The Beingmate saga now rocking Fonterra is unsettling farmer shareholders.
The 2017 Fieldays had 22 such exhibitors, including the distinctly Irish-named McHale, Tanco and Abbey.
Another one, Malone, is about to enter the fray, having appointed Giltrap AgriZone, Cambridge, to distribute in NZ.
Based in County Mayo, to the west of the Emerald Isle, Malone was founded in 1999 and remains a family business making loader wagons, toppers, post drivers, wood splitters and an expanding range of grassland machinery.
Looking at those grassland products, the Malone philosophy is ‘build it tough, build it once’. This is particularly noticeable in the headstocks and main frames that are impressively dimensioned in steel and look well up to the job.
The disc mower range comprises two models: the 2.4m, six-disc ProCut 800, and the 2.9m, seven-disc 900 model. Using a cutter bar supplied by industry specialist Comer, the bed carries oval-shaped discs fitted with bolted-up blades, although a quick fit system is said to be in the wings. Each disc assembly is protected by a drive shaft machined with a groove designed to break under heavy impact. This protects the integrity of the main cutter bar, and sees cutting units being easily exchanged by removing four bolts.
From the heavy-duty headstock the mower is lifted hydraulically for transport, fitting within the extremity of the tractor fender for safety.
Suspension is a heavy-duty coil spring set-up that offers ground adaptability in all situations, complemented by an easy-to-use pictorial indicator to show that the mower is being used in the ideal position.
The drive is equally over-engineered with a four-V-section powerband for an extended service life. Equally impressive is that all machines are supplied with additional 40mm topping skids to extend the machines’ working season.
Also of interest to Kiwi farmers and contractors is the heavy-duty, no-frills Tedd-Air range – 570m and 840m tedders with working widths of 5.7 and 8.4m, delivered by four- and six-rotor layouts. Each rotor carries seven tine arms each with double hook tine assemblies. The hook format is said to gently flick material off the ground, minimising leaf loss, and it settings higher off the ground to reduce soil contamination.
A heavy-duty headstock attaches the machine to the tractor, the drive to each of the rotors is by shaft, and a clever hydraulic damping system ensures the machine tracks the tractor accurately in all conditions.
Oversized wheel equipment offers excellent ground contouring, and a neat touch sees a spare wheel and tyre assembly carried on the main frame.
For transition from transport to work, a simple latch system unlocks the machine, while hydraulic shock absorbers take the strain when lowering the outer rotors. Headland tedding is by a simple, central, offset adjustment of the wheel equipment.