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Home-Built 365 HP Monster Chopper
"Making silage is a fast, easy job with our home-built 4-row monster chopper. It chops two tons per minute or up to six acres per hour," says Richard Waybright, Gettysburg, Penn., who uses his home-built rig to chop 800 acres of corn silage as well as 1,400 acres of haylage each year to feed his 1,280-cow dairy herd.
The one-of-a-kind chopper is powered by a 365 hp Deutz V-10 air-cooled diesel engine. It's equipped with 4 ft. wide, 5 1/2-ft. high TerraTires in back and 2-ft. wide, 5-ft. high flotation tires in front. Its powerful blower sends a thick stream of silage flying straight back into a 35-ft. long custom-built semi-trailer that holds 29 tons of silage. Waybright uses two tandem axle semi-trailers, both equipped with high flotation tires and "walking" floors, to rear-unload silage into his 12 trench silos. The driver can unload and switch trailers automatically without leaving the cab.
"Our chopper has more capacity than any commercial chopper on the market. It hauls silage more efficiently from field to silo than any commercial machine we've ever seen," says Waybright, who chops 15,000 tons of corn silage and 20,000 tons of haylageperyear. "Before we built this chopper, we were using three 3-row self-propelled Field Queen side-dump forage harvesters and two trucks. But each of our trailers holds twice as much silage as a truck, cutting the number of trips to the silos in half. Another advantage of this chopper is that it blows silage into the trailer so tight itdoesn't settle down on the way to the silos like it normally would. The low-pressure Terra Tires apply less weight per square inch than a forage wagon to reduce soil compaction. It takes only 3 min. to unload each trailer and 1 1/2 minutes to switch trailers, so we can travel up to 4 miles to the silo and still keep the chopper going."
The chopper's powerful silage-throwing ability is made possible by a powerful 30-in. dia., 9-in. wide blower that's powered by a V-belt off the cutter rotor. "The blower is so powerful that it can throw silage back 300 ft.," notes Waybright.
The chopper has no axles. Each wheel is individually driven by a.hydraulic motor. The hydrostatic transmission allows innnite speeds up to 17 mph. Articulated steering allows the chopper to turn in a 15-ft. radius. "We can turn around on the end of the field and go right to the next row," notes Waybright.
To unload, the driver presses a button in the cab which electronically unlatches the trailer's rear gate to pop the end gate open. The driver puts the pto in gear to activate the trailer's walking floor which shuffles silage out the rear. After unloading, the operator drives forward and hits the brake. The end gate swings back shut and automatically latches. To switch trailers, the driver flips a switch in the cab to electronically unlatch the trailer's fifth wheel and activate the trailer's hydraulic landing gear.
Before chopping hay, Waybright uses a home-built 30-ft. rotary mower to lay unswathed hay. After letting the hay dry for four to five hours, he rakes the hay into 5-ft. wide swaths, then chops it.
Waybright adds preservatives to the silage while chopping with an automatic blower system that mixes water with enzymes and blows the mix into the silage.
Waybright says he spent $145,000 to build the chopper.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Waybright, Mason Dixon Farms, 1800 Mason Dixon Road, Gettysburg, Penn. 17325 (ph 717 334-4056).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #3