In a very sunny Austria last week, Pöttinger held its biennial Pöttinger International Day at its headquarters in Grieskirchen.
A large number of Pöttinger dealers travelled over to the event from Ireland and toured the manufacturing, painting and testing facilities at Grieskirchen. Later, visitors were bussed out to a farm where Pöttinger demonstrated many grass and tillage products.
The firm used the event to launch a number of new products as well, in both its grass and tillage line-up. Not all the products launched are relevant to the Irish market, but those that are include a new three-point linkage mower, trailed tedder, disc cultivator and a new range of control terminals.
The firm's largest range of silage wagons, the Jumbo series, also got an outing with its beefed-up driveline capable of handling up to 450hp, according to the firm. Combiline versions, which are open-topped so they can double as a silage trailer during the maize (or grass) harvest, now feature a hydraulically operated load cover to enclose the load and stop material blowing out.
Novacat 352 352ED rear mounted mower
The Pöttinger Novacat 352 and its conditioner version, the Novacat 352 ED, are both eight disc, three-point-linkage mounted mowers with a working or cutting width of 3.46m. This is a top-arm mounted mower with a large arm carrying the mowing unit, effectively suspending it under its central pivot point. This type of design is offered by the majority of mower manufacturers and allows the mower bed to contour the ground more effectively while also controlling and providing consistent pressure across the mower bed in comparison to conventional side/hinge mounted mowers.
This mower is fitted with a hydraulically adjustable, left-handed lower linkage arm to make it easier to couple to the machine. At the same time, it enables the mower headstock to be levelled while at work instead of having to adjust the tractor's linkage arms. When raising the mower at the headland a small hydraulic ram between the mower and its arm lifts the inside of the bed and locks it snugly to the main arm. This helps the mower achieve a ground clearance of 500mm on the inside edge on headland manoeuvres.
The Novacat 352 ED features Pöttinger's new ED steel V-tine conditioner and a new conditioner hood with a round profile which, according to Pöttinger allows the grass to be laid out 'softer and looser'. External grease points for the conditioner rotor shaft make daily greasing and servicing easier. Pöttinger says the Novacat 352 has an additional three-point linkage mounting position which provides an overlap of up to 560mm when the mower is being used in combination with a 3.5m front mower so it doesn't leave un-mown stripes going around bends.
In work-mode, the mower's bed-suspension is provided by a hydro-pneumatic system (accumulator) operating on a smaller hydraulic ram which is paired beside the main hydraulic lift ram. Changing the suspension pressure to the mower bed is done by a single hydraulic line and simply increased or decreased as required by the operator. A pressure gauge plumbed to the suspension system is visible from the tractor cab and provides a means of monitoring the changing pressure in the suspension system.
For road transport, the mower is hydraulically slewed behind the tractor through 90 degrees. The same hydraulic ram that does this also provides the safety break-back facility if the mower hits an immovable object. A special overload valve and circuit also sends oil to the mower's main lift ram on collision, lifting the bed.
The non-conditioner version of the Novacat 352 has a weight of 950kg while the conditioner version weighs in at 1,320kg. The typical tractor power requirement for our conditions would be around 150hp.
HIT 12.14 trailed tedder
Pöttinger has added a wider tedder to its trailed grass tedder range. The Pöttinger Hit 12.14 is a 12 rotor machine with a 12.7m working width. It joins the 10.6m Hit 10.11 as the new flagship model of the firm's range.
Unique to Pöttinger is its design of tedder rotor which the firm calls its DynaTech rotor. With a diameter of 1.42m, each of the bigger Hit's 12 rotors feature six curved tine arms. According to Pöttinger, its unique rotor geometry means that grass cannot become caught or wrap around the tine arms. Also, Pöttinger says that forage is taken up easier and is subjected to less of a beating between the tine arms, meaning lower losses due to disintegration. This careful uptake is achieved by the sweeping arms that pull the tines according to the firm.
The Hit 12.14 T also features Pöttinger's 'Liftmatic plus' system that swivels the rotors rearward out of the crop before lifting them out altogether for manoeuvring on the headland.
The aim of the Liftmatic is to reduce contamination of silage with clay as the tines run idle on the ground before being lifted out. When raised, the out of work rotors are well clear of the ground and low obstacles. Two 16x6.5-8 wheels support the machine both in work and transport modes.
While the machine is at work, the two outside rotors on the right hand side can be hydraulically angled inward so as not to fling the crop into the tress or ditch when doing the headland run. With the exception of the outside rotors, all rotors are paired across the machine with maintenance free pivots between them that allow each section to contour the ground. Connecting the drive between all the individual sections of the Hit 12.14 T are double universal-joints, with the exception of the outside rotors on the left and right. These feature an interlocking finger drive which allows them to be folded back on top of the neighbouring rotor to make its wings shorter for transport.
When this is done, the two shortened wings can be folded into the main frame for travelling on the road.
Two spring-loaded guards with reflective markings run the full length of the machine's sides to highlight and offer some protection from the rotor tines. The overall width of the machine folded up is 2.7-2.8m, according to Pöttinger. A lower linkage mounting system is also available from the manufacturer to offer improved manoeuvrability and tracking of the tractor's wheels.