Featuring JF-Stoll’s legendary upper-cut chopping cylinder, the firm’s latest 1060 trailed chopper is its replacement for the 1050.
Ours came loaded with all the toys - a 2.1m pick-up reel, metal detector and hydraulically folding spout.
By far, the 1060’s controls were the easiest to use. Essentially, one small joystick takes care of all primary chopper functions, including spout, pick-up reel and drawbar adjustment.
Control of feed roller direction, spout folding and pick-up hitch are carried out via conveniently-placed toggle switches.
All chopper functions are now electro-hydraulically controlled, with hydraulic power supplied by the tractor via a send and return system. This, compared to the old 1050 - which used slow linear electric motors for spout and feed rollers - results in functions being a lot more responsive, much more akin to driving a self- propelled machine.
Our test machine was a little too responsive in some areas, but a couple of restrictors later in the hydraulic lines of the drawbar and deflector flap made it much more user friendly.
On the road it follows well. However, at 3.3m wide (fitted with a 2.1m pick-up reel), some caution is required on country roads. That said, it sticks out equally at either side of the tractor, whereas the Lely tends to be all at one side facing oncoming traffic.
Its optional hydraulic folding spout provided plenty of reach and filling height, practically blowing grass directly down into the trailer.
However, for our test - using 10-tonne trailers - we found it overkill. A smaller, non-folding spout would have been sufficient.
We also found, because of its sheer size and weight, even when chopping in consistent swaths, the spout pulsed up and down. This looked to put a lot of strain on the neck of the spout, prompting the question; how long will the spout last with that sort of punishment?
When folded for transport, the spout rests on a stand mounted on the drawbar. However, as the stand has been adapted from the 1060’s bigger brother, the 1360, it does not quite sit square, resulting in fouling between the spout and the stand. Also, tractor back windows, if left open, are vulnerable to attack from the spout’s deflector flap if it is not folded in a proper manner.
In-field, its pick-up reel hugs the ground well, but its small following wheels - located underneath the pick-up reel - do have a tendency to block and stop turning in soft conditions.
Thankfully, its metal detector does work, otherwise there would be some poor cow trying to digest barbed wire, which we came across in the test.
The metal detector can be switched off via a button on the forager if necessary, but this needs doing every time the forager’s electrics are turned on.
A frictional drive system provides adequate reversing of the feed rollers.
On paper, the 1060 can handle up to 190hp at the shaft. Judging by the performance of our machine with 200hp (engine) going through it, we think 250hp (engine) would be a comfortable limit.
Draft is noticeably better than its predecessor, although we think overall throughput has not increased as much as the manufacturer claims, especially as the crop still has to go through the same pick-up reel.
However, crop flow has improved slightly, thanks to a crop press roller mounted on the pick-up reel. This keeps grass pressed up against the reel and prevents that forward throwing effect often found with shorter crops.
Greasing the main drive shaft along the draw bar is a bit of a pain as grease points are buried deep behind guards. Points mounted on the outside of the universal joints and well placed holes in the guards would go a long way to alleviate this problem.
As for the rest of the machine, daily maintenance is relatively easy. However, conflicting guards, which fold towards each other, means only one can be opened at once, hindering progress.
To the rear of the chopping cylinder, a handy storage compartment allows enough space for spare blades and chains, as well as room for spanners.
Due to the folding spout option, the 1060 has to perform its party piece when you want to unfold the lower part of the spout to get at the chopping cylinder. This involves lowering the top half until nearly on the floor, attaching a pair of wheels to the deflector flap, lowering the top half completely to the floor, unlocking the lower part of the spout nearest the chopping cylinder, then hydraulically unfolding the whole lot until the cylinder is exposed. This is fine on a concrete yard, but imagine trying this in a soft field.
On our test machine, the ram used to fold the spout was weak, as we found when folding for transport. If you are not careful, because it is double acting, it is possible to push the spout on to the stand, resulting in a banana-shaped ram. If it was single acting it would not be a problem, but it needs to be double acting to perform its party piece.
However, the manufacturer says it has had no other reports of this problem occurring so far, and has, in fact, sold 60 per cent of all 1060s with a hydraulically-folding spout.
A standard 1060 is specified with 24 blades in six banks (as was ours) and features individual knife adjustment. Chop length can vary from 8mm to 32mm by changing sprockets, which is relatively easy to do.
Shear bar adjustment is still the same as before, with the chopping cylinder moving back and forth via bolts.
To aid set-up and maintenance, the in-cab controller can be taken out and has enough cable length to be used alongside the machine. It also has a handy bracket on the front of the drawbar in which it can sit for storage.