Don't see these very often.

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Scooby
Posts: 3927
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Don't see these very often.

Post by Scooby » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:33 pm

For those of you who have never seen one this is one of the first type of drum mowers, a four drum from about 1968. This was made under licence from PZ by Bamfords of Uttoxeter and was commonly called a Wizzler but it gave all sorts of problems. I think they were £350 new whereas the PZ was £385. I bought the PZ version in 1969 and wore the thing out and never had a problem with it. We got up to 400 acres a year with it until they introduced the 2 drum and then I bought one of those.

I had a friend who was also contracting and he bought the Bamford version and it was a pile of poo. Made out of monkey metal I think.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151479928973? ... EBIDX%3AIT
:roll:
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

broadsword
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Post by broadsword » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:11 pm

Think the farm next to where I grew up had one of them.

It would look nice on the back of a weathered Fordson Major or 4000 though - assuming I'm allowed to mention these on here!!

Cheers

Andy

Scooby
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Post by Scooby » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:06 pm

broadsword wrote:Think the farm next to where I grew up had one of them.

It would look nice on the back of a weathered Fordson Major or 4000 though - assuming I'm allowed to mention these on here!!

Cheers

Andy
It would look crap on the back of a Major (pre-Super of course) because they didn't have depth or position control. Now why would you want that I wonder ? :roll:
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

John_Allen
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Location: Cumbria UK

Post by John_Allen » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:40 pm

I worked a 2-drum Fahr with a Diesel Major for a hay field in the early 70s - it's amazing how a length of chain from a lower link to the top link bracket works as a level control. However, the big problem was the single clutch and hydraulics that "died" if the PTO wasn't engaged - or you had your foot on the clutch pedal! I'm glad to say that the normal mowing tractor (a MF35X) was only unavailable for one day (it was at their other farm when we needed some mowing done). The only advantage the Major had was that the mower didn't pull the tractor out of line when it hit some thicker grass.

Scooby
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Post by Scooby » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:53 pm

John_Allen wrote:I worked a 2-drum Fahr with a Diesel Major for a hay field in the early 70s - it's amazing how a length of chain from a lower link to the top link bracket works as a level control. Or a rack on the top link like we used to use (actually shown albeit slightly differently in my other eBay topic about the 732 drill) However, the big problem was the single clutch and hydraulics that "died" if the PTO wasn't engaged - or you had your foot on the clutch pedal! I'm glad to say that the normal mowing tractor (a MF35X) was only unavailable for one day (it was at their other farm when we needed some mowing done). The only advantage the Major had was that the mower didn't pull the tractor out of line when it hit some thicker grass.

The 2 drums took a whole lot less driving than a 4 drum in a thick crop. In a laid crop the 4 drum was trying to pull it through the drums before it had cut it off at the bottom (much smaller skirts) But as I have mentioned before, at least if ground nesting birds went through a 4 drum they were dead, not like a 2 drum or a cutterbar.
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

John_Allen
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Post by John_Allen » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:16 am

The Grey Fergies used a rack on their top links for height control (I think it was really designed for the mower though). The boss got the idea for the Major's chains from the Vicon Acrobat. A friend still used the Acrobat's chains (until stopped making hay about fifteen years ago) even though his tractors (horrible red/grey things) were supposed to have position control!

One of my abiding memories was putting a cat through a 2 drum mower (on that friend's farm). The poor thing did not die well (a drawbar pin to the head did the deed) as we couldn't get near it without getting badly scratched. On the farm with the Major, the boss was mowing a field near a peat moss with the 35X and Fahr mower and managed to put a deer kid through the mower - that made the 35 bark!

