independently connected to one section of the hydraulic pump by 1-in. lines with shutoff valves so they can each be independently controlled. Shields (not shown) protect the belts and hydraulic motors from corn cobs and husk debris.
Belts that power the hydraulics are all shielded for safety. The pump, valves and cutters are all positioned for easy access for servicing and removal.
Total cost to build the combine stalk chopper was about $2,500 using off-theshelf parts and miscellaneous steel to make mounting brackets.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Einar Oftedal, Cottonwood, Minn. 56229.

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1994 - Volume #18, Issue #6