Why Tom Schwinn Switched to the Vermeer TM1410 Trailed Mower
Tom Schwinn, third-generation farmer and second-generation owner of Schwinn Farms Incorporated in Leavenworth, Kansas, has spent his fair share of time in the field. Mowing, raking, baling, chopping, planting, harvesting and choring — you name it and he’s been at it longer than most of the other young bucks in the sale barn.
Tom knows he has a pretty great set up farming with his two sons John and Jake and two nephews. The five Schwinn men have 180 head of dairy cattle, 200 head of beef cattle, 2,500 acres of row crops (corn, soybeans and wheat) and around 1,100 acres of alfalfa and grass hay.
“I’m fairly content. I’ve been at it a long time — 40 years full-time,” Tom said. “If I haven’t made any (life) changes yet, I probably should have by now.”
But there was one operational change that Tom made in the last year, and wow did it make a difference — switching to a Vermeer® TM1410 trailed mower. Before they switched, the Schwinn family was pulling three 10-ft mower conditioners with just as many tractors, and they had to hustle to mow 5 acres an hour with each machine. Now they’re mowing at 12 – 14 acres per hour with a single 20-ft trailed mower.
“They were good, dependable mowers — 10-ft side-pull mowers — but we needed more capacity,” Tom explained. “We like to mow early in the morning, and then we usually chop (or rake) later that evening or the next morning. We like to get enough down to give the chopper a full day’s work.”
The Schwinns put up as many as 1,500 – 2,000 round bales per year with the other half of the crop being chopped for silage.
“(The TM1410) is almost more mower than we need, but it’s freed up a lot of labor and diesel fuel because you can do as much with one tractor as you could with two or three,” Tom said. “It was hard to get two or three drivers free to mow hay, so we wanted to get down to one operator. It’s definitely been a game-changer for us.”
The 20-foot TM1410 has a minimum 105 hp requirement and a convenient 9-ft transport width, making the switch easier on the Schwinn family since they didn’t need to get a new tractor as well.
“We wanted to mow a lot in a day but still be able to use our old tractors and be able to fold up and go down the road,” Tom said. “The biggest impact is capacity — just getting more hay mowed with an hour of tractor time. (The TM1410) has really done what we had hoped it would without any problems.”
Jake said the equipment upgrade has brought more benefits than just an increased capacity.
“We’re getting more stuff done when we don’t have to run two to three tractors — it’s just more efficient,” Jake said. “(The previous mower conditioners) were good mowers, but they were just so worn out that it was really hard to keep them running. One of them was practically always broken down.”
Tom agreed that it’s more than just the capacity and time savings that keep him in the seat.
“(The TM1410) has several features that I like other than just its size,” Tom said. “We went from spring float cutter bars to (the TM1410’s) hydraulic accumulator and it makes quite a difference as far as the bounce goes. I’ve really caught onto it — I like it a lot. I didn’t think I would, but I do.”
And boy, does he. As expected, placing only one shiny, new piece of equipment on the farm can come with a few downsides — especially when certain family members don’t like to share.
“I was doing most of the mowing and then we switched to the (TM1410) — now we can’t get (Tom) out of it,” Jake joked.
One of the only hesitations the Schwinn men had when making the switch was losing the ability to condition the grass.
“The concern we had with (the TM1410) was not having a conditioner of any kind, but since we got it we haven’t missed it and it’s a lot of moving parts that’s not on there to maintain,” Tom said. “If you’re going to keep mowing hay, you might as well have good equipment to mow it with — you don’t want to be working on mowers when you should be mowing.”
With his new toy by his side, Tom has been even more content knowing he’s got the best deal out there.
“I’m going to be honest with you, there’s nobody making things like (the TM1410) — there’s really nothing to compare it to as far as another brand and this particular mower that I know of,” Tom said.
And that’s why Tom Schwinn switched to the Vermeer TM1410 trailed mower.
To hear why others switched to Vermeer, click here.
*Information noted above was gathered from a third party who was advised his/her experience might be featured in marketing materials. Individual results may vary based on care and operation of machine and crop and field conditions, which may adversely affect performance.