I suspect the early 70s was almost a step change with grass: the leys were more productive and the old finger-bar mowers and tedders couldn't cope. Thinking of Bamfords - reminds me that that farm bought a Wuffler (though a Jones one) at a farm sale and had all sorts of hassle making it work in their thicker crops. They were a tight pair - they bought a six-wheel turner at another farm sale (though they already had an Acrobat - and a Centipede). It took them a while before they realised that a Haybob was worth buying! Considering they had around 500 acres between two brothers (and four tractors), you'd think they could have afforded decent tackle (in the 70s when farming paid nicely).

When I was at college (between two stints at that farm), we went on farm visits in the summer and one farm was running experiments with ICI on high rates of Nitrogen (500 units per acre if memory serves). Their clover was massive - certainly as big as a large saucer and the rye was almost like the tops of palm trees! I don't know how long that experiment ran - the farmer was really pleased with his crop; but I wonder how much manure is used on the farm now.

Scooby
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Post by Scooby » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:54 am

Couple of points John. You would never put 500 units of N per acre on. If you did you would certainly never make it into hay, even if you didn't have any rain. I once baled a 300 bales to the acre crop that had been larrupped with pig slurry and we just could not get it fit, even though the weather was good.

The Wuffler is an interesting one. Jones made something similar, so did Lister. But both were rubbish in anything other than a poor crop. The Wuffler on the other hand was very good but only did one row at a time but in their day that was all there was unless you wanted to drag the Dickie out of the nettles.

I was so glad when the Fahr Centipede appeared. I had a 6 row one and you could cover 12 acres an hour with that. The only problem I had was an educational one. Everyone had been making hay in rows and a lot of my customers didn't like the idea of us throwing it all over the parish (as one of them said). In fact I got the sack from one of them but I noticed that they bought a Haybob as soon as they appeared.
:lol:
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:59 am

If you apply high rates of N you kill any clover, clover having nodules on the roots that fix nitrogen, much more and it poisons the plant, if you have a good sward of clover in a pasture you don't need such high applications of N anyway because the clover makes it.

Scooby
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Post by Scooby » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:03 am

Powerrabbit wrote:If you apply high rates of N you kill any clover, clover having nodules on the roots that fix nitrogen, much more and it poisons the plant, if you have a good sward of clover in a pasture you don't need such high applications of N anyway because the clover makes it.
That is true and I have used it to alter the balance of clover in a ley. It can cause bloat if it gets too dominant and being a nitrogenous legume it don't like N because it makes it's own.
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:55 am

Nitrogen leaches into the water table as well and is not very environmentally friendly, hence these 'Nitrogen Vunerable Zones' EU rules where you are limited in how much and at what time of year you can apply it. If you're in an area with a granite based soil, granite, when decomposing, releases nitrogen so in order to keep a balance when growing clover you need to keep the soil tested.

John_Allen
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Post by John_Allen » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:07 am

As I wrote, it was an experimental farm (near Sellafield!!) and it was mentioned that Clover produces its own Nitrogen but, when they got to such excessive amounts of it, the clover went mad (almost like water lilies). I can't imagine they would even consider making hay of the crop - you had to see the grass to appreciate how mad the whole idea was. We certainly got a shock, even though our lecturer had warned us that the crop was extreme! I won't say that they continuously used 500 units - I think that was the maximum they tried and (obviously) was found to be excessive!

I don't know when the experiment started and, if memory serves, it was about the last year it ran when we went in 1972 - there were pollution issues (even then!). The run off must have been something else - it was fairly sandy soil and, as you may know, Cumbria has quite a wet climate (especially near the coast).

Most farms I worked on would only use about 40-45 units as a top dressing (some refused to use Nitram and preferred Nitro-Chalk) and a similar amount of 20-10-10 in spring - so about 80 units a year (and some didn't use that much!).

I worked on a couple of pig farms and, on one, I led pig slurry for another farm on contract (with a 990 Imp) - they used less nitrogen manure (if any!) and one of the bosses reckoned the reason that the grass grew so quickly to get away from the smell!

Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:20 am

If the clover was red clover John it can tolerate heavier amounts of N but white clover can't.

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