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Vermeer TM610 - mowing (stripe) problem

2983 Views 30 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  mike10
Hi all,

I just received my (new) Vermeer TM610 hay mower. Everything about it is working excellently, except that I'm having an issue with an un-mowed strip at times (inconsistently, though often the same spot in the field), seemingly no matter how much I overlap.

It happens on the left-hand side of my current pass, with some grass that was mushed forward by the far-right of the mower on the previous pass.

Tire Wheel Plant Tractor Vehicle

Tire Plant Wheel Automotive tire Tread

("Mushed" strip from the right side)

Plant Grass Groundcover Air gun Grass family

(I would think 12" was more than enough overlap?)

I'm still messing around with floatation and cutterbar height (I'm in New England, with small, hilly, sometimes rocky fields) - so can't figure out if maybe it's set too short or the floatation is too heavy (maybe both/either of those meaning the right side of the mower has too much down-pressure and is mushing the edge of un-mowed hay?) - though on the hillier, rockier field (not pictured), I was getting some inconsistent and high stubble height, so didn't feel like I could afford to back either of them off more. (And the problem also happened on that field, so doesn't appear to be field-specific.)

I am operating at 540 rpm. Not sure of mph, but so far I've used low-range 4 on a Massey 275. I've double checked that blades are correct orientation as well.

I did find that actually using a very minimal amount of overlap, rather than a lot, might have helped (not perfectly) - something to do with where the first disc is impacting the mushed strip of grass. But that kind of precision driving only is practical on the straightaways - of which a lot of my fields aren't 馃槄

Anyway, I'm all ears for advice here - whether it be Vermeer specific or not. I have used side-pull mowers before, but for the last 10 years have had a 3 point mower - so there is definitely a learning curve (no pun intended) on switching to a side-pull. Fully willing to admit there's something I'm doing wrong, just can't figure out what.

Thanks for any ideas!
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My opinion only but I don't think it's anything you're doing but the design of the mower with that fat tire on the outside flattening out the grass is going to cause that problem no matter what you do. On my old New Idea mower the wheel is on the inside of the frame running on the area already cut, I'd consider bringing it back and get something with a better design. I think Vermeer makes good stuff but think that's really poor. Good luck
Hi there - thanks for your thoughts and quick reply! I'll admit you're naming my greatest fear in all of this, that it's a design problem - though I don't actually think it's the tire. While it's wide, the tire is tucked in by a few inches, and you can see in the second picture how the trampled hay is just outside of where it's traveling, so I think it's the outer edge of the cutterbar/frame.

That's not to say it can't possibly still be a design fault, but given that this is the TM610, which they upgraded from the 600, you'd think they would have fixed a problem like that if it was inherent to the machine? I did a lot of pre-buying research and didn't see anything about that in any reviews or videos of the series...

Even if I wanted to, I'm not sure the returning it option is even remotely possible. Deposit was 3 months ago, delivery and financing paperwork all signed... But I am hoping they and/or Vermeer can offer some troubleshooting support...

Anyway, I appreciate the camaraderie - and am hoping against hope that there's a simple fix/idea...

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Looks like you are cutting grass hay. Typical recommendation is to cut grass with a 3-5" stubble. (I cut my 1st cutting at 5" stubble.) So consider your mowing height. There may be part of the machine that is pressing down more than it should.

I tend to agree with you that the outside tire is not the culprit. It pretty much looks to be running on the cut stubble.

Perhaps take another hard look at the blade installations on the turtles on each end of the cutter bar. My hunch is maybe one of the blades is not cutting correctly. Not out of the realm of possibility that the guy in the factory putting your machine together was having an off day and put one blade on incorrectly.
Hi there! I'm hoping/thinking that you're right. It is indeed all mixed grass, not many people grow alfalfa in these parts :)

I had it adjusted per the book's recommendation for grass, and thought I had it set around 3" - though looking at the field now that I'm tedding it, some of the stubble is closer to 2". So I'll absolutely be trying to raise it up a good bit. 5" feels a bit high (maybe just for this region?), but I wouldn't be opposed to trying for a solid 3.5" or even 4".

