Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 45

Thread: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Wiltshire
    Posts
    37

    Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Does anyone have any experience of the Bamford 'RG2' hay turner/side rake; and how it compares to the Vicon Acrobat?

    I'm guessing that it compared unfavourably because there are so few of them around compared to the ubiquitous Vicon item. Just wondered if anyone had any personal experience of using one.




  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    I have used both of these machines - extensively !! when there was only this type of machine for turning hay and the "Dickie" type for throwing it around the parish.

    The Bamford machine preceeded the acrobat but Lely made a similar machine to the Bamford and to be honest, the Lely machine was better than the Bamford IMHO.

    You have to remember that these machines would only turn hay. There was an "alleged" setting on an acrobat to spread the stuff but it didn't work. The trailed machines were better in one respect in that they would give nice rounded corners which was really helpful when we were in the thick of it and everybody wanted us at the same time. But of course, being mounted the acrobat was more versatile in some respects. You could tow a trailed machine behind the baler if you had to row it up yourself and bale it. For the smaller customers in those days they weren't bothered about having it sledged.

    But there is one huge drawback to both types of machine. Used incorrectly, or too often, and they would "rope it" I had one or two customers who didn't have any other type of machine and they didn't use any fert. so crops were thin and they could get away with that unless we were in a dodgy time. They had to keep going through it time and time again and I always reckoned with these customers that all you had to do was pull in the gate, set the baler up and you could stand there and pull the stuff towards you !! And don't even mention about packing an acrobat up to go along the road. Very few people either didn't know how to do it or else they couldn't be bothered ! They were very good for scratching the paintwork of on-coming traffic !

    The acrobat was a good machine but the big problem was that people wouldn't use it properly. That big spring should be set so that the tines are only lightly stroking the ground. Some people would just not be told and if you didn't have it set nice and light you would fetch up lots of green stuff with it which all went in the bale and would cause mould or even get hot.

    You have to remember that we were still mowing with cutter bar mowers in those days and the acrobat could be set so that each pair of wheels would just lightly flick over a swath and if the crop wasn't heavy and the weather kind very often if you did this a couple of times you could row it up and bale it. Also remember that there were lots of old meadows in those days and those grasses were not as sappy as a crop of new seeds.

    Happy days - I think !

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    M1 - M18 - M62 Triangle
    Posts
    703

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    We used a trailed 6 wheel Vicon for many years making 2nd cut hay which had been cut with a 4' cut inline Kidd RotaFlail using a 2 way chute and wilting tray. (1st cuts were all made into silage.)

    72 hour hay was a regular occurence (Mid july - mid August)) and of course the roping effect wasn't any bother with flail cut crop.
    There are more engines killed through lack of water than through lack of oil

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Twice in my life I have mowed one day and baled the next. Once in 1975 which was a very dry year and once in 1976 when we had a very severe drought. Mowed early in the morning. 3.30am is a good time to start - nobody bothered about sugars in those days and when it is as dry as it was in those years it always mows better when there is even the slightest amount of dew on it !

    Chuck it about late afternoon either with the 6 star centipede or the haybob and row it up the next day with the haybob and bale it. Both times it was after we had finished the farmer customers and were into the horseyculture lot. It was July in both years and also meadow hay and in both cases it was half made before it was even cut.

    For those of you who weren't around in 1976 our spuds only did 10 tons/acre it was such a drought year but they had loads of pig muck under them and they were on old turf so plenty of moisture retention. But they made 200/ton and you could buy a new 70hp tractor for 3 acres of spuds. I also put the combine away on the 31st of July and would have done 4-500 acres. Biggest problem there was threshing the stuff. Such small grains. Had to have the de-awner in for every field !

    Happy days - I think !
    Last edited by zaza; 11-07-16 at 05:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Wiltshire
    Posts
    37

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Great replies - thanks chaps - very informative (I was hoping that you'd read this thread zaza )

    I'm aware of 'roping up' being an issue, especially with old, small balers - a modern crop badly roped will bung up the baler in an instant. Interesting that you mention the mounted Vicon acrobat and the travelling position - I remember from my youth in the early 70s, there was only one farm worker locally who knew how (or bothered) to stack the 'wheels' vertically for travelling (which actually made the thing really neat and easy to transport). All the others would just heft the thing down the lanes with the outer-most 'wheels' ripping into the hedges. Then they wondered how on earth a tyre picked up a stray tine later in the year when the hedges were cut

    Am I right in thinking that the earliest trailed acrobats had canvas centres to the 'wheels' or am I just making that up..?!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
    Great replies - thanks chaps - very informative (I was hoping that you'd read this thread zaza ) Oh dear, am I getting some kind of reputation ?

