Looks like we may have a dry week starting on Monday, so I can finally try out my new to me 499 New Holland haybine. I haven't used a hydroswing before, or a 12' haybine, so there will be learning curve I'm sure.
What I'm wondering is, what folks who use these normally do for opening the first few passes around the field? With my old 9' side pull haybine, I would take first cut around the field clockwise, keeping the tractor a few feet from the edge. Then take 3 or 4 more clockwise passes, then mow as lands, then take outside cut counterclockwise before I left the field, since that's usually where I would hit the clumps of dirt, etc.
With the 12' mower now, I'm not sure how well I will be able to judge how far to stay in from the edge on the first pass. Thinking that if I misjudge it and get too close, I could end up picking up the windrow on the counterclockwise cut and plugging the mower. So I'm thinking maybe take the outside pass first counterclockwise, then clockwise after that. But I don't like the idea of mashing down the crop on an inner pass either.
Just curious what others do. It will probably be clear to me what to do after I get half way around the first pass, but I'd like to avoid causing more problems for myself if possible.