Based in Dublin, Farmhand, the well-known Irish distributor for Krone, kicked off a demo tour in mid-May in Northern Ireland. The goal was to visit contractors all over Ireland throughout the summer, before a special unveiling at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow.

After a 20-year absence, Farmhand returned to the Ploughing in style last year. As many will remember, it exhibited the Krone Big X 780, a self-propelled forage harvester, and the Amazone Pantera 4502, a self-propelled sprayer on an impressive, purpose-built structure.

This year, the company will be doing something similar. The demonstration Big M 450 will be perched atop a 3.5m high platform.

Stephen Scrivener, marketing director at Farmhand, explained: “This year people will be able to use a staircase to get up on top of the platform to take a better look at the machine, or just to get a good view of the neighbouring stands.”

Big M 450

The Big M 450 is the fifth-generation of Krone Big M mowers. It replaced the 420 model. The 450 is continuing with the original Big M mower concept, but this impressive machine is fully redesigned from scratch.

It boasts a large number of standout design features, including a new cab, a new engine, new running gear and redesigned mower units. The working width has been increased from 9.7m to 9.95m. New to the 450 model is an extra disc on each of the side mowers.

The three mowers are powered directly from the engine via power bands and drive shafts.

Each mower is powered directly from the engine, so there are no energy losses. The side mowers also have a completely new breakaway system.

Krone’s previous Big M mowers have been fitted with John Deere, Caterpillar and Mann engines. The new Big M 450 model is powered by a Stage IV-compliant 12l 449hp Liebherr engine. This equates to a 45hp/m working width.

The 450 sits on a redesigned frame. The axles rest on four hydraulic rams.

This provides hydro-pneumatic suspension on both the front and rear axle. The SilentSpace cab is new to the Big M mower series. It has been adapted from Krone’s line of self-propelled Big X forage harvesters.

Other machines

Other Krone machinery on the Farmhand stand includes a Krone ECR 320CV mower and a Krone TC760 rake.

Amazone will be represented with a UF1501 sprayer and ZAV spreader, while a range of Quicke loaders and implements will be available to view.

Farmhand will also have a small vintage display, incorporating a 1964 MF 35X multipower kitted out with a 1968 Quicke loader, a 1970 Amazone ZA spreader and 1975 Krone TM 165 mower.