New machinery for the vineyard
The Maschio range of mulchers is claimed to be the most extensive in Europe, but for New Zealand viticulture, importer/distributor Power Farming suggests that the Corazza and Tigre models are a great fit.
Corazza is available in cutting widths from 155 to 230cms, with rigid/central or offset in mechanical or hydraulic operation. Said to be suitable for tractors in the range of 50 to 80hp the machines feature a central gearbox delivering power to the side of the machine, that then transmits that power via four drive belts to the mulching rotor.
In the case of the Corazza 190 model, the unit offers an industry leading 140cms of lateral offset, allowing the machine to work in restricted conditions or under overhanging canopies. The construction of the machine features a double-skinned rotor hood using 4mm plate steel, with a rear hood doubled up to 8mm thickness.
Said to be able to deal with material up to 10mm diameter, the unit features a dynamically balanced rotor fitted with helically-mounted no.14 blades that work in conjunction with an internally mounted counter frame in the area of the rear hood.
A rear roller system features internally mounted bearing assemblies, offering protection from obstacles or abrasive soils, while also offering superior support. Rotor bearings are a barrel design for self-alignment and resistance to lateral forces when turning on headlands.
The rear roller offers two working positions, offering the ability to accommodate a rake kit, that serves to retain material, resulting in a finer chop of materials.
The heavier Tigre Series, designed for use with tractors from 55 to 40hp, can deal with material up to 12cms diameter, with a choice of mechanical or hydraulically offset headstocks.
The dynamically-balanced 194mm diameter mulching rotor features 150mm wide, club-style hammers, each weighing 1.2kgs and arranged in a helical pattern on the rotor for smooth running at speeds from 1700 to 2100rpm.
The lateral driveline incorporates five Kevlar reinforced drive bands, offering positive transmission of tractor power, but also giving a degree of shock protection in difficult conditions. A floating headstock, combined with an adjustable rear roller assembly is said to ensure accurate ground following, so creating a consistent finish in the vineyard.
The 3-metre machine has a maximum offset of 189cm, dropping to 141 ems on the 2.1 metre machine.
An integral holding rake at the front and upper quarter of the hood helps re-cut material to a smaller particle size while an optional collecting rake is said to refine the process even further.
Written by Mark Daniel in the NZ Winegrower April 19