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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Another baler fire

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Billy Shafer

08-10-2018 02:25:51




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Talked to a guy yesterday. Baler fire at his place last week. Baler and new JD up in flames. My brother said it is because. People are so busy with the radio,CD player,AC,closed up cab. No one can hear what the baler is doing. Got to thinking every fire we have had around here. Was with a closed up cab. I know one guy plus my brother that have open cabs. In the ten years I have been here. They have never had any fire problems. Might be something to think about.

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caterpillar guy

08-12-2018 09:08:06




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
I just go around and feel if any are hotter than others, after running for several hours. If they get warmer they get changed. Fortunately we have not had a baler fire yet. I also don't want one.



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JD Seller

08-10-2018 15:39:02




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Billy: I have baled a lot of round bales. I have never had a bearing catch fire. We also check the bearings after baling for a time everyday. Takes about five minutes using an infrared thermometer. You will catch bearings a week or so before they would have totally failed. They will start out being a little warmer than the other bearings. In a day or so they will be a lot warmer. When they get to 150 degrees they are replaced right then and there. If they are warmer but not that high we will bale until the next break in the baling comes. It also depends on which roller the bearing is on. If it is one of the top two than we wait until we have half a day to do them. (The gate pivots on these bearings). If it is one of the bearings in the door, I often change them while waiting to fill with fuel at the farmers place. Takes maybe 10 minutes.

As far as when they are burning. Dump the bale turn the tractor into the wind and pull the hitch pin. get the tractor away.

Do not pull it up by your house thinking you have time to hook a garden hose up to put the fire out. LOL Had a customer burn the siding off his house. His wife was NOT pleased. LOL Baler still was a total loss.

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olgentdc

08-10-2018 17:00:08




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to JD Seller, 08-10-2018 15:39:02  
JD Seller ,That is a excellent idea that all of US should Practice , Thank You



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JD Seller

08-10-2018 15:53:07




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to JD Seller, 08-10-2018 15:39:02  
Should have been 250 degrees to replacement time. LOL happy fingers. They usually run 150-180 degrees when baling hard in summer weather.



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SVcummins

08-10-2018 12:18:39




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Youíve got to pay attention to your machine thatís all there is to it. I can hear a squeak Creek or growling noise or vibration even with the radio on you just got to know your machine and what itís doing



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Tx Jim

08-10-2018 10:41:19




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

The fireman you're quoting must be referring to NH chain baler or fixed chamber baler similar to older Krone balers.When I had a baler fire 1st thing I did was eject bale & point my tractor into the wind. I thought I had the fire extinguished in my JD 435 belt baler 3 times until I ran FE out of water then I saw a belt on fire then I unhooked baler from my tractor. Fire dept arrived in less tan 15 minutes BUT baler resembled TOAST

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Billy Shafer

08-10-2018 08:52:32




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
I am a generator and transfer switch,control man. Admit I know very little about farm equipment. But it seems to me that. OEM baler producers should do more research on balers. If bearings are such a problem. Find out why and improve the product.



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ss55

08-10-2018 11:41:54




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 08:52:32  
Big round balers have been around for almost 50 years. That can fall into a "Darned if you do and darned if you don't" dilemma.

One guy that gets too aggressive with a water hose or power washer can push water past the seal into almost any bearing no matter how over designed except maybe a taconite seal. At least one or more of those wet bearings will rust and fail the next season.

The next guy shops by price alone and won't pay extra for an over built machine no matter how reliable.

If you add heat sensors, microphones or cameras as either standard equipment or as options, many will complain about the extra cost or extra complexity and refuse to buy them.

If alarms and sensors are not calibrated to go off just before the baler burst into full flames some operators will ignore them or disable the sensor because of false alarms.

Some operators don't pay attention or keep pushing until either the job is done, or something breaks down. Repairs get put off until next year for three years in a row, etc.

It's impossible to make everyone happy or to make a complex machine completely fool-proof. Maintenance and careful operation still go a long way, good manuals or training help a lot to accomplish that. An inexpensive $15 to $30 infrared thermometer might be a great piece of safety equipment on every baler, if it gets used and doesn't get lost/broken.

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Billy Shafer

08-10-2018 12:09:34




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to ss55, 08-10-2018 11:41:54  
I saw the same thing on generators. People want quality but they don't want to pay for it. Or they try to redesign the machine. Try to make it do something it wasn't designed to do. Then get mad. No one is ever happy.

I was called to a fire station,generator wouldn't start. Found they had tried to wash the generator with a fire hose. Ripped the control box off the generator. Shouldn't have broken so easy they told me.

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dcarp

08-10-2018 08:43:44




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Story on the front page of our local newspaper about a baler fire. Lost the baler and 1 acre of hayfield before the SVFD put the fire out. He was able to unhook the tractor.
When I purchased my current baler insurance was mandatory on the 0% for 60 months loan I had. I paid the baler off in 3 yrs but kept the insurance in place for the length of the loan. When the insurance term runs out I will renew the insurance. Baler fires happen and they can happen to anyone. Yes, you can lessen the odds with good maintenance but fires can still happen.

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Goose

08-10-2018 06:24:26




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
I tried wearing a mask once when I was running a combine to keep from inhaling dust, even in the cab. Then it dawned on me, I was removing my sense of smell from the equation, and sometimes the first indication of a problem is something smells wrong.

I decided it was a dumb idea and ditched the mask.



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Tx Jim

08-10-2018 06:12:57




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Al Baker

At this time there are no puddles of water close to hay field where I'm baling. Have you ever had to attempt to simultaneously disconnect one of the spring loaded drawbar safety chains & control fire?



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Al Baker(pumpman)

08-10-2018 08:26:17




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Tx Jim, 08-10-2018 06:12:57  
I was told that iron doesn't burn, just hay. Kick the bale out before it gets to bad and most times you save the equipment. This was coming from a fire fighter who has seen his share of baler fires. Al



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Kansas4010

08-10-2018 06:33:17




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Tx Jim, 08-10-2018 06:12:57  
No puddles of water or green grass here either. The grass is different shades of brown. A buffalo wallow as my dad used to call it in my pasture has been reduced to a couple puddles. I've only seen it go dry once before in my life. With the jigsaw puzzle looking hitch on balers now I'd like to see someone unhook quickly in an emergency.



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oldtanker

08-10-2018 06:03:25




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
My BIL has lost a baler to a fire and in another fire lost a tractor.

The baler went up on a windy day on an open station tractor. Happened right in front of my moms house and a garden hose did keep the fire from spreading to the ground or tractor but it still took the the VFD to actually put the fire out.

The tractor fire was something else. Started as an electrical fire. BIL says that from the time he noticed the smoke to the time the cab was fully involved allowed him enough time to get back into the cab and grab his cell phone. VFD first truck was on site according to the BIL's phone with 911 about 14 minutes.
Both the tractor and baler were total losses. But it points out that there is nothing that says "this will keep you from having a fire". You may be more likely to hear a bad bearing if you can hear it over the tractor and still have your hearing. And never mind what your lungs look like after breathing in all the dust and crap through the years. Nor can you judge every situation. Yea it's great to say don't panic and just dump the bale. But what's more important? A tractor or your life? Sure if you catch it right away you may have time to save the tractor. But if because of dust/wind conditions it isn't noticed soon enough just get out/off the tractor and get away from it. And this is what young people are getting taught today. A tractor is NOT worth your life.

Rick

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Traditional Farmer

08-10-2018 06:37:00




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to oldtanker, 08-10-2018 06:03:25  
I used to work for an auto salvage yard and it was a assumed at the salvage auctions that about any fire damaged vehicle would have either serious engine or transmission problems.Same with
farms in my area some never have a fire and some seem to have them pretty often.



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ss55

08-10-2018 07:02:12




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Traditional Farmer, 08-10-2018 06:37:00  
The engine or transmission problems existed before the fires rather than being caused by the fires?



