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Ultra-Wide Swather Takes 36-Ft Cut
You've never seen a swather quite like this - 36 ft. wide, self propelled and completely hydraulic. It's not for sale yet, but a lot of industry giants - including John Deere, International Harvester and Hesston - are taking a close look at this first-of-its-kind swather developed by Orville Linn, of Lang, Sask., Canada.
Even at 36 ft., it isn't as big as it could be.
"We could build one at least 50 ft. wide, but we were limited by shop space and materials on this prototype," Linn told FARM SHOW. Despite its width, the swather swings hydraulically into a narrow 10 ft. wide transport position in just 15 seconds.
The machine can lay down either a windrow from one 36-ft. swath, two windrows side-by-side from 18 ft. swaths, or two windrows 18-ft. apart from 18-ft. swaths. Spacing of windrows can be altered on the go.
Linn says he's not the first to try building an ultra-wide swather but thinks he's the first to succeed because of his machine's innovations.
First, hydrostatic drive lets him conveniently cross-mount the Chrysler slant-six, 225 cu. in. engine across the rear. Drive wheels turn hydraulically toward the direction of travel in the field or on the road. The cab also pivots hydraulically in the direction of travel, and it's all done in seconds. "There's not a belt or sprocket on this machine," says Linn.
Secondly, although turning is always difficult on wide machines, Linn solved the problem with a special drive wheel alignment. He reverses the inside wheel on the turn and then cramps it 40 degrees to bring the machine around evenly.
Thirdly, side-hill draft, or the tendancy for one side of the machine to hold back, was solved with a mecury level switch that adjusts for the problem by sending more hydraulic fluid to the slower side.
In addition, two-stage hydraulics almost double the swather's field speed in transport, according to Linn. "In the field, one stage operates the drive wheels and the other the cutting unit. In transport, the second stage is routed to the drive system, increasing its capacity to 18 mph maximum."
Another key feature on the prototype swather is the front-mounted left drive wheel. It gives leverage and supports the increased length required.
"The only swather I know of that came close to this size was a 30-ft. self-propelled model Versatile brought on the market briefly but took off after problems," says Linn. "With this design we can more than double the length of the largest existing self-propelled swather today."
Linn used two 18-ft. swathers to build the machine and it hinges in the middle. The drive unit detaches from the cutting head and can be used on other machines.
He estimates the swather retail price at $20,000 but says John Deere and other manufacturers suggest $25,000 as more realistic.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Linnco Manufacturing; Ltd., Box 188, Lang, Sask. Canada SOG 2W0 (ph 306 464-4640).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #5