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Hay Equipment Maintenance Checklists

Downtime is costly for any producer, but it’s even worse for commercial operators who depend on quality hay for their livelihood. That’s one reason Larry Krepline goes through his two Hesston big square balers and Hesston windrower every fall with the help of Gruett’s Inc., his Massey Ferguson dealer in Potter, Wisc. That is, after he totally cleans each machine at the end of the season with compressed air and/or a power washer.

“One of their technicians actually comes out here to the farm and we go through the full checklist on each machine,” Krepline says. “After that, my crew and I will make most of the repairs ourselves based on the recommendations. At the very least, we’ll change all the fluids, including the oil in the cutterbed, and replace all the disc header knives, along with the bolts and bushings. I don’t need any of them breaking during the season.”

With three windrowers, two big square balers and ten 3-twine balers, Mark Atkinson, owner of Atkinson Hay Company in Dixon, Calif., has a big maintenance project each winter, too. However, by the time he and his crew finish, Atkinson says every machine they own has been restored to like-new condition.

“In fact, our dealer usually has somebody waiting for a machine when we trade it,” he adds. “We literally take every machine apart and rebuild it, replacing any part that we have doubts about. If there’s any question about whether it will make it through the next hay season, we replace it,” he adds, noting that replacement parts include everything from knotter bill hooks to bale chamber side plates. “Downtime is too expensive to risk it.”

Another tip, this one from Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay products: “Months down the road it can be hard to remember that noise you wanted to check out before next season. By writing it down, when you notice what might be a problem, you have a big head start on maintenance that will leave your equipment in top condition, ready for another productive season.”

For detailed checklists for hay equipment maintenance, including a video from our own Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for Hesston® by Massey Ferguson hay products, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/hay-equipment-maintenance-checklists/.

Auto-Guide 3000

The newest assisted-steering technology from AGCO, Auto-Guide 3000, offers integration across a range of agricultural equipment brands.  Auto-Guide 3000 is part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services.  To learn more about Fuse, click here.

The new system is also compatible with all GLONASS satellites, in addition to WAAS, OmniSTAR XP, G2 and HP subscription, and RTK GNSS signals. In fact, its high quality and reliability were driven by extensive testing at nine different AGCO manufacturing sites around the globe.

“Auto-Guide 3000 has been the most extensively tested guidance product that has come from AGCO to date,” says Matt Rushing, vice president, product management, AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group (EFG). “It’s a solution that both customers and dealers can place a high level of confidence in.”

Ease of use is key, notes Rushing. “AGCO has taken steps to design its next generation of guidance solutions to be simple to operate.” With Auto-Guide 3000, he adds, “it’s also fully scalable from sub-meter to centimeter accuracy.”

It’s getting to the point that assisted steering is a standard requirement for most large farmers in North America. Steering and guidance are the most basic precision-ag functions and are the foundation for almost every operation in the growing cycle.

One of the greatest benefits of the Auto-Guide 3000 is that it can be integrated right into the same C1000 tractor monitor that the operator uses to control his tractor, White planter or Hesston® by Massey Ferguson baler. The system also features straight-line, pivot and contour modes, and works with the C2100 monitor in Massey Ferguson combines.

This eliminates the need for an extra monitor in the cab and helps the operator focus on the field, since all the information he or she needs is in one location. However, notes Rushing, for more advanced characteristics and functionality, an optional monitor is available that offers a larger screen and more dedicated functions.

Auto-Guide 3000 is currently available as a factory-installed option on select Massey Ferguson and other AGCO-made tractors and combines, and on Hesston by Massey Ferguson self-propelled windrowers. It’s also offered as an aftermarket add-on.

For more information about the new Auto-Guide 3000 system, contact your local AGCO dealer or visit myFarmLife.com/autoguide.

 

MF 2170XD large square baler walk-around with Alan Haycocks – Day five, Agritechnica 2011

Alan Haycocks, Sales Engineer AGCO Harvesting, gives us a tour around the brand new high-capacity MF 2170 XD – which produces a bale size of 1.2m wide by 0.9m tall.  It produces 20% more density than a standard baler – thanks to a beefed up flywheel and stronger overall frame. This means less twine, more density per bale and less transport costs overall.

