“They’re a good set of mowers, but I’ve been particularly impressed with the suspension, which does an excellent job of following ground contours.”
The 53100MT rear butterfly and 3332FT front mower – supplied by Farmstar – arrived on the farm for the start of the 2021 season and were put straight to work knocking down 2,000 acres of grass. Prior to the triples, James was using a 3.2m trailed Vicon machine which, although dependable, couldn’t keep up with the expansion of his contact mowing area. “We needed more output and had already had a Fendt 724 for potato work, so decided to go the whole hog and get the largest set we could,” says James. Opting for a 10m-plus cutting width meant he could easily cover his current area and have room for expansion should more work come his way. Plus, with the 9.8 to 10.2m side-shift function he could tailor the cutting width to suit the job in hand. The switch has seen his mowing output in small fields increase from 5ac/hr to 20ac/hr, with even greater gains in large, flat fields.
Stand-out features on the 53100MT and 3332FT include a semi-swing steel tine conditioner, full ISOBUS control and Quattrolink hydraulic suspension. Having the ability to adjust pressures through the tractor screen also makes it simple to set them up for different fields. On flat ground, he runs with 70-80 bar in the system, dropping to 50-60 bar in rougher fields to help the beds float over bumps. The mowers also handle well for their size and fold neatly for transport. “We’ve got plenty of small fields and narrow gateways around here, but we’ve always managed to get the mowers in, even if we have to reverse through the odd entrance,” he says. Having ISOBUS control also makes the mowers effortless to control via the tractor’s joystick. James’ next step is to purchase a hydraulic connection so that the front mowers will lift automatically with the rears, rather than being on a separate spool valve.