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Opinions On Mower Conditioners


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14 replies to this topic

#1 BIG IRON

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

I am looking to purchase a mower conditioner that is fairly cheap. I have been looking at NH 469 479 488 492 and possibly a 499 for the right price. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice or experiences on which models are better than others. I am open to other options as long as they are affordable. I am a young guy just starting out looking to put up around 150 acres of brome and prairie hay.

Thanks
James

#2 Nitram

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:09 PM

Depends on definition of cheep. I have a heston 1014 its old an slow and for sale! It works well but I upgraded.

#3 CockrellHillFarms

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

Those Hesstons are good. We ran a 1010 for a long time.Nitram is correct, they are slow compared to a disc mower but they get the job done. BigIron....wamego, Ks huh? I had some good times there. lol. Not much there but the few times I've been there it was a good time. We stayed there for baseball tournaments when we played at K-State.

#4 TheFastMan

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:07 PM

I have a 479 I bought last year. It's in great shape and I got a good deal on it. I cut probably less than a third of what your are planning and I only have one season on it, so I don't have a lot of experience with it yet. So far I like it and did not have any problems with it last season. Everything is open and easy to work on (not that I have done a lot to it). With any sickle mower conditioner, make sure the conditioners are good with no chunks missing. Check the sickle bar and make sure its straight. I noticed some knifes on my bar were loose when I bought it, but when I went to replace them I found the bar was bent. The bent bar also ruined the guards. The extra bar the guy gave me wasn't even for this mower, too. The bar from the dealer (comes all ready to bolt in) cost just over $200, plus 19 guards at about $17 a piece comes to a little over $300 I think. So, the bar can get expensive pretty quick. Some friends of mine have a 488 which I think is just a newer version of the 479 or 469, they look similar anyway. They have ran that for years with not many problems. Just make sure to keep on top of the maintenance.
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#5 BIG IRON

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

Haha ya not much to do in Wamego but we manage to make some fun. Im actually going to K-State now. Pretty convenient since its just right down the road.

Those Hesstons are good. We ran a 1010 for a long time.Nitram is correct, they are slow compared to a disc mower but they get the job done. BigIron....wamego, Ks huh? I had some good times there. lol. Not much there but the few times I've been there it was a good time. We stayed there for baseball tournaments when we played at K-State.



#6 BIG IRON

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I will check out the hesston 1010 and 1014s. The reason I was looking at New Holland haybines is because we have a good equipment dealership in wamego that has great service so getting parts would be easy.

#7 mlappin

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:33 PM

Unless it's a piece of junk when you buy it, from my experience and what I've heard from other people, the NH 499's are practically bullet proof.
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#8 Nitram

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:09 PM

I would also keep your eye out for a hesston 1160 that is one that I upgraded to first, it has the steel rollers and is a newer machine. runs quieter and faster and found mine for 1500 which i thought was a great price. keep your guards straight and your sections sharp and well lubed and you will behappy. :-}

#9 Goatman

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:02 PM

We run a Hesston 1090. Bought it with very low use. Almost problem free! Have only been to the dealer once to get a key for it...which is good as dealers are almost an hour away from us. It has the steel on rubber rolls. They seem to work pretty good when adjusted right...otherwise they bang around a lot. The new hollands are very good as well. I like to stick with the 9' so i can lay the hay out flat and not have to drive on it or ted it later. Just my 2 cents.

#10 Texasmark

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:33 PM

This is my second posting (reply) today on the subject of running a drum mower and needing to crimp stemmy crops....along with small tender grasses not needing crimping.

I can't seem to find a stand alone crimper. What if I looked around and found a MOCO that had the sickle portion, wobble box or whatever toasted. I could remove the bar and fingers and just use the wheel and rollers to do the crimping running in a second pass behind the drum.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Mark

#11 Nitram

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

I could be wrong but your going have crop bunching up unless you have a pick up device. Good luck Martin

#12 Vol

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

I could be wrong but your going have crop bunching up unless you have a pick up device. Good luck Martin


Yes, definitely need a operating reel....or like Martin says could be trouble....maybe take the sickle bar out(slide out) and take the belt off the wobble drive. I would leave the knife guards on.....might help about getting under the cut grass.

Regards, Mike

#13 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

I picked up a NH 479 last year that was getting a little rough cosmetic wise. Put a new piece in for the pan, some knew knives and a few knew guards, cutter bar is bent up in the middle but worked fine on my 12 ac. for 3 cuttings. Also had to get a the one Shoe welded and fixed up. My rollers are in bad shape but worked fine on my grass hay this year. I paid $850 for mine. But i also picked up a NH 1469 Self Propelled for a steal only paid $500 for it and $250 to get it hauled home, i love the SP just very slow but great for my little farm. Good luck in your search, Craigslist has been the best thing every for me. I know have 2 of everything for hay making and i paid well under 1/2 of what it was worth.

Just be patient and keep looking around, i've have found the older guys getting out of it don't seem to care how much they get or just don't know what its all worth.

#14 Texasmark

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for the replies.

On pickup device to prevent bunching, the only thing I plan on removing is the bar and disconnecting the wobble box. The wheel and rollers will remain intact. I plan on looking at leaving the guards on or may take them off if they get in the way.

Height will be just off the ground. Stubble will be at 3+ inches and I should be able to get low enough to pick most of it up. If I miss a few stalks, no big deal (to me) as the average of the bale will be dry and can absorb the (few anticipated) overly damp stems.

On the drum mower, as said, it is two drums with a rotating wheel on the bottom of each with high tempered cutter blades (about 1" x 2.5") that pivot on a stud. The drum runs at extremely high speed and centrifugal force throws the blades out into cutting position. The bottom of the wheel is designed to run on the ground to establish a minimum cutting height. The stubble doesn't know it went over it. The windrow is fine with me as it helps me to establish a definite line between cut and uncut crop. I have an irregular field and some turns exceed 120 degrees and a sickle bar just makes a big mess. Teddering is a must with a bar.

It eliminates the problem of wet crop, crawdad mounds, fire ant mounds, rust, uneven terrain and broken sections. Takes about 5 seconds to replace a blade, you can use both sides and they cost a buck apiece; 3 per drum. Wear rate depends on terrain and crop.

As compared to a disc, they are narrower and are much more reliable because the drums are belt driven and the moving parts are the drive shaft with 2 bearings and PTO (that you have anyway) and the two bearings upon which each drum pivots . Cost less per foot also.

I have a 6' that I can easily run with my 57 PTO hp tractor. On speed, yes it will cut as fast as you can drive and stay in the seat. Compared to the problems I have had with sickle bars over the past 35 years, it's a walk in the park.

For a medium to large operation, a disc, like the JD MOCO would do a better job as it is wider, has the crimper if needed, and thus cover more area over a shorter time. But for what I do, it's perfect (and cheaper).....well, except for crimping large stems, but when I bought it I was planning on haying grass only whereas I wouldn't need the crimper.

Mark

#15 Texasmark

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for the replies. Posted just above this one on what happened today. Case closed.

Mark




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