NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: What topper?  (Read 19965 times)

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
What topper?
« on: August 28, 2011, 09:06:58 am »
I just bought a Case 690 (1992) tractor and I need to buy a topper for the 16 acres I have here.

The HP is around 70 and I figure I need something like at 6-7footer. Any suggestions/commentations from owners of the makes available?
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lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: What topper?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 09:46:10 am »
One pointer, the cheaper toppers (like the fleming we have) rely on shear bolts to protect the topper from damage when you hit a stone. If your land is stony, you will get through industrial quantities of shear bolts. More expensive ones are more robust but they have more bits to go wrong.

For our land, we have had much more success with an ancient flail mower (no identifiable make sadly), with rows of curved metal blades mounted at right angles onto on a pole/axle which is horizonal to the ground inside a metal casing. Unlike a topper where the single long blade itself is like a lawnmower, horizonal to the ground just spinning and therefore much more prone to damage.

So our Fleming topper is fine for the nice grass but for ruffty tuffty fields, flail mower every time. Ours is 10 foot and hasnt killed the 75hp old John Deere yet! I wouldnt go any bigger than that tho. 7 foot might be ideal, I would go for 7/8 foot rather than 5 or 6 as it makes a lot of difference in how long it takes to cover a field and also how much fuel it takes.

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: What topper?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 06:40:22 pm »
Thanks for that lachlanandmarcus
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: What topper?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 11:35:06 pm »
Thanks for asking the question Castle Farm and thanks for that answer lachlanandmarcus.  I had a cheap and cheerful 9' topper (Slewtic) where I was before and as you say got through a lot of shearbolts.  We hired a topper here this year but it turned out the hire machines really need much bigger tractors than our 90hp Massey and are very expensive to hire.  As the tractor is having to work so hard you can't go too fast, so it worked out very expensive indeed.  So we were thinking we might buy a topper next year.  BH has been using his mower to top the flatter less stoney ground where it's thistles and/or not too thick reshes, so it sounds as though we'd be best getting a flail topper to do the rougher, bumpier and sometimes stoney ground, and where there are thicker reshes.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: What topper?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 06:43:57 pm »
We've got a 6 foot Major which came to us second hand summer before last. It's been unbreakable so far.

Fergie

  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: What topper?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 09:23:58 pm »
We've got a 6ft Bomford Bandit flail mower which has never given any trouble.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: What topper?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 10:16:03 pm »
Fergie thats a great name for an implement - Bomford Bandit  ;D :D ;D

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: What topper?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 10:55:43 am »
Well I went to another farm sale and came back with a 6ft Fleming topper (direct drive), It is in very good condition and I bought it for £400 on the hammer (£504 after tax and BP).

Fixed it on the tractor and topped all my fields...so I might need to do this again next year ::).

Think I might get a pallet fork for the 3 point at the back..I feel one of those is more versatile than a link box.

Boys toys eh! ;)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 10:58:17 am by Castle Farm »
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: What topper?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 11:45:47 pm »
I'd second the pallet forks. You can stick an empty pallet on them to make a platform.  Go for the heaviest duty you can find - I've moved a tonne on mine.  Was moving sleepers this morning.

Fishyhaddock

  • Joined Apr 2009
  • aberdeenshire
Re: What topper?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 07:31:17 pm »
Hi,
    I recently bought a 5ft Flemming Topper for my old 45hp  Zetor for topping our 12 acres or so. It seems to work really well and does a nice tidy job with the grass having improved no end after just the one seasons use.

I havnen't encountered any problems with the shear bolts yet and mine is not exactly the smoothest pasture.  I suppose a lot depends on how close you set the blade to the ground.  But so far so good with Flemming.

Hope this helps.            Fishy


TheCaptain

  • Joined May 2010
Re: What topper?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 03:29:40 pm »
I've got a 6ft hymari topper for sale if you're interested? I bought it thinking it was a 4 ft one, it arrived and thought it was on steroids. My Little Kubota was not impressed.

elizasheep

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: What topper?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 06:57:26 pm »
I can't recommend a model, but one piece of advice based on our experience - buy one that is carried to the side of the tractor, not behind. We have one of the latter type, and it only tops the bits that haven't just been under the tractor wheels. The wheels squash everything down so the topper can't get at it, and then up it rises again, and you've only done half a job. Waste of time and diesel. We now use our mower to top - not as good because it doesn't spread the trimmings out, but better than the alternative.

Odin

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • Huddersfield
Re: What topper?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 09:58:55 pm »
We use a 6ft Berti flail mower. It cuts the grass fine so it mulches down quicker.  A while a go a bearing went down so we borrowed a topper and an early steel finger type flail, was pleased to get the Berti back in action. Can reverse into brambles and edges of copices where saplings encroach, the flail mower just takes it all out. Originally we used it on the back of a David Brown 996 which delivered around 50 hp at the pto. Now its on the 1210 four wheel drive that puts 62 hp at the pto, with it being a heavier tractor the job is much easier, less engine labouring.
A man who cannot till the soil cannot till his own soul !
A son of the soil .

 

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