First Wisconsin Cutting with the Deere W260 Windrower

by Austin Shellhause, Cuba City, WI 

Planting has finally come to a slow down with most guys either done, or wrapping up with a few acres of beans this week. After a light frost last weekend, corn looked pretty rough this past week. We have since gotten a bit of a warm up that has seemed to green up the corn and bring it back to life.

First crop alfalfa and rye are in full swing. We have gotten the chance to take our demo W260 self propelled wind rower to a few customers to showcase the machine along with the 500R rotary cutter.

W260 and 500R
W260 and 500R

The 500R cutter features constant header speed. This keeps the head at a constant speed no matter the engine RPM’s, keeping the same windrow formation across the field. On this particular cutter we have the V-10 rolls.

V10 Rolls
V10 Rolls


The V-10 steel rolls feature 10 angled flutes arranged in a chevron, or V-pattern along the length of the steel core. This style roll offers an adverse crop cutting option. With the 10 flutes, this allows for a more aggressive crimping for a more uniform conditioning. This also provides a quicker dry down time.

John Deere also offers 2 other styles of conditioning rolls including, urethane and tri-lobe steel rolls. Tri-Lobe steel conditioning rolls have three intermeshing chevron lobes to crush the length of the stem for improved conditioning and faster dry down. This style of roll perform best in alfalfa and other thick stemmed crops, where the roll breaks down the stems to provide excellent dry down time.

Tri Lobe Rolls
Tri Lobe Rolls

As far as the machine, the large drive tires and IntelliAxle rear suspension system provide the superior ride quality and controllability. I had the chance to ride in a customer’s older 4995 while demoing this machine, it is a night and day difference in ride quality, even over rougher terrain. Integrated AutoTrac delivers extreme accuracy at high cutting speeds. Integrated AutoTrac is an industry exclusive, without needing universal add-ons or hydraulic pumps. Using AutoTrac allows to keep the head fully engaged with crop at all times, making for a more consistent windrow even at speeds above 12 MPH. Going higher speeds while taking full head cuts and using AutoTrac, yields more productivity per hour, but also allows the operator to run longer hours due to less fatigue of operating the machine. There is not another windrower on the market that will AutoTrac and steer as well as this machine does on contour strips and straight tracks. Perfectly straight windrows also makes the chopper operator extremely happy, which makes their job a lot easier.

W260 Straight Windrows
W260 Straight Windrows

If you are interested in demo-ing this W260 or any other piece of equipment, get with your local AMS personnel and they will explain to you what we have to offer.

Keeping Chopper Drivers Happy

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Learn more at

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