The Kosch Company located in Columbus, Nebraska has been manufacturing sickle bar mowers since 1947. The original model was side mounted to the tractor with a 7-foot cutting bar, PTO driven from the tractor power source, and utilized a pitman drive for the sickle. In the early 50`s the Kosch Company expanded on the mounted mower by adding a second mower to the same tractor (the Hayvester).
In essence this doubled the output of one man and one tractor. By 1960 more emphasis was being placed on the production of sickle bar mowers for a more specialized market; cutting wild hay (prairie grass). Larger and heavier mowers were developed to withstand the adverse and rough terrain associated with prairie hay production in western Nebraska and the Dakotas. The Hayvester usually was permanently mounted to a tractor limiting the tractor's capabilities. As the popularity of the side mounted mower diminished, 1971 saw the development and production of PTO driven double bar trail behind units with optional cutting widths of 14', 16', and 18'. This new machine was called the Trailvester. This concept allowed the tractor to be utilized for additional uses other than hay production, saving money for the operator.
Additional changes to the mowers were made in 1998. Smoother operation was desired to reduce repair costs on the mowers. A pitmanless drive for the sickle was developed, tested, and released to the market. Today, the pitmanless drive mower is available either as PTO driven (Trailblazer) or as the more recently developed hydraulically driven unit (Trailblazer Hydro).
By 1990 a new product line was being developed for the hay producer. The Kosch Balehandler, a complete self loading, transporting and unloading, round bale handling system was introduced. The balehandler is available in either a 6-bale or 8-bale unit. An optional quarter turn pick up arm allows the operator to follow the same path as the baler worked the field.
A the turn of the new century the Kosch Company is continuing to improve on the full line of sickle bar mowers and the balehandler. A program is in place to design and proto type equipment that will be used to cut, trim, and groom acreages and small estates. These products include a 3-point mounted sickle bar mower and weed trimmer. Along with these products the Kosch Company is designing and developing side-mounted mowers to be used to cut roadways and right of ways.