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Al Baker(pumpman)

08-10-2018 05:43:43




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Never under stood baler fires burning the tractor. I have had one light up from a bad bearing. Yes it will smoke n burn some, but if the bale is in the chamber it will need more air to really get going. Almost every field has a road ditch or wet hole at the end. Run like helt to the road or wet spot n kick her out. If it does get to bad pull the pin and drop the baler and pull the tractor away. Don't take time to unhook the pto or hoses just get the tractor away! Seeing a baler burn can happen. Loosing a tractor/ or whole field of straw I don't get. Stay calm and try to less in the damage. Seen too many burn in the middle of the field. Guy just panics and jumps out and runs. I know out west there may not be a damp, or green grassy spot to try to get to, but here in the Midwest almost every field has a safer place to get to. Each guy who runs a baler, round or square should take a few minutes and ask himself, If I see smoke what would be the best thing to do? Make a fire plan. If you run one long enough you might just need it. I was schooled by a county fireman. If you see smoke look to see if you can dump the bale somewhere to make the burn less. If not pull the pin. If not try to get the whole rig in the county road before baling out. Make a plan. Al

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showcrop

08-10-2018 04:07:42




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Cabs are for keeping you comfortable but more importantly safe. Besides rollover protection they protect you from skin cancer and of course your hearing, since you don't have to listen to that thrashing crashing, and clanging going on back there, :lol: I looked up that thermal imaging for you 'phone. It is in a case that your 'phone camps into. $200.00. It will no doubt cost a lot less next year.

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Bruce from Can.

08-10-2018 03:20:24




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
I keep telling myself I need to get one of those infrared thermometers , that you just aim at things to read their temperature. And when finished baling, simply go around and take the temp of some of the key bearings. Balers that take fire, see probably showing some signs for a while before the bearings fail and get hot enough to start the chaff on fire. So far I never remember to pick one up



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Keith Molden

08-10-2018 04:26:05




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Bruce from Can., 08-10-2018 03:20:24  
We have one that we keep in the cab. I have to have a cab tractor now with my lungs the way they are. Don't like the radio on. We check the baler about every hour or so with it too. They are cheap at harbor freight, but like any equipment, only good if you use them. Keith



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Spook

08-10-2018 20:57:03




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Keith Molden, 08-10-2018 04:26:05  
They also make a pretty good cat or dog toy,



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4520bw

08-10-2018 03:28:37




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Bruce from Can., 08-10-2018 03:20:24  
I check the bearing on mine every hour or so. I have seen a device that you plug in your phone and turn it into the thermo imaging camera. Never checked the price but think it would be good for checking bearings and even for hot spots in hay.



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Tx Jim

08-10-2018 03:15:29




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
I seriously doubt one could hear most brg failures of an operating rd baler even if one was utilizing an open station tractor. I've had the misfortune about 20 yrs ago of loosing a rd baler to fire due to a failed brg after my water fire extinguisher was depleted of water. I now routinely when rd baling check brg temperatures with a laser thermometer. I also think if baling into wind one would not smell smoke of a baler fire on an open station tractor. Rd baling on open station tractor is no fun when baling dry hay more especially if hay got rained on after cutting it..BTDT
Keep in mind all brands/colors of rd balers are subject to catch fire & burn so fire extinguisher,laser thermometer & comp. insurance are nice to have when operating a rd baler.

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Geo-TH,In

08-10-2018 04:55:05




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Tx Jim, 08-10-2018 03:15:29  
I took my car in for service. They said I needed a new front wheel bearing. I'm glad I took it in for service before going on vacation. I never heard a thing. He showed me the bad bearing, it was definitely bad. So bad hearing may be responsible for fires too.



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Traditional Farmer

08-10-2018 04:38:51




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Tx Jim, 08-10-2018 03:15:29  
You can hear one going bad on my NH 851 it starts screeching plus if the wind is blowing the least bit you'll get a whiff of the hay heating up when you get down wind.



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philip d

08-10-2018 02:45:10




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 Re: Another baler fire in reply to Billy Shafer, 08-10-2018 02:25:51  
It's definitely a distraction all the creature comforts and balers that will eat anything without any issue. I like to keep the radio up just enough that I can hear what's on and never lock the back window closed in hopes that I can hear a little of what's going on behind be but I may get an unpleasant surprise just the same one day.



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