Between that and trying for more floatation on it, I have hopes this'll improve...

Blade installation is correct, I went back and triple-checked. Though if it persists, I might change the blades on those discs just to see...

How about a pic in front of the tire. If the tire has a disc in front of it so that everything is cut in front of the tire that makes it something else but still looks like the tire runs over at least part of it and once that happens you'd have to turn around and go the other way to cut that strip. I live in Maine and know a dealer pretty well but I don't know if he'd want to get involved with something that someone else sold. If you want to try him pm me and I'll get you his name and number.
Shucks, I don't have a picture from the front like that while mowing, but here are a few from when I first got it (cleanest it'll ever be).

Plant Tree Asphalt Wood Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Plant Asphalt

(This one looks deceptive - it's definitely close!)

The mower's out at the next field, but I'll try to take a close-up picture of exactly that side, straight-on.

I do feel confident the tire isn't poking out, though I do wonder a little bit if it's a culprit on right-hand turns. There is a bolt on the axle where the hub connects - I have no idea if this is adjustable (seems awfully tight for there to be another hole) but I do wonder if there would be a way to nudge it a little further inwards. Though, not about to go voiding the warranty just yet either by customizing it...

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Automotive lighting

Another option could be a narrower tire - though, 馃捀馃捀, and shouldn't have to do that with a brand new machine...

Anyway, I appreciate all of this - I'm pretty confident it's not the tire, but I'll continue to think about that as I adjust things. Thanks!
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Is the mower fully swung to field position?
Yes indeed - field position is actually a lot farther than where I need it to be, but I swing it all the way out since there's no way to set a stop on it (to be consistent). But yeah, my rear tractor tire is a good foot (or more) from that trampled edge.

Thanks for thinking of it though, I truly am hoping there's a simple answer like that! I'm so willing to be the dummy with a simple solution, rather than it being an issue with the mower itself.

Oh, here's a picture of the outside edge of the mower, that I think is doing the trample due to height/floatation adjustment (goodness, I'm hoping!). It does have that extra piece that bulges out to allow the blade to overlap with the shield (dunno how common that is on side-pull disc mowers). That plus the shielding, plus being perhaps too low and too heavy might be the answer?
Wood Grass Plant Rectangle Groundcover
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Boys its sure looks like that outer tire is about 2" too wide and is tramping hay... Is the rim reversible? Even the promo vid on their site shows the nice big flotation tire catching uncut hay and starting to tramp it.

I see some smooth bedstraw in your pics, here sometimes that will catch and drag on the outside of my mower causing an issue but usually easy to spot.
Yeah, I see that in their promo video too now that I look at it - though with their speed, it's so hard to tell if it's actually the outer end of the cutterbar still, and the tire is just sliding by the stuff that's already bent forward. Either way, it's awfully close...

I haven't yet jacked the thing up to take the wheel off and see if the rim is reversible - though from the picture I shared above, I think reversing would actually make it stick out more. I'll be measuring that tomorrow (if I can around baling, etc.) Thanks for the idea!

And ha, I should have prefaced that my very last picture on this thread is a weedy parking area, not a field, re: the bedstraw. Of course still have some in fields I do, but none hanging up on the outside edge that I can tell. Still, I appreciate any and all ideas, so thanks!

Just baled the first field I mowed with it - and the tramp is the worst on some tighter corners. Very possible I didn't swing widely enough with the tractor on the turn, but on some of them the strips look much less than 8' apart, meaning maybe I overlapped plenty, but that right tire perhaps was a culprit on a tight right turn? Hard to say...

Either way, the finished product from that field could be worse. I'm going to try higher cutterbar and more floatation on the next field, and see how it goes. If still an issue, I'll see if Vermeer can help troubleshoot. (But still, ideas welcome!)

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i think you need to swing out wider on your corners
Thanks! I agree that's either part of the problem, or its own problem (and goodness, I'm happy to have anything that's just something I can do better! That's a much easier fix.) Though still doesn't answer why it's happening on straightaways too...
Yeah - and even then, you can see in the pictures I first posted that I tried a full 12" of overlap on the straightaways, and it almost got worse.

