Grassland 17: Seriously Rapide

Dutch firm Schuitemaker had a 30m³ ‘Farmer’-spec forage wagon working on its demo plot at Grassland & Muck.
 
Key differences over the standard machine are the Farmer’s parabolic spring suspension rather than the clever rocking beam arrangement that, according to Schuitemaker, makes its regular machines so much easier to pull. In addition there’s a side access door, but, being bog basic, the wagon lacks an auto-fill feature for the chain-and-slat floor conveyor.
 
And still on this ‘base’ theme, around at the rear it’s just a simple up-and-over tailgate rather than beaters or cross-conveyors. Also, instead of the usual 2.00m wide pick-up and rotor, a 1.80m unit is used, although, sticking with convention, the rotor still spans the full width of the pick-up – a factor that makes a big difference to crop flow, says the company.
 
The unusual design of the trailing, rearwards folding pick-up is one of Schuitemaker’s trademark features that apparently significantly improves contour-following. Another advantage of this set-up is that because the crop is lifted vertically off the pick-up by the rotor, the bank of 39 knives is positioned at waist height and can be accessed from a hatch over the drawbar. The triangular, straight-sided blades are released with a single lever, can be flipped round in the field and can be sharpened without a jig.
 
At €55,000, the Rapide 58 ‘Farmer’ is some €5,000-€6,000 cheaper than a standard model.

Grassland 17: Seriously Rapide

Thursday, 25 May 2017

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