Based in mountainous Austria, steep slopes and uneven terrain are operating conditions with which Pöttinger is very familiar. With the new Novacat F Alpin mower and Top 632 A twin rotor rake, the grassland professional combines strength with lightweight construction and suitability for working on steep slopes.
Pöttinger engineers have succeeded in keeping weight of the Novacat F Alpin mower to 400 kg for a working width of 2.20 metres, 450 kg for 2.62 metres, and 490 kg for 3.04 metres. Together with the compact design, this enables the machines to be operated with lightweight tractors and twin axle mowers.
The compact design of these mowers has been achieved by integrating the drive train into the frame of the Novacat F Alpin. The input gearbox is located in the main frame of the mower. The centre of gravity is only 350 mm in front of the mounting frame. Two diagonal support arms behind the outer mowing drums carry the cutter bar. The main frame is lengthened as a result and can be made narrower. This saves weight while maintaining perfect support.
The friction-locked driveline is protected within the frame. Power is reliably transmitted to the cutter bar by cardan shafts and gearboxes. Maintenance is also easy thanks to the access ports provided. The driveline passes down the axis of the first drum. A maintenance-free constant velocity joint ensures tension-free connection here.
Special ground tracking on steep ground
The new front mowers are attached to mid-mounts at the tractor’s centre of gravity. Centre-mounted leaf springs provide a freedom of movement of +/- 8 degrees. The cutter bar is stabilized by a push/pull strut when raised. This prevents the mower unit from swaying and makes it easier to drive over swaths, and provides greater stability during transport.
With a double-acting spool valve, the cutter bar can be shifted from side to side +/- 200 mm. No forage is driven over, even with dual wheels.
A special feature of the new machine is that the cutter bar can easily be accessed from all sides. This is made possible by the generous and easy-to-operate safety guard: In just one move, similar to lifting a hood, the whole safety guard folds clear. Powerful gas struts provide assistance and hold the guard in the open position. This provides easy access for changing blades and cleaning work.
Versatile mounting options
Depending on the tractor, either Cat. 1 or Cat. 2 mountings can be used. The positions for the top link and lower linkage can be flexibly adapted to the tractor hitch geometry. The lower link pins are individually adjustable, both in height and horizontally to the cutter bar. The top link can be mounted in four positions. This means it can be mounted as close as possible to any vehicle.
Even with low-profile tractors, there is a perfect view of the mowing area from the operator’s cab. The low headstock, the outward-sloping safety guard and the drive train integrated into the main frame make this possible.
TOP 632 A twin rotor rake with ingenious steering
Another new machine is the flexible TOP 632 A twin rotor rake with “Curvetech” side rake. The side swath rake owes its high flexibility to the ingenious steering system on the rear rotor. This allows the working widths to be varied over a large range, depending on the follow-up machine. Even obstacles and awkward field shapes can be raked around without any problems. The twin rotor rake reaches a working width of up to 6.30 metres in double swath mode.
To rake a double swath or two single swaths, the rear rotor, which is connected to the front one by a flexible frame, can be steered to the left or right by a hydraulic cylinder.
“Curvetech” is the name of the automatic steering system on the rear rotor. Two hydraulic cylinders work together to steer the rear rotor. When cornering, an additional linkage between the front pivot point of the main frame and the hydraulic cylinders ensures optimized overlap of the two rotor units. The optimal working width is achieved as a result.
“Basic Control” is standard on the TOP 632 A with Curvetech. This pre-select system offers maximum operating convenience. The modes: single swath, double swath, park and transport can be selected.
Two hydraulic cylinders for steering the rear rotor are controlled automatically so that when the spool valve is actuated, the rear rotor swings out on the correct side. The pre-select for folding the hydraulic swath curtain is included.
Excellent ground tracking
The trailed TOP A twin rotor side swath rakes are equipped with tandem axles as standard. No slope is too steep for the wide chassis. TOP rakes provide good ground tracking when fitted with the (optional) double jockey wheels inside the rotor arc on the rear rotor, as well as the optional field-proven “Multitast” tracking wheels. The rear rotor is mounted in gimbals, which together with the freedom of movement in the frame joints allows excellent three-dimensional ground tracking of each rotor.