    I'm aware of 'roping up' being an issue, especially with old, small balers - a modern crop badly roped will bung up the baler in an instant. Interesting that you mention the mounted Vicon acrobat and the travelling position - I remember from my youth in the early 70s, there was only one farm worker locally who knew how (or bothered) to stack the 'wheels' vertically for travelling (which actually made the thing really neat and easy to transport). All the others would just heft the thing down the lanes with the outer-most 'wheels' ripping into the hedges. Then they wondered how on earth a tyre picked up a stray tine later in the year when the hedges were cut

    Am I right in thinking that the earliest trailed acrobats had canvas centres to the 'wheels' or am I just making that up..?!
    Not sure about the Blanch Lely, as they were initially called, it certainly had something in the wheels but the earlier Bamford had tin.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    M1 - M18 - M62 Triangle
    Posts
    703

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    IIRC there was one make which had a sheet tin centre (about 3 ft dia) and pigtail springs around the circumference ....
    There are more engines killed through lack of water than through lack of oil

  8. #8
    Senior Member T P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    The muddy edge of the biggest puddle in the uk
    Posts
    625

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Wow there's a blast from the past. When I was small my father had over time two of those things. One blue and one yellow, They seemed to have been well made. The one I remember him using was blue and had tin discs in the centre of the turning wheels which I recall floated on springs. Once the transformable kickers came in they seemed to get parked in the nettles everywhere. I cannot remember using one myself though I've baled straw that was raked up with one after being scattered by a storm.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Bamford stuff used to be blue before it went to yellow. And as per my previous post, the R1 did have some tin inside the swath wheels.

    Scan_20160711.jpg

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Wiltshire
    Posts
    37

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    ^^^ That's what I must have been thinking of - don't know why I had canvas in my head

    Those early jobs are like hens' teeth now.

    Thanks zaza.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    424

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Glad to see that I am not the only OLD person on this forum!

    Growing up in a livestock family farming area on the South Staffordshire & Shropshire border, I remember using one of the blue Bamfords in the mid-late 60's towed behind a Power Major.

    When Vicon launched their Acrobat & Vari-spreader {happy dog} every farm bought one of each.

    Remember that nearly all cutterbar mowers in those days were 5 feet cutting width, so the swathes were quite small.

    One farmer bought a Fahr Centipede rotary tedder which produced the best hay by flicking it evenly to allow the air to dry it completely

    Two progressive farmers also made barn dried hay, one with MF mounted crimper & other with trailed New Holland crimpers. Bales collected with a front & rear mounted Lister Take-Put 8 bale handlers. The hay dried using Lister MEU {moisture extraction units} diesel engined blower fans - oh the smell of green barn dried hay wafting around the area.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Footsfitter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Basingstoke, Hants
    Posts
    2,397

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by WIZZO View Post
    Glad to see that I am not the only OLD person on this forum!

    Growing up in a livestock family farming area on the South Staffordshire & Shropshire border, I remember using one of the blue Bamfords in the mid-late 60's towed behind a Power Major.

    When Vicon launched their Acrobat & Vari-spreader {happy dog} every farm bought one of each.

    Remember that nearly all cutterbar mowers in those days were 5 feet cutting width, so the swathes were quite small.

    One farmer bought a Fahr Centipede rotary tedder which produced the best hay by flicking it evenly to allow the air to dry it completely

    Two progressive farmers also made barn dried hay, one with MF mounted crimper & other with trailed New Holland crimpers. Bales collected with a front & rear mounted Lister Take-Put 8 bale handlers. The hay dried using Lister MEU {moisture extraction units} diesel engined blower fans - oh the smell of green barn dried hay wafting around the area.
    You forgot to mention the joys of a lister bale elevator and stacking your sweet hay in the eaves of black tin dutch barns during the heat of the day............
    The best thing about Facebook is the logout button......

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by WIZZO View Post
    Glad to see that I am not the only OLD person on this forum!

