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Hi everyone,

I've got a New Holland HM234 Disc mower. (Three point hitch, no conditioner, four discs, about 5.5 foot cut.) It's great, but unfortunately has an absurd clogging problem.

I've had the machine for seven years, and sporadically have an infuriating problem of the vertical drum on the outer disc getting a huge tightly wound "bird's nest" built up around it. So much so that it would jam against the swath board and stall the machine, smoke belts, wreak havoc on my tractor's clutch pack, etc. Sometimes it'll be so bad that it happens every five or ten feet. It also only tends to happen going one direction, or on one side of the field, resulting in the need to mow an entire field in one direction (see: infuriating.) Also, oddly, it seems to get worse the *slower* I go.

I finally had enough and cut off the swath board and vertical attaching stand after first cut last year (problem doesn't happen with second cut.) Thought I was in the clear this year, but then lo and behold, had the problem again mowing some thick stuff today (all mixed grasses in New England, so no alfalfa / pure stands of anything.) No swath board to jam against, but instead would just make a larger bird's nest that would go vertical and jam against the frame.

Feeling at a total loss for how to solve this. Aren't disc mowers supposed to mow any direction, in any conditions, lodged or standing straight? I will admit we got an inch of rain last night, and the field was pretty darn wet when I mowed this morning, but I left half to mow this evening around 5pm - and had the same problem. Also have had the issue in dry stuff, albeit with some moisture in the lower canopy (hard to avoid in New England). Driving home today I saw folks that successfully mowed with a sickle bar, despite the inch of rain - insult to injury (though good for them!)

Has anyone had anything like this happen? Any ideas, fixes, or creative solutions? Otherwise love the mower, and really don't have funds to replace it any time soon...

Other details / thoughts:

-Seems related to what direction grass is laying, if not perfectly straight. Maybe it's catching grass that's leaning into the swath and catching it? Seems like that shouldn't be a problem...

-Correct blades are on correct discs

-I have also tried removing the square / flanged top cover of the drum. Removal seems to help (as the flanges created a top to the "spool" for grass to get wrapped around.

Any help much appreciated - thanks all!

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It's really hard to tell from the pics but the mower appears to be at about 100* instead of 90* to the tractor.....in other words, it kinda appears that the end of the mower is angling backwards.....clear as mud?

Welcome to haytalk windrowfarm....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks somedevildawg,

I've wondered a little bit about the angle. I actually run the mower now on a Massey 165 (135 is in the photo), and I feel like the far end does trail a little bit. There unfortunately isn't much adjustment I can make other than setting the 3ph sway bar so that it's farther to the right (which changes the angle *slightly*). The safety break-away does have a little bit of slop in it, resulting in that slight drag when I drive forward, but again not sure how to change that.

I saw another forum post (http://www.haytalk.com/forums/topic/26096-kuhn-gmd-240-clogging/) where they describe the exact same symptoms, and seem to agree with the problem being related to uncut hay leaning into the swath being mowed, and getting wrapped around the drum. Not sure if angle would affect this?

Any thoughts? Thanks again for the reply!
 

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Ya, I'm just taking a stab....never had those kind of problems with my mower that was identical. But I do know they don't cut correctly or float correctly if they are dragging slightly. I use a chain and turnbuckle to ensure the correct position and disallow for any slop.....with no support on the outside of the bar, it's important to not let it get behind or it will be problems all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ya, I'm just taking a stab....never had those kind of problems with my mower that was identical. But I do know they don't cut correctly or float correctly if they are dragging slightly. I use a chain and turnbuckle to ensure the correct position and disallow for any slop.....with no support on the outside of the bar, it's important to not let it get behind or it will be problems all the way around.
Oh interesting, you had the same one? I'm guessing the chain & turnbuckle means the break-away can't function, or did you find a way to do both? (I have a lot of rocks, unfortunately, and as much as I try to have them all marked, I can't disable the break-away for fear of damage.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Windrowfarms

Welcome to HT

Did you buy cutter new or used? Are pivot bushings worn where cutter bar hinges?
I bought it new 7 years ago. I haven't noticed any slop at the point that the bar hinges, but I'll check that more thoroughly. How hard of a job are those to replace, d'ya think?
 

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Your mower should set at least perpendicular to your tractor, a little lead doesn't hurt. Lag is bad.

Also, there shouldn't be any left/ right sway in your hitch, you want your cutterbar to address the crop solid. They don't cut well moving side to side. If your hitch linkage is loose, you may overcome that with a check chain from the top link bracket down the the left lower hitch pin. Adjust it so when you lower the mower to the correct height the chain is tight so it pulls the mower to the right and hopefully forward.

As far as removing the curtain support..... on some mowers it is designed to be more of a cutterbar support than a curtain support....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your mower should set at least perpendicular to your tractor, a little lead doesn't hurt. Lag is bad.
Also, there shouldn't be any left/ right sway in your hitch, you want your cutterbar to address the crop solid. They don't cut well moving side to side. If your hitch linkage is loose, you may overcome that with a check chain from the top link bracket down the the left lower hitch pin. Adjust it so when you lower the mower to the correct height the chain is tight so it pulls the mower to the right and hopefully forward.
As far as removing the curtain support..... on some mowers it is designed to be more of a cutterbar support than a curtain support....
Thanks. I've got a sway bar to lock the 3ph, and I do use that chain as well so it's nice and locked in/forward, as you mentioned. Next time I mow I'll try offsetting the three point to the right, rather than centered, to see if that gets it a little closer to 90. But, it is pretty darn close as is.

With mine the swath board stand wasn't connected to the cover at all, so no support lost there.

Per the other thread I quoted above, and my own theorizing, I think the problem is much more related to unmowed crop that is leaning into the swath I'm mowing. I know bigger machines are more enclosed and keep a physical separation between the outer drum and stuff not mowed yet. No such luck on mine.
 

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I got a nick in the paddles on my outer top hat and it would wind hay from the single piece that the nick would catch. Ground it smooth and fixed it.

Currently have same issue with pto shaft cover, it will pick up a single piece in a spot it is cracked and within moments a tight ball 2 ft in diameter is wrapped up on there. I've tried smoothing the crack but no luck. Tried taking cover off and that was worse.
 
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