Kverneland 863 Bale Choppers suits straw and silage

After using a mounted straw shredder for 20 years, Graham Penney of South Haylands Farm, Callington, wanted more flexibility to work with a wider variety of tractors, leading him to consider a trailed machine.

Kverneland 863 Bale Choppers suits straw and silage

“Linkage mounted models need a tractor with good lift capacity when loaded,” he says. “I figured a trailed model would be more practical on my smaller tractors too, around the yard and buildings.”

 His machine of choice was a Kverneland 863 – though it was never on his radar. “Had local salesman Nick Vincent from Vincent Tractors not called in and introduced himself, I probably would have bought something else,” says Graham. “His timing was spot-on, he arranged a demo which turned up on the day agreed, and a deal was done.”

Graham processes two round bales of silage and one big square straw bale every day during winter, to keep his 240 head of cattle clean and well fed. “Manoeuvrability is superb,” he says. “And I can now get into places where I couldn’t get my old mounted machine.”

Mr Penney started out with 11 knives in the machine, quickly increasing to the maximum of 28 knives following the first few tight-centre round bales. “I put a camera onto the frame looking into the back of the machine, and soon worked out why it wouldn’t shred the bale core. Adding the extra knives then transformed the 863,” he says. “This made it easier to loosen and feed the silage bales directly into troughs, with the added benefit of greater blowing performance with straw.”

Mr Penney says he is very pleased with the machine and its capabilities, and detail such as nylon wear plates that the bed chains sit on, also help to reduce working noise levels. “I also like the simplicity of the control box, so if I had to get anyone else to feed and bed round, it’s a very easy machine to just jump on and use,” he says. “I’ve also added a reversing camera to help with one-way passages, plus a pair of LED work lights at the back, to simplify winter working in dark sheds. It’s a great machine, with good support from Vincent Tractors.”