“I started driving tractors at the age of 10 on my Grandpa Trapp’s 1941 Ford 9N pulling a five foot disc harrow. I thought I was in heaven and I was hooked,” stated Trapp.
Trapp has been farming part time and full time for over 30 years in Pleasanton, Texas. He farms with his wife, Jennifer, his children, Lauren, William, and Isabella, and his brother-in-law, Jeff. He is co-owner of Trapp Hay Farms, along with his father, Kenneth Trapp Sr.
Trapp Hay Farms produces irrigated Tifton and Coastal Bermuda hay. Trapp and his family farm 100 acres for hay, with an additional 80 acres three miles south of their farm. On top of what Trapp Hay Farms produces, Trapp also custom bales 300 acres near McCoy, Texas.
“On an annual basis, we’ll average 30,000 to 40,000 Coastal Bermuda small square bales. We’ve done as much as 50,000 bales in one year. In addition, we’ll produce about 1,200 irrigated Tifton round bales and about 1,000 irrigated Coastal Bermuda round bales,” explained Trapp.
With Trapp Hay Farms producing large quantities of hay, Ken knew he needed equipment that would keep his productivity high. Trapp was able to trade in two KUHN GMD 4050 disc mowers that he owned for the new, larger sized KUHN GMD 5251 TC disc mower. Along with his KUHN GMD 5251 TC, Trapp owns and operates a GF 8702 T GII tedder, a GA 7501 rotary rake, and a VB 2190 round baler. Making the switch to the VB 2190 was an important change for Trapp.
“After switching to the KUHN VB 2190 round baler six years ago, we went from making 12 to 15 bales an hour with frequent wrapping malfunctions to making 30 to 40 bales an hour, depending on crop conditions, with no issues.”
Trapp purchased his KUHN GMD 5251 TC disc mower in the spring of 2017.
“It’s big! The GMD 5251 TC is very well designed and the construction is second to none. We travel a lot between locations and safety is a primary concern, so the ability to transport in-line is something I’ve been waiting for,” stated Trapp, “This was a top selling point. It’s very well engineered. Transition in either direction is quick and easy. It also opened up space in our equipment barn.”
With the lengthways transport system, operators can rapidly transport to the field and back. The GMD 5251 TC is fast and easy to maneuver on roads. It also allows for access to fields with narrow gates. The Fast-Fit® quick knife attachment system was another selling point for Trapp.
“I was first introduced to Fast-Fit® while demoing an FC 352 several years ago and really appreciated not having to keep an impact wrench available in the field because the system really makes changing blades a non-issue. With the 5251, I am cutting 120 plus acres per side. Fast-Fit® is a real cost saver not only when it comes to parts, but for labor as well,” said Trapp.
The Optidisc® cutterbar, equipped with the Fast-Fit® knife replacement system, provides a flat profile so that soil and crop residue does not accumulate and flows smoothly in different crop conditions. On the GMD 5251 TC, all discs are driven from the center of the cutterbar which significantly reduces maintenance. The Optidisc cutterbar is virtually maintenance free and requires no oil changes, similar to the swivel hitch.
“The swivel hitch feature is quiet and is just about as close to maintenance free as you can get,” explained Trapp, “Make sure the fluid level is where it needs to be and it’s reliable. It just works.”
The central attachment with the Gyrodine® swivel hitch increases output during the mowing process and provides ease when completing complex turns.
The GMD 5251 TC has allowed Trapp to meet and exceed the goals of his operation.
“Reducing from two mowers to one, as I referenced earlier, was a very effective way to decrease our expenses across the board,” said Trapp. “When I first saw the 5251 earlier this year, I knew it was something I had to have and it has not disappointed. It’s been a welcomed addition to our suite of KUHN equipment.”
“Along with cutting our expenses, the 5251 has saved us time as well. It’s reduced required personnel by half with respect to cutting, so I don’t know how it gets any better than that,” explained Trapp.
Trapp deals with Tuttle Equipment in Poteet, Texas. Their relationship has been ongoing for 40 years, as the relationship was first developed with his father.
“They are just who we go to. We actually live next door, literally, to their competitor and have really never thought about changing. We have no problem driving a few extra miles to do business with someone who we know will treat us well.”
With the outstanding service from his dealer and the impressive features on the GMD 5251 TC, it’s no surprise that Trapp would recommend KUHN to fellow producers.
“Close to a decade now, we’ve tried our hand in a pretty extensive array of KUHN equipment and I can honestly say they’ve all been really good. As we’ve grown, there’s always been the next piece of equipment that fits right where we need it to. At this point, I have no reason to look anywhere else,” stated Trapp.