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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - lite bales

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wally b

07-19-2013 06:52:46

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I have a JD 24 T baller on a farmall M and am baling in 1st gr at open throttle. My windrows are small. I have the bale tensioners tightened to the limit, but can only get a 35-40 lb bale (perfect in all respects otherwise).

I"m sure the problem is small windrows, but I wanted to check here to see if there were any other solutions, other than increasing speed or re-raking the hay. I would like to look for a better tractor for baling with live PTO and more speeds, but about the same HP and price as the "M." I am not wed to any particular brand--any suggestions?


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07-23-2013 04:19:47

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
When the hay is real dry and a late over-mature, like down around 8% moisture you just can't get 50 lb bales most of the time. Going slower actually should make bales tighter based on my experience but may not make them much heavier. I would not worry too much about your bale weight issue, it should be more of a concern with bale form and tightness. I have the same problems with my newer high capacity machine.

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07-22-2013 08:50:47

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
You might try increasing the length of the bale. This would add weight to them. If the hay is light and very dry, it may not be possible to increase the weight of the bale. I'd try to feed the baler a little faster, either with bigger windrows (once again this may not be possible) or increase your ground speed. Full throttle seems excessive to me. I usually run my small baler at 2/3rd's throttle, trying to keep the pickup on the baler full at all times. Keep trying different settings. Balers do not have to run at full throttle. Let your fly wheel do its job. The baler will tell you when it needs more rpm's.

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wally b

07-21-2013 22:14:03

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
I run the M in first because at wide open throttle, second seems too fast a ground speed for me to drive safely (kinda rough ground), and I need the throttle wide open-- seems to be the right PTO RMP speed for my 540 rpm baler. Is this correct?


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07-22-2013 08:07:14

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-21-2013 22:14:03  
Depending on the baler, you should be pushing out a bale with 10-14 flakes in it, or plunger strokes.

You must be getting 30 or so?

Myself, I run 3/4 throttle, and as fast a gear as the baler pickup will eat. Always get better bales with an almost too full throat than too empty.

That is how dad did it, and I was the kid on the hay rack stacking. Was a real workout keeping on your feet on some of those fields, and in light straw he would shake bales off the rack sometimes, but keeping the baler 'full' was the priority....

I would think most of the time I would be 3/4 throttle and in second gear with your setup. Perhaps 1/4 of the time I would be in 3rd gear, and when I really raked a full windrow a little dampish I'd begrudgingly drop to first gear and open up the throttle.

That is what works for me. I have poor luck with full throttle and light windrows, feels like parts are going to fly off the baler. I have too much work to do to putter around in low gear, I get fields so rough from pocket gophers I need to tear them up and replant, can still drive across them in 2nd gear but yea its a little rough. Generally find 3/4 throttle, less than full pto speed, works well for my older baler, would be different with a very new high capacity baler, but the older lower capacity type seem comfortable moving a little slower rpm.


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07-21-2013 18:30:31

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
with all previously said, stop and think about how a square baler loads the bale chamber,very little hay coming in it my take 40 strokes of the plunger to produce one bale,being feed at a high rate maybe 10 depending on the length of the bale and press tension,either way bale weight is a combination of hay quality and weight and bale chamber pressing capability regardless of pickup feed amount,i've seen the same size baler pulled with tractors from a D10 ac to a 4020 jd,faster feed more hp to a certian extent

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07-21-2013 06:39:51

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
I agree with the others that have suggested stepping up the speed. We always run just as fast as possible. Pending on the tractor it could be 3rd or higher. When we were using the super M for baling we never was in 1st always 2nd or 3rd. Granted we have a belt thrower on the new Holland baler so that is another reason to need to drive faster so ya don't burn strings off

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07-21-2013 05:43:31

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
Try to keep the baler pickup in hay all the time. Too slow and the pickup will pull the hay in and then will have to wait for you to get far enough forward to get more hay, too fast and the pickup will either slip or get a big bunch of hay clogged in front of it. Keep your forward speed so that the hay is "flowing" nice and evenly into the pickup...

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Tx Jim

07-21-2013 04:26:38

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 Re: lite bales in reply to Jim SC, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see


I agree with you and I overlooked that Wally was baling in 1st gear which would be very unusual for light windrows.

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07-20-2013 22:25:30

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
IHC 300 is a great match for my small baler, 10 forward gears with the torq amplifier, 1/2 of them are shift on the go.

How can you stand driving in 1st gear in light windrows, u would go out of my mind. Mostly bale in 2nd gear, can be in third or 4th low in a light windrow..... Think this is part of your problem, need to fill the baler some.

Agree with the others tho, light windrow of very dry hay is hard to get a heavy bale.


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07-19-2013 18:51:30

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
If it is very dry they will be that way. I put the 24T on the 4440 last weekend. The rows were so big that I had to run in A1 and still had to dump the clutch to keep it from plugging. The grass was dry - I'm betting the bales weigh 45-50 pounds. Grass is just light. I love that 24T, though.

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Shetland Sheepdog

07-19-2013 14:11:27

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
I think that Gordo has hit the nail on the head! If your hay is very dry, you can make the bales tight enough to break the strings, and they still won't weigh much over 40 lbs for a 36" bale!


Edit: My first baler was a 24T that the PO had operated for years with a Farmall "M"!
This post was edited by Shetland Sheepdog at 14:14:09 07/19/13.

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07-19-2013 12:51:24

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
What are you baling? If you have "perfect bales" then you probably can't get anymore hay in a bale than you are getting now.

As for tractor suggestion I liked baling with a D45 years ago.

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07-19-2013 10:29:43

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
I've baled a lot with an Allis WD, and it works great on a baler. Foot clutch will stop the baler and tractor movement, and hand clutch stops movement only. The hand clutch runs in oil so you can slip it to run slower if you get into a heavier windrow.

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Tx Jim

07-19-2013 09:43:50

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  

I think you could attach the 24T to the largest pto HP built with 540 rpm pto and it won't affect the weight of the bales.
Yes larger windrow will affect the weight and installing wedge restricters(parts key #32) will make bales heavier. I didn't see wedges in a 24T parts catalog but I see no reason they couldn't be installed. New resisters that resemble a cabbage grate will help but not as much as the angle wedges. I've also seen the side resister doors installed on balers that didn't have them from the factory

This post was edited by Tx Jim at 09:49:25 07/19/13.

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07-19-2013 09:35:26

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
What is the moisture content of the bales? Are they grass hay? If you bale at 15 % moisture you will get heavier bales.

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07-19-2013 07:08:36

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 Re: lite bales in reply to wally b, 07-19-2013 06:52:46  
Find an old Oliver 77 or such. 6 forward speeds independent live PTO and lots of torque. Have my 77 hooked to a NH271 square baler and it doesn't even know it is there. As for the lite bales yep not enough hay or not enough speed or both

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