As a new introduction to the Pottinger range, the A9 demonstrates it has the necessary specification to provide high volume cutting capabilities without investing in additional tractor horsepower. Its ease of use combined with the range of adjustments will make this a worthy contender for many farmers and contractors who are looking to upgrade.
This model fits neatly with the manufacturers existing X8 and A10 units. The intention is to provide a high output machine whilst retaining simple operation, although not at the expense of build quality or reliability.
Pottinger A9 attachments
This is where the A9 scores some major plus points in its specification. A typical 160hp tractor power output with 1000rpm power take off (PTO) transmission from the front and rear is recommended by the manufacturers. The only other auxiliary services required from the tractor is one dual acting spool on the rear and a single acting at the front. In summary purchasing an A9 is likely to fit in quite well with your existing four wheeled fleet.
The rear butterfly mower weighs in at 2980kg, which is well within the maximum typical rear axle capacity for a tractor of approximately 4000kg. To complete the trio, the Novacat 301 Alpha Motion coupled up via an A-frame adds a further 1145kg up at the front end of the tractor.
Pottinger A9 set-up
The designers at Pottinger in Austria understand that there's more to grass conservation than simply mowing it. Maintaining a consistent cutting height is important for maximising grass yield and also ensuring that subsequent re-growth is healthy. The A9 achieves this by allowing the pressure which the mowers exert on the ground to be varied, following the contours closely. The operator makes adjustments at the hydraulic valve block, which is easily accessible at the rear. The well laid out operators manual provides guidance on both these and all other adjustment functions.
For operating on hilly terrain the A9 includes options for mechanical adjustment on the frame mounting positions.
Pottinger A9 operation
Shaun Groom, Pottinger UK's General Manager identifies the lower weight of the A9's rear butterfly unit as a big factor when considering a combination mower purchase. The aluminium hood along with the close coupling arrangement reduces load on the tractors hydraulics system, hence less fuel consumption.
Another prominent feature of the A9 is the patented special "Y" drive input gearbox. This provides smooth running of the drivetrain and avoids the potential for vibration. Shaun Groom refers to the configuration of 32 individual mower blades located on the 16 discs as the optimum specification to ensure overlap. Typical operational speeds of between 10-16km/hr are possible with the A9.
The LCD control terminal fits easily into the palm of the hand making positioning in the cab a quick and trouble free exercise. A standard 12V connection from the tractor battery will couple up the control terminal to the hydraulic "hub" on the A9. To the unfamiliar, it's easy to understand the simple graphics to depict; transport, headland, working positions
and a "wave" symbol to confirm the float position.
Another useful feature for maximising operations in those angled areas is guidance on a phased exit from work for each mower unit. The rapid raising of the mowers between 37cm and 55cm is enough to clear existing cut swards, whilst ensuring a rapid headland turn.
High capacity silaging contractors will like the overall weight distribution of the A9's trio set-up, providing for safe operation on slopes.
There's no requirement for a jockey wheel to support the raised rear mower in the road transport position. This allows the driver to travel at maximum speeds between fields, reducing downtime. The rear mower can be uncoupled from the tractor both in the working and raised positions. Minimal space is therefore required for storage in the barn during the winter months.
If the grass crop has some unknown obstacles lurking in the undergrowth, the anti-collision device provides you with an automated reset safety function. When the pressure in the adjustable accumulator is exceeded, the rear mower units will initially fold backwards whilst raising the leading edge, all facilitated by a triangular frame system. The result is avoidance of the object and any potential damage which could incur unnecessary stops and costly repairs.
Pottinger A9 maintenance
For ongoing and end of season maintenance, we were pleased with the information provided in the operators manual detailing procedures such as blade replacement, lubrication and belt tensioning. Checking wear on both the blade holders and replacing the blades themselves as a pair ensures the A9 keeps operating consistently in heavy grass crops. Any tools required for adjustments are provided for by Pottinger and are stowed in integral storage compartments on the machine.