    One farmer bought a Fahr Centipede rotary tedder which produced the best hay by flicking it evenly to allow the air to dry it completely

    Two progressive farmers also made barn dried hay, one with MF mounted crimper & other with trailed New Holland crimpers. Bales collected with a front & rear mounted Lister Take-Put 8 bale handlers. The hay dried using Lister MEU {moisture extraction units} diesel engined blower fans - oh the smell of green barn dried hay wafting around the area.
    I got quite a lot of opposition when I bought our first Centipede. Everybody was used to working it in rows and when they saw us throwing it round the parish they would say "it will all get spoilt if it rains" Some even went out and bought their own tedders (Wufflers, Cock Pheasants, Hen Pheasant, Lister Fan-Ted) which suited me because I didn't have to be racing round the County trying to move it all.

    I had one customer with a New Holland crimper and he made the best hay I ever baled - consistently. It was still very green when I went to bale it but it was always fit. But get even a small amount of rain on it and it was $h1[e. He used to mow his own with his Ransomes c/bar mower and then go staright through it with the crimper. But even that would play up if the crop was too thick. Shear bolts galore.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by Footsfitter View Post
    You forgot to mention the joys of a lister bale elevator and stacking your sweet hay in the eaves of black tin dutch barns during the heat of the day............
    The boss I had before I started on my own used to do that. We were using the sledge system where they were stacked like a pyramid. Then had a loader on the front of the 35X with a fork on that could lift the 10 bales. Same on the back and so we used to get a few hundred round the Dutch barn ready. Then the boss would come out and put them on the elevator one after the other - literally. But when we got up towards the top you could stop things for a while. Funny how sometimes a bale got cocked up slightly then when it wedges in the gutter it stalls the elevator. Very strange that.

    He did get the message in the end.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    767

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Never fear, WIZZO (and zaza). I too remember the 60s and 70s with a bit of nostalgia. Not only that, it seems we did similar things with an Acrobat & Haybob - not to mention a bale elevator, ff. Before the days of roll bars & cabins, I discovered I could mount the Acrobat on the 135 linkage, tucking it around my ears so that I could also tow the B47 to distant contracting jobs.

    I couldn't afford a Lister MEU, so built my own: a well used Austin A55 engine (fill up the oil & check the petrol) coupled thru top gear & shortened prop shaft to a 32" axial flow fan, all in a shroud with the exhaust coiled inside to capture as much heat as possible. A normally-closed relay from the oil pressure switch to the ignition circuit provided a poor man's Watchdog.

    Worked reasonably well, but the '74 oil shock took the shine off it.

    Must confess I was not aware of the Bamford. How were the second set of wheels moved to make two rows? Physically disconnected and re-mounted or was there some swing-over mechanism which is not apparent in the pic?

    JV

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Never fear, WIZZO (and zaza). I too remember the 60s and 70s with a bit of nostalgia. Not only that, it seems we did similar things with an Acrobat & Haybob - not to mention a bale elevator, ff. Before the days of roll bars & cabins, I discovered I could mount the Acrobat on the 135 linkage, tucking it around my ears so that I could also tow the B47 to distant contracting jobs.

    I couldn't afford a Lister MEU, so built my own: a well used Austin A55 engine (fill up the oil & check the petrol) coupled thru top gear & shortened prop shaft to a 32" axial flow fan, all in a shroud with the exhaust coiled inside to capture as much heat as possible. A normally-closed relay from the oil pressure switch to the ignition circuit provided a poor man's Watchdog.

    Worked reasonably well, but the '74 oil shock took the shine off it.

    Must confess I was not aware of the Bamford. How were the second set of wheels moved to make two rows? Physically disconnected and re-mounted or was there some swing-over mechanism which is not apparent in the pic?

    JV
    Phew, I thought I was the lone nerd on here. Good to hear we have been down the same road John. To move the wheels you unhooked them and carried them to the other holes and pushed them in, secured with the pin and connected the spring. Don't think I ever had the acrobat on at the same time as the baler (yes, a B47 as well !!) But I had a Massey 701 before that and since I only started with an IH B414 it was all I could do to tow that around !

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Now to be really nerdy ! I just happened to be reading some old Power Farmer magazines (as you do !) and found this. Hope you can read it. If you right click an image and "Open link in new tab" then you can click on it and make it larger. Then just close that tab and come back to the Forum. It seems that I got it wrong when I said that it was originally a Blanch-Lely. Maybe Blanch-Lely came later.

    rake3.jpgrake1.jpgrake2.jpg

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Wiltshire
    Posts
    37

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    ^^^ Good find..! (did I mention you had a reputation )

    That'll be one of these -


  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    767

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Phew, I thought I was the lone nerd on here. Good to hear we have been down the same road John. To move the wheels you unhooked them and carried them to the other holes and pushed them in, secured with the pin and connected the spring. Don't think I ever had the acrobat on at the same time as the baler (yes, a B47 as well !!) But I had a Massey 701 before that and since I only started with an IH B414 it was all I could do to tow that around !
    I still have & use the Acrobat, Haybob & B47 - although all are looking a bit worse for wear!. I graduated to an MF1455E (in very good nick ,at a laughing price) a few years ago and it has really earned it's keep this year, the hardest year I've ever known for drought and general bad weather.

