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Tame the ill winds of the Rûens with MacDon’s wise windrower

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Wild winds bluster in regions such as the Overberg and, if not dealt with constructively, can cause farmers huge losses. The region is ideal for farming and lends itself to the production of wheat and canola. However, it is when the crops ripen that the wind blows nobody any good and whips the kernels from the ripening ears and beans from the drying soybean pods. The harvest lands on the ground and becomes a permanent loss.

However, “’n boer maak altyd ‘n plan” (a farmer always has a plan) and there are companies such as Vitamech helping the farmer to make his plans come together and take his harvest home. Vitamech’s MacDon M155 self-propelled windrower is a fast and tidy worker which mows crops cleanly just before ripening and packs it in neat windrows where it can dry safely before being picked up by the combine to yield every bean and kernel.

For windrowing wheat the MacDon’s draper table has proved to be the best. It handles material tenderly and leaves it in neat windrows. Should one want to windrow other crops, such as fodder and grass, any type of table can be attached to the MacDon.

The window for windrowing wheat is very limited before the wheat kernels start falling out, but the MacDon is a fast worker – 25 kph on the land and, when you have to turn around to move to another land, the road speed is a fast 37 kph. For road travel the operator simply swivels the seat 180 degrees to engage the MacDon Dual Direction® and there he goes without wasting a minute.

The machine’s reliable, low noise 116 kW Cummins engine performing at 2 200 rpm works sparingly with diesel and delivers more than enough power for the job on hand.

The wheels of the M series has a wide stance and the body an unmatched 1.160 mm clearance below its belly so that the neatly packed windrows are not disturbed and mowing of bushy crops made easy.

For the operator of the MacDon windrower the attributes of the ultraglide air-suspension cabin and armchair seat (also air-suspended) is a dream come true. The computerised table control system shows the operator exactly how the windrower is performing. Every task is under logical control from inside the cabin; clogging – which occurs seldom – can be unblocked on the move.

For a hard performing machine the MacDon M155 requires minimum time and trouble for the required maintenance and servicing.

If wheat could choose it will be Vitamech’s MacDon FD1 conveyor harvesting table

It is the ideal of every decent wheat crop to be harvested with a MacDon FD1 conveyor harvesting table. The MacDon FD1 Flexdraper simply follows the slope of the land, neatly cutting the stems and arranging them carefully, heads on the same side, on the conveyor from where they are transported softly and carefully into the harvester’s mouth.

This careful handling means that a minimum wheat grains are lost and at harvesting time the combine performs better and lasts longer because it is fed continuously without fits and starts.

Die FD1 series boasts with a 20% higher work capacity than previous models; adjustments and servicing has been made easy and it is made to fit  on any good combine.

The names of the model series is based on the width of the equipment in feet: FD130 (9,1 m), FD135 (10,6 m), FD140 (12,2 m) and FD145 (13,7 m). The mainframe is named the FM100 (Float Module). The hydraulic oil tank of 75 litres with its three pumps drive all the hydraulic actions briskly and soundly.

The drum, with retractable tines, (“Retractable Tine Drum (RTD)”, and its FeedMacX feed technology, can be adjusted to an exact fit with the mouth and working speed of the harvester combine. Auger vanes can be bolted to the drum in various places to ensure the best flow of material towards the innards of the combine. The tines on the drum, known as DrumSaver Tines – they are hollow tubes that move faster in and out to improve the feed. Should there be a big obstruction, the tines may snap to protect the drum and prevent damage to the insides of the combine.

There are three floating sections on the pickup and cutting side of the table which follows the land contours exactly, even with the huge 13,7 m table. The centre section in all models are of the same size; it is the length of the flanks that differ. The angle of the flanks can be adjusted mechanically, should it be necessary. One can also adjust the table with a lever from “Flex” to “Rigid” should you not want to utilise the flexibility function.

A smart, sensitive censor follows the height of the cutting shaft above the ground and automatically keeps it at the selected height of between 1 and 5. Cutting remains perfect because the mower reel is mounted on the cutting shaft so that a critically small distance is continuously ensured between the reel tines and the cutting shaft.

Vitamech, the familiar and trustworthy supplier of agricultural solutions, is the distributor of MacDon equipment in South Africa. Contact them on 021-907-8000; Louis van der Merwe: 072-626-8409; Jurie Swart: 083-375-8840; email: or visit

This photograph indicates how the sections of the MacDon FD1 Flexdraper can move to enable exact adjustment according to the slope of the land to ensure a first-rate cut.

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