Just Launched: Hesston by Massey Ferguson 2170XD “Extra Density” Large Square Baler

MF 2170XD Large Square BalerThe all-new Hesston® by Massey Ferguson® 2170XD Large Square Baler allows commercial hay producers and large producers in North America to create large, “extra density” square bales that are more efficient to stack, load, transport and store. This baler has been re-engineered to accommodate the added weight that comes with denser bales, and is built tougher with heavy-duty tension cylinders and plunger arms, a heavier flywheel, and higher-capacity gearbox and driveline to provide the reliable performance producers have come to expect from Hesston.

This baler creates 3- by-4-foot bales, up to 9 feet in length, with bale weights 15 percent greater than the standard MF2170 baler and 30 percent greater than standard MF2170 balers sold before model year 2010.

  • Redesigned flywheel is 91 percent heavier to help create a heavier bale while operating smoothly at normal load in most conditions
  • Newly designed gearbox comprised of larger, stronger components
  • Uses new Category 7 primary and secondary drivelines with heat-treated yokes
  • Reinforced frame structure

MF 2140 STEPS UP THE PACE IN HAYLAGE

Richard Brooks of Eurobale produces haylage for the equine market with an MF 2140 baler.

Haylage is a notoriously tricky crop to bale but an MF 2140 which joined the fleet at UK-based Eurobale in 2010 is putting in a flawless performance according to co-owner, Richard Brooks. Indeed, the Massey Ferguson big square baler’s increased capacity has triggered a 45% rise in output – and all this without compromising the existing bale wrapping and packaging operation.

Being virtually spore- and dust-free, haylage is a preferred feed for the equine market, providing essential fibre for gut motility. Supplying over 9000 tonnes a year to major equestrian establishments including racehorse trainers and event riders, father and son partners, Geoff and Richard Brooks of Eurobale in Nottinghamshire have developed a highly successful business centred on the supply of this premium niche product.

“Having always ridden ourselves, we have wide experience of the horse market and understand what’s required,” says Richard.  “We defined a need for the reliable supply of a consistent high-quality traceable product delivered direct in bulk,” he says. Today, the firm takes care of the entire process, from seeding the grass right through to harvest, nutritional analysis, bale wrapping, storage and delivery. Some of their biggest customers take 300-400 tonnes a year.

“There are several key issues to producing haylage for the demanding horse market,” Richard explains. “The requirement for high quality means harvesting at just the right time. If cutting is delayed by three or four weeks, the selling price can halve – hence the need for reliable, high-capacity equipment. We have only a very short window to cut the crop. It’s important to get the timing right and go in when the protein content is at the correct levels.”

Testing the quality of the crop. Being virtually spore- and dust-free, haylage is ideal for horses.

“The first cut of 750 ha takes place in June and we hope to be finished by mid-July. In recent years, the weather has been such that in some seasons we have had only two harvestable days in June. We make a second cut approximately eight  weeks later.”

With its 80 x 70 cm chamber, the MF 2140 represents a step up from Eurobale’s traditional 80 x 47 cm bales. “We wanted to move forward this year, and bigger bales were the way to go without having to change our wrapping equipment back at the yard,” Richard explains. “The bales are still small enough for easy handling by our customers but with significant increase in capacity. Now with every MF 2140 bale we wrap, we’ve increased output by 45% simply because of the size of the bale.”

Bales are packed six to a pallet, weighing 1400 kg. For full traceability, each bale is numbered and tagged with details of cutting date, dry matter value and field of origin. Once with the customer, the bales tend to be used in situ, broken down as required and the flakes transported by wheelbarrow.

But it’s not only bigger bales where the MF 2140 is making an impact. Manufactured in Hesston, Kansas, the machine’s build quality and reliability is also impressing.

“Another challenge with haylage is that it’s a difficult crop to bale,” comments Richard. “While straw tends to polish up the inside of the bale chamber and silage is wet, haylage is baled at 65% dry matter so it’s slightly sticky. The high level of sugars can build up a residue inside the chamber and cause problems.” Added to that, in Eurobale’s case, they always run the baler with a high plunger load setting to achieve maximum bale density, creating a demanding environment in which it has to operate.

“In 2010, our MF 2140 produced 20,000 bales faultlessly,” Richard says. “You only have to open up the panels at the side to see the quality – the machines produced at Hesston are built to a completely different standard. The double knotter system is another big advantage as it allows the bales to be made at full density without putting undue pressure on the knotters. The pre-compression chamber is also a benefit since it forms each flake separately which makes for easier feeding of long, course material like first-cut Timothy.”

Spurred on by the positive impact of the MF 2140 on the business, Eurobale is adding a further two units for the 2011 season together with a new MF 6499 tractor which is being drafted in to operate a new triple combination mower.

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