We had the opportunity to help Ben at Shepherd Farms set up his new KDT-300 SaMASZ Disc Mower. This unit was sold by Willard's Equipment in West Branch, Michigan. Dan at Willard's personally delivered the machine a few weeks ago, and this past week the timing was right to get the disc mower hooked up and ready to go for first cutting.
Here are some of the key things we learned during the set-up process:
- The lower hitch arms of the tractor 3-point hitch should be set level, or perhaps raised a little on the right hand side. The weight of the disc mower hanging out to the right will level this out. The KDT300 is a full 10' cutting width mower - there is a lot of weight out to the right with the cutter bar raised in the air. Making sure that the hitch is level will prevent the cutter bar from digging into the ground when raised for headland turns, or when putting the cutter bar into the transport position.
- The lower lift arms should be set approximately 20" above ground level, and this position can be set and locked into place with the securing chain. One end of the chain is attached to the top link pin with the supplied shackle and clevis. The other end of the chain is secured to the lower right hand hitch pin. This allows the ground height setting to remain at 20" when moving from field to field.
- With the hitch set at the correct height, and the cutter bar lowered to the ground, the cutting attack position can be set by adjusting the tractor top link. Ideally the cutter bar should be set at a neutral angle so that the cutter bar skids maintain good ground contact. To adjust cutting height the top link can be lengthend or shortened as required. To make a large adjustment in cutting height, topping skids can be added to the underside of the cutter bar to provide extra lift.
- The headland lock is important to limit the raising of the cutter bar when making turns at the end of the field. In order to raise the cutter bar beyond the stop, the headland lock will need to be released by pulling the rope that is attached to the stop.
- It is important to raise the main parking stand out of the way, just in case it catches on something in the field.
- The hay wheels are easily adjusted to control the width of the wind row.
Check out the test run video on this YouTube link: Shepherd Farms KDT300.