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Woods Showcases New Cutters, Grapples, Loader

February 19, 2013
By: Nate Birt, Top Producer Deputy Managing Editor google + 

A half-dozen new pieces of equipment are now part of the Woods Equipment product lineup showcased this week during the 2013 National Farm Machinery Show. The Oregon, Ill.-based manufacturer also is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Batwing rotary cutter and a new partnership with Yanmar America.

The company, purchased by Blount International in September 2011, serves the agricultural and rural-lifestyle markets specializing in cutting and mowing equipment. There are 1,600 Woods dealers on the books with 98% of the company’s business happening in the U.S. and Canada, says Jerry Johnson, president of the company’s products division.

Among new products on display this week is the new FZ22K mowing machine, a smaller model than previously existed in the Woods line that retails for less than $8,000, Johnson says. The Front-Mount Zero-Turn mower can be equipped with a blade, a vacuum system or other attachments and can go under fences and other field obstacles because of its out-front design.

"It’s more than just a mower," says Rob Dewey, director of engineering.

The Precision Super Seeder is intended for ruralists and can plant a range of sizes, from switchgrass to soybeans. The machine can be used by farmers who lease land and is unique to the market because of the options it offers. It engages by being placed onto the ground as opposed to using a PTO and can be adjusted to place the right amount of seed per acre.

Other new offerings include an end-drive shredder, a price-point loader a new posthole digger and two grapple buckets. The shredder represents an alternative to traditional center-drive shedders, which leave a sizeable swath of grass underneath the gearbox at the middle of the machine, Dewey says. The new machine repositions the gearbox, narrowing that swath to 1 ½". Knives are mounted in a spiral pattern to cut wheat stubble and other vegetation multiple times in a single revolution for consistently smaller pieces of residue.

The LS96R Rigid Mount Loader is mounted with four pins instead of the traditional two and comes with a price tag that is $1,000 less than an OEM loader, Dewey says.

The new root and scrap grapples are made of grade 80 steel, which results in a lighter grapple that can lift heavier loads. Both can be used with ag tractors of between 45 hp and 100 hp or skid steers in Classes 5 through 8.

Meanwhile, a new alliance with Yanmar America will enable three-point attachments for its compact tractors in the 24- to 49-hp range to be manufactured by Woods under the Yanmar name. Those attachments include cutters, snow blowers and blades. The two companies worked closely to examine quality processes, and the arrangement helps Woods manage its cost structure, Johnson says. Yanmar will maintain its existing marketing processes and dealers with the support of Woods.

Shipments of the attachments for dealers are expected to begin in March.

The iconic Batwing rotary cutter from Woods received recognition during NFMS this week with a special display featuring a 1965 model, presumably the oldest still in existence. Woods held a contest to locate the machine and traded it for a new version. The community of Oregon, Ill., is celebrating the machine throughout the year and has renamed its main street Batwing Boulevard.

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See Farm Journal Media's full coverage of the 2013 National Farm Machinery Show.

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