Designed and manufactured entirely by John Deere for the European market, the new 500 Series trailed mower conditioners are suitable for use by both grass farmers and contractors.
Replacing the existing 1355 and 1365 mowers, the new 3m 530 and 3.5m 535 side-pull models feature the company's own exclusive and patented modular cutterbar design, as featured on the 700 Series centre pivot machines. They are available as standard with John Deere's established impeller conditioner, a new active suspension system, larger wheels, an improved windrow grouper and optional hydraulic adjustment of cutting height from the tractor cab, another John Deere exclusive.
The low profile cutterbar has oval shaped discs - six on the 530 model and seven on the 535, with two reversible and retractable knives per disc - that work at a flat angle and rotate towards the middle of the unit to provide a uniform cut, an even flow of material into the conditioner and optimum windrow formation. Originally designed for a 4.5m wide machine, this durable and rigid cutterbar is designed to provide a high level of performance even in difficult working conditions.
Cutting height can be adjusted from 20 to 90mm, either manually or using the hydraulic option from the tractor cab. This allows easier operation of the machine in flat crops or uneven ground conditions. The disc modules can also be replaced individually for easier repairs and maintenance.
The two-speed impeller conditioner incorporates a balanced rotor with heavy V-shaped steel tines for more efficient conditioning with a low power requirement. The tines swing freely to prevent plugging or damage from stones and other foreign objects.
The mower wheels, which are larger than on previous models for better flotation, are mounted close to the cutterbar. Combined with the active suspension system, this provides constant ground pressure and allows a smooth, fast return to the working position after striking an obstacle. Windrow widths range from 0.9 to 1.9m on the 530 model, and from 1 to 2.4m on the 535, while ground clearance for transport is 500mm.
Additional options increase the mowers' versatility; these include a wide spreading kit and the more durable and reliable windrow grouper, which gathers up to 7m of cut grass into a single windrow for harvesting by a 3m wide self-propelled forager pick-up. Pto power requirements are 80hp for the 530 and 90hp for the 535.
The new John Deere 500 Series mower-conditioners will be available in limited quantities during 2005; the 530 model can be seen at Grassland 2005 in May and at the Royal Highland Show in June.
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