When the lucerne has to be cut and the weather is right, there is no time for games on the Van Niekerks’ farm just outside Brits, on the Thabazimbi road. “We are so lucky to get a lot of rain here with us,” says Flippie van Niekerk. However, this means that the window period they have to cut their lucerne and oats and let them dry enough to bale is sometimes very short. Then a machine, such as the Pöttinger Novacat X8, which cuts 8.3 meters wide, makes the winning difference.
The Novacat is also equipped with roller crushers that speed up drying without compromising the quality of the feed. Flippie says there are men who say they cut up to 25 km per hour with the Novacat X8, but he prefers to do his cutting work at 12 km per hour, because then he knows it is done thoroughly and accurately and the poles of his overhead irrigation system do not stay in the battle!

One of the great advantages of the combination machine with its cutter in front and double cutters diagonally behind, is that the rear arms can be lifted together or separately so that the operator with the front cutter, which he can see very nicely, up against obstacles such as poles or ‘ a fence, can cut. The other big advantage is that the lucerne is never trampled. Flippie says earlier they first had to cut in one direction and then cut back to the other side to pick up the lucerne that had collapsed. Now he moves through the country once and all that is left are three neat rows of wind that can be easily picked up.

He says the Pöttinger cutters cut very evenly – you can set the height exactly and that is the height that the cutter maintains, even if the ground is uneven. Another advantage he enjoys is that you can easily replace the blades if needed. In the toolbox is a blade wrench that you can use to push down the spring clip and swap the blades.

Flippie says this is his second Pöttinger cutter and he is very satisfied. “I have not had any problems yet, but I also know that Uncle Wynn Dedwith and his family from Valtrac are always ready to help if you have a problem.” He wants to expand his plantings and now that he has the right equipment, he knows he will be able to do the job, and very quickly.

Good, better… Pöttinger

Here are some of the Pöttinger features that make the Novacat X8 a world-class cutter:

Clean cuts to the ground are possible, as the curved front of the cutting bar ensures that the ground slides underneath and the grass on top. Material also slides smoothly over the rounded cutting discs.
Equal cutting height is maintained by Alpha Motion technology, which involves the support frame and the coupling arms working together to tilt the cutting box forward (9 degrees), backward (12 degrees) or left and right (16 degrees) as prescribed by the contours.
The mounting beam is attached to the center of each cutter so that the cutters can follow inequalities in the land even better.
The cutter is designed so that even long, heavy grass that has gone to bed can be neatly lifted and cut.
The cut is neat, clean and uniform due to the optimal overlap of the blade’s cutting path.
There is a built-in mechanical breakaway action that prevents the cutting blade from being damaged when a stone or corner post ends up in the road.
Thanks to Pöttinger’s modular design, each disc and gear with its bearings can be removed as a unit. The parts are also available separately and it is not necessary to replace the entire toll.
With Pöttinger’s Power Control unit, everything is controlled from the tractor’s cabin. Isobus-friendly units are also available to use with an existing GPS screen.
Find out how Valtrac can help you with the right feed cutting machine. Call Attie de Villiers at 083-261-9863, 056-817-8006 or send an email to attiedev@valtrac.co.za. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za for more information.


Alpha Motion technology on the front cutter means that contours can cause no problems.


The three cutters overlap by about 60 cm so that no blade of grass or lucerne straw can remain standing; only three neat windrows remain behind.