‘What are Irish contractors calling the ultimate mowing outfit?’
The Krone BiG M 450 is the fifth generation of self-propelled mower. With a huge working width, superior maneuverability, optimum weight distribution and enormous power reserves, the BiG M 450 is the ultimate grass mowing outfit.
Stephen Scrivener, sales and marketing director at Farmhand, the exclusive Krone distributors for Ireland, explained: “A combination of tight harvest times, small fields and very heavy crops make the BiG M a winner in Ireland.”
Ben Buckley, demonstrator for Farmhand, took the BiG M 450 on a tour of the island of Ireland, mowing the country. “The reason Farmhand sent out a demonstration model of the 450 was to increase awareness of just how convenient it is to mow with,” Ben said.
He added: “I come from a background using triple mowers and I thought that was the only way to mow, but then I sat up on this machine and I wouldn’t even look at the three mowers on a tractor anymore.”
“The advantages of the BiG M are obvious once you’re driving it,” Ben explained, continuing: “You’re in and out of fields quicker, there’s a lot less pressure on the BiG M and forward speed is much higher because it’s designed for the job.”
The six-cylinder Liebherr engine with PowerSplit control delivers 449hp and enables a mowing speed of up to 25km/h. Wheel motors bring the power steplessly on the ground and make the 450 fantastically easy to steer and manoeuvre.
The visibility you have from the cab is another big plus, especially doing the headland run; you can see everything out of the window. There’s no looking back over your shoulder at the column of the tractor.
When cutting along field edges you can also close just one hood to present a clean swath to the following harvester.
Ben explained: “The weight of the BiG M is in all the right places.” A front-rear weight distribution of 64%:36% ensures that the self-propelled mower copes perfectly in any terrain.
The GPS system used in the BiG M 450 is the TopCon system. “It’s very easy to use and quick to set up. There’s even a quick set-up option,” Ben explained.
“A massive advantage of this system is being able to move the guidance line, left or right. So, if you see there is going to be a skip in the first run you can shunt the line left or right and you know your run is going to be 100%,” he added.
“To begin with I only used the GPS in the bigger fields of 10ac plus, but now I’m using it even in 2ac and 3ac fields. You can see for yourself how much quicker the job gets done,” he said.
New from the ground up
The BiG M 450 was released last year and is a new machine from the ground up compared to the 420.
“The drive train for the BiG M 420 was a combination of belts and springs but what the BiG M 450 has now is shafts and is completely hydraulically suspended,” Ben explained.
Superior operator comfort comes from hydraulic cutting height control and fully hydraulic ground pressure control. “The advantage of hydraulic suspension is you have a lot of choice, and it can all be adjusted in cab from the touchscreen.
“The SilentSpace cab is a significant improvement for driver comfort. The seat, armrest and joystick are all upgraded and there are a lot more preset buttons so you have more options to customise the machine to your liking,” he concluded.