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Home-Built 30-Ft Self-propelled Mower
"Mowing hay is a fast, easy job with our 30-ft. self-propelled mower. It travels at 10 mph and mows up to 30 acres per hour in heavy hay," says Richard Waybright, Ma-son Dixon Farms, Gettysburg, Penn., who uses his home-built rig to mow 1,800 acres of hay and grass each year to feed his 1,385-cow dairy herd.
The one-of -a-kind mower is powered by a 235 hp Detroit diesel engine and equipped with 28.00 by 26.00 tires. Each of the three independently-powered 10-ft. 9-in. wide mower sections consists of eight 12-in. dia. Vicon rotary discs. The three sections float independently to stay close to even the roughest terrain. The sections overlap several inches. They fold up to a transport width of 16 ft. Cutting height, controlled hydraulically, ranges from ground level to 14 in.
"It has more capacity than any commercial mower on the market. It can easily cut 250 acres per day and has already cut more than 16,000 acres," says Waybright. "Be-fore we built this mower, we were using two 16-ft. New Holland pull-type mowers. Each one cut 10 acres per hour. Our 30-ft. mower cuts more hay and requires only one opera-tor. Another advantage of this mower is that the low-pressure (10 lbs. psi) tires apply less ground pressure per square inch than conventional mowers, reducing soil compaction."
The rotary discs on each section are powered by three separate 50 hp hydraulic motors driven by three hydraulic pumps. The frame, axles, and steering gear are from a Champion self-propelled forage harvester. Waybright shortened the frame to an 11-ft. wheelbase. He mounted truck air suspension bags between the frame and mower sections for improved flotation. "We use an air compressor to fill the air bags so that the mower can 'bounce up and over obstructions, instead of digging into them," says Waybright. "The rig's Sundstrand hydro-static transmission allows infinitely variable speeds up to 10 mph. The mower can turn in a 15-ft. radius at the end of the field.
The disc knives are easily replaced by removing one bolt per knife. Steel cones, 2 ft. high and 1 ft. in dia., at the end of each section keep hay from wrapping up. Canvas shields in front of the mower keep debris from flying up onto the cab.
Waybright says he spent about $65,000 to build the mower.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Waybright, Mason Dixon Farms, 1800 Mason Dixon Road, Gettysburg, Penn. 17325 (ph 717 334-4056).


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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #3