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  Early 1999 I visited the Froese brothers in their shop outside of Inman, KS. They were building another one of their home made self propelled silage cutters.
In fall 2007 I had the opportunity to watch one of the three silage cutters, the Froese's were operating at the time. I visited Beau Froese, son of Ray Froese in the field on his cutter.

There is Beau driving. The cutter features a John Deere cab from a 9600 combine. The "gear shifter" to the left from the steering wheel engages the chopping drive train mechanically through a large clutch bolted to the engine. If it was not for the engine control unit there would be hardly any electronics on this machine.

The engine is mounted cross wise behind the spout. that makes it easy to run the large belts to the knife drum in the front. Lots of room to access the radiator, which is blown out daily. While running the hydraulically driven radiator fan can be reversed from the cab to blow debris out. In front of the cutter is a John Deere head. One of their other machines is pushing a Krone easy cut head.

These belts drive the knife drum and the blower. Even the knife drum is home made, as I have seen myself. It is cut from a large pipe. Then the bosses for the knives were welded on.

For knive sharpening a belt can be installed right here to drive the knife drum in reverse through a hydraulic motor.

One of the four hydraulic pumps is belt driven. The lower pulley seen here comes directly of the bell housing. The engine receives air through twin air cleaners. The second one is hidden right behind the first one seen in this photo.
This chopper was built in 2000 with a 600HP Caterpillar. At the time the photo was taken it had about 4500 hours on the meter, still running well.
Beau told me, that Claas ran their Jaguar side by side with the Froese at one time. This was when Claas had just introduced the Jaguar 880. The loads went across the scales. Quantity and quality of the silage was documented. At the end of the day the Froese chopper had the edge over the Jaguar in quality and quantity in a neck on neck race.

 

Here is one of the home made silage trailers. The third axle can be powered by an engine which is mounted to the front of the trailer. The engine also drives the conveyor chain to empty the trailer.

On this home made trailer both axles can be driven. Behind the spare tire is a transmission powered through hydraulics from the engine up front. A drive shaft to the axles than propels the wheels.