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How to operate a square baler

2012-02-25   Views:18

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After hay or straw is cut and piled into winrows, allowed to dry for several days and sometimes turned, it is baled. A square bailer is a piece of agricultural equipment that compresses hay or straw into brick-shaped bales, and ties them with string

How to operate a square baler

After hay or straw is cut and piled into winrows, allowed to dry for several days and sometimes turned, it is baled. A square bailer is a piece of agricultural equipment that compresses hay or straw into brick-shaped bales, and ties them with string or wire. Square bailers are pulled behind a tractor and powered off a PTO, a small, independent engine. Once the bailer is hooked to the tractor -- as long as the operator feeds the bailer's rake -- the bailer processes the bales without manual assistance.

Skill level:Moderate

Instructions

1 Inspect the hay or straw. If hay is wet -- even moist -- it will rot in the stack before it is fed. Typically farmers allow it to dry for two or three days, depending on the weather. If allowed to dry for too long, however, the feed loses colour and becomes brittle. The loss of colour indicates a loss of protein -- less nutrition for the stock. Brittle feed breaks, making it difficult to compress during the baling process. Straw and grass hay are not as susceptible to over-drying as oat hay and alfalfa. Oats and alfalfa leaves scatter if the hay is too dry. This prevents the bailer from gathering and baling them.

2 Attach the bailer to the tractor. First, back the tractor up to the bailer hitch and put the hole in the hitch over the eye in the tow bar. Drop the hitch pin through the holes. Slide the cottar pin through the bottom of the hitch pin to secure it. Connect the driveshaft on the bailer to the tractor's PTO by sliding the female receiver over the male end of the PTO. Slide the cottar pin through the two to secure them in place.

3 Mount the tractor and fire it. Pull the bailer to the first winrow. Engage the PTO drive on the tractor to mechanise the bailer. Pull the rake of the bailer down the centre of the winrow. A second pass is inefficient, so gather the entire winrow on the first. After the bailer ties and compresses a few bales, dismount the tractor and check the density and weight of the bale. Adjust the bale tensioner located on top of the bale chamber to modify weight and density of the bales.

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