Baled the field these initial pictures were taken from today - the end result is not as bad as I feared. Though there is this picture from one of the corners with consisting striping - and that spacing on the strips is much less than the width of the mower, meaning it looks like I overlapped plenty and it still happened?

Natural landscape Plant Agriculture People in nature Groundcover
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Hi all, thanks for this! Sorry for my lag, I didn't get any notifications of replies - sorry for that.

This grass didn't seem to be leaning into the cut, but I've had that happen before - I'll keep an eye on that to see if it's a factor, it's possible. Any advice if that's an issue?

That's an interesting point about the reed canary - it might have indeed been worse in that spot in the field. I don't tend to have much reed canary, but it is in one spot in that field. Do you think since it's so tall growing, it's easier to get trampled? Seems logical.

My former mower is a little New Holland HM234 disc mower, 3 point mounted. No outside shield on that, just the curtain, since it's 3ph, so if it's indeed the outer frame/curtain, it's not an issue I've had before.

I have indeed triple-checked the blade orientation, but I appreciate that idea - I would love if it was something that simple. But truly seems like more of a trample issue than a cutting issue (the trampled strip is getting cut at about 10-12" height).

Thanks for the curtain feedback - I've been wondering about that along with the outer frame. I'm not about to modify it yet (warranty and all), but I do wonder about pinning it up or something else temporary to try it out.

Again, thanks everyone! I'm all ears for continued ideas, this is helpful.
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I may have overlooked this idea being already given but is it possible to take off that outside curtain and try cutting without that in place? This would be one way to narrow down the possibilities
That's a great idea! I honestly hadn't thought of taking it off altogether (just to try and see if it makes a difference). Was wondering about trimming it but a) new mower, hate to start permanently altering it, and b) warranty... (never know what they'll claim affected something, worst case...) So, I'll take a closer look at that today, thanks!

Hoping to mow more tomorrow, so step one will be higher cut and more floatation - but if still happening, I'll give that a whirl.

Hi there all! Just wanted to offer some updates after long stretch and several more field mowings.

The short version is the problem persists, no matter what combo I try.

I've now mowed 7 fields with it - some are worse, some are better (but all have had some strips of un-mowed material, all following the same pattern/problem.)

Things I've tried:
  • Both main tractors (Massey 275 and 165 - the latter has a better hydraulic float function, which I was hopeful would make a difference. Nada.)
  • Removing the outer curtain
  • Every single float setting (except #7, which was clearly too heavy), and multiple height settings for each
  • Slower ground speed
  • Faster ground speed
  • (slightly) slower PTO speed
The conditions that cause it still seem to be the tallest/thickest hay - it'll only happen in maybe ~25% of a given field (plus/minus - one was particularly atrocious). I actually had a really sandy portion of the last field that was almost like second cut, it was so dry. Very leafy, and short, and the mower mowed through that clean as can be. So at least I'll leave a clean cut the second go-around, with any luck...

Only one more theory has come up, and I'm curious what you all think. This particular model doesn't have a swath board, whereas (apparently) the TM710 does. This mower drops a very nice, wide swath - but with only inches between the swath and the uncut (and sometimes trampled) hay. I (and a couple of others) are wondering if this means that even with very minimal overlap, the mower's left side is riding on the mowed hay, and making it even that much higher, causing it to miss (or more accurately, high-mow) the trampled strip.

The good news is I can get an optional swath board. The stinker is it's ~$700, and who knows when I'll get it. (I'd just make one if I wasn't worried about being accused of voiding the warranty...)

I may just take the plunge and order it, since I'm almost halfway done with first cut, and I'd love to get this solved before I finish first, and then (with any luck!) don't have the problem in second, and wind up in next year's first cut without a solution... (Also my tedder is just wide enough for two swaths as-is, and a swath kick-in would help)

Anyway - long update, but continually curious for folks' thoughts. Thanks!
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