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Output and quality from McHale
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Output and quality from McHale

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John O’Brien is a Dublin-based contractor who prides himself on doing timely and quality work for his customers.
John O’Brien is a Dublin-based contractor who prides himself on doing timely and quality work for his customers.

Since 2004, John has used McHale Fusion balers to give his customers the service that they require each year, starting out with a Fusion 1 in 2004 and moving to a Fusion 2 in 2009 and the first of two Fusion 3 Plus balers in 2014.

Last season, when John decided to upgrade the Fusion 2 which was due to be replaced, the only option for him was another Fusion 3 Plus.

John purchased his Fusion baler from Lyons and Burton in Kilcock and has found the service when buying and in the field to be excellent.

Having had 13 years of trouble-free service from his previous Fusions, John said that “it made sense” to buy the latest version.

Over the years, John has had no major issues with the McHale machines. This reliability, along with the serious output, are the reasons that John uses McHale Fusion’s in his business.

Speaking to Paul Hurley (Fusion operator) he said that daily bale counts of upwards of 500 are common and a long day once produced in excess of 1,000 bales, a mix of silage, hay and straw. This sort of output means that each baler can get through 15,000 bales per year.

Paul said that this not only shows the massive output possible but also the flexibility that the Fusion gives them. Speaking to customers, John hears that the quality of silage in his bales is top quality. He believes this is due to McHale’s film-on-film system.

John has noticed that the majority of his customers are now choosing to use film-on-film for two main reasons, firstly the quality of the fodder and also the ease of feeding out the bale when it is being used.

With the two fusions in the yard and a self-propelled harvester, John needs to be able to knock a lot of grass in a hurry when the weather is right.

With this in mind, John purchased a set of front and rear McHale mowers (a F3100 front and a R3100 rear) in 2016. John chose the pair of McHale mowers because of the excellent build quality and his good experience with McHale products previously.

Technically, John said that the direct-drive on the mower is “brilliant” as it removes trouble with belts slipping. Mowing more than 2,000 acres per year, John needs to be working at good forward speeds all the time, no matter what the conditions.

John’s customers expect a high-quality service from him. He has found that the McHale Pro Glide mowers, with their excellent ground following ability and quicker reaction times to changes in ground conditions, can give his customers an uncontaminated swarth of grass and a “well-cleaned field”.

The excellent quality of cut comes from the remarkable 500mm adaptive range vertically, the left/right pivot range of 17 degrees and the patented active spring compensator technology (giving consistent ground pressure regardless of the height the mower is working at) featured on the McHale Pro Glide F3100 front mower.

These features matched with the Pro Glide rear suspension springs and patented ground adaption technology (which allows the bed to move back and up if the bed encounters obstacles) of the R3100 rear mower make the system perfect to get through the work and keep the superior quality of work that customers expect.

The McHale Pro Glide comes standard with a steel tine conditioner to help cut and condition the grass as efficiently as possible.

Conditioning speeds can be adjusted to between 700rpm and 1,000rpm with the simple pull of a lever.

John has found this adjustability very useful to match the conditioning of the crop to the volume of crop going over the cutter bar.

Gears

The cutter bar is driven by a heavy-duty directly driven 25mm gears and each disc is then driven by smaller spur gear. These gears have in-built safety in case of collision. During his first two seasons, John found that this system worked “excellently”.

When it comes to the output of these machines, John says that “20 to 24 acres per hour is possible at his ease” but he has been able to get more in favourable conditions and big fields.

These outputs are achieved at speeds between 6mph and 13mph.

John was most impressed by the movement of the mowers and ability to still do “great work” at the higher forward speeds.

Maintenance

On the subject of maintenance, John said the quick-release blades are very easy to change and a full set of front and back blades can be changed with very little downtime.

All the guards are easily removed and access to all service and maintenance areas is easy. John said that he has had a trouble-free two years with his McHale mowers and will always look at McHale machines for the future needs of his business.

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