    JV

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
    ^^^ Good find..! (did I mention you had a reputation )

    That'll be one of these -

    Yes, I mentioned earlier that sometimes I would tow that behind a baler. They were ideal if you'd got some idiot who kept trying to climb into the bale chamber while waiting to pass. When he eventually made his move you gave just a small wiggle on the steering wheel and the baler would sway gently but the turner would act like a drunken duck and it would be all over the place and the poor soul behind got a bit confused at that stage.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    I still have & use the Acrobat, Haybob & B47 - although all are looking a bit worse for wear!. I graduated to an MF1455E (in very good nick ,at a laughing price) a few years ago and it has really earned it's keep this year, the hardest year I've ever known for drought and general bad weather.

    JV
    The B47 was a cracking baler in it's day. Much quicker than a 46 but would make some awful bales if you pushed too hard when it had been rowed up badly. Pardon my ignorance John but is the Massey a little baler ?

  22. #22
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scottish Borders
    Posts
    993

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat


  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    767

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    The B47 was a cracking baler in it's day. Much quicker than a 46 but would make some awful bales if you pushed too hard when it had been rowed up badly. Pardon my ignorance John but is the Massey a little baler ?
    Round baler. Euro version of the Vermeer 504 I think. Not sure of age. Adjustable bale size from about 900 diam to 1500. Auto shut off of the pickup if the bale exceeds 1500. Manual string laying, no net. Easy to block if the first hay of a bale is fed too quickly, but jeez, for the price (1200 quid delivered) I'm smiling

    JV

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    767

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Curious. Is it moving the hay sideways, or tumbling it forward? I presume the tines move up and down in some sort of sequence, powered by the axle.

    JV

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    767

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Now to be really nerdy ! I just happened to be reading some old Power Farmer magazines (as you do !) and found this. Hope you can read it. If you right click an image and "Open link in new tab" then you can click on it and make it larger. Then just close that tab and come back to the Forum. It seems that I got it wrong when I said that it was originally a Blanch-Lely. Maybe Blanch-Lely came later.

    rake3.jpgrake1.jpgrake2.jpg
    An interesting report. I didn't know that the design dated back that far.

    JV

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    424

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    My first job as a pre-college student was using a brand new IH 434 & B-47 baler.

    Baling barley straw the baler's appetite was insatiable but was continually snapping shear pins on the PTO flywheel. The IH dealer sent a mechanic out. He discovered the tractor had 2 speed PTO and I had the pto speed lever set at 745 PTO running tractor {higher} revs at 540 speed on the tractor meter! The innocence of youth

  27. #27
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scottish Borders
    Posts
    993

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Curious. Is it moving the hay sideways, or tumbling it forward? I presume the tines move up and down in some sort of sequence, powered by the axle.

    JV
    The tines were fixed, and by adjusting a simple lever:

    Both rotors could move in opposite directions (left one clockwise and right one anticlockwise) to form a windrow, or

    They could both move anticlockwise to turn two swaths, or

    The left rotor could move clockwise and the right rotor anticlockwise to generally make a mess of trying to put two rows into one.

  28. #28
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scottish Borders
    Posts
    993

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    http://blog.scottishagriculturalimpl...4/IMG_8991.jpg

    It wouldn't pass elf and safety regs nowadays.

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Curious. Is it moving the hay sideways, or tumbling it forward? I presume the tines move up and down in some sort of sequence, powered by the axle.

    JV
    That's a dickie. Made by Massey Harris. And yes, one of my customers had one of those. They weren't a bad tool really but if the baler caught up with a broken tine invariably it took a chunk out of the knife/knives in the baler.

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,297

    Re: Bamford Swath Turner v/s Vicon Acrobat

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    http://blog.scottishagriculturalimpl...4/IMG_8991.jpg

    It wouldn't pass elf and safety regs nowadays.
    That's quite correct. No hi-viz and no hard hat. And where are the beacons ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •