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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/.

Baling Efficiency Redefined

Key changes that contribute to increased capacity in the 1840 small rectangular baler are the upturned augers, along with the redesign of the stuffer action to follow the contour of the stuffer floor.

Key changes that contribute to increased capacity in the 1840 small rectangular baler are the upturned augers, along with the redesign of the stuffer action to follow the contour of the stuffer floor.

Josh Moorefield, a hay producer from Shreve, Ohio, recently put two balers from different companies to the test in a field consisting of orchardgrass/alfalfa and timothy/alfalfa mixes. He then loaded two semi trailers destined for a customer in Miami, Fla. One truck received bales of both mixes that were bundled by the new Hesston® by Massey Ferguson Model 1840 small rectangular baler that Moorefield had been field testing; the other truck was loaded with bales of both mixes from his competitive-brand baler.

Thanks to the uniform bale size and density of the Hesston bales, Moorefield was able to fit an additional 3,800 pounds on the load. For his customers, that means lower freight cost and more hay.

Building on the success of its predecessor, the Model 1839, Massey Ferguson significantly enhanced the 1840 in terms of high-capacity baling and rugged reliability. The design engineers started up front where pickup and feeder capacity have both been improved—especially in large, uneven and varying crop conditions.

New features also include storage for 10 rolls of twine for fewer stops, an adjustable drawbar that allows attachment to a wider range of tractors and a new, optional knotter fan to keep the knotters clean. The latter is part of a high-performance package that also includes hydraulic bale density for tighter bales. Last, but certainly not least, the 1840 adds 14 more inches to the OptiForm™ bale chamber to ensure greater consistency in bale shape and density.

Higher capacity, faster feeding and denser, more uniform bales, regardless of the crop or crop conditions, are also key features in a new line of Hesston by Massey Ferguson 2900 Series round balers. Available in two models—the MF2946 produces a 4- x 6-foot bale and the MF2956 creates a 5- x 6-foot bale—the new balers feature a redesigned rotor feeder system with adjustable feed auger strippers, as well as more room above the side augers to smoothly pull the crop into the bale chamber. While the new features provide better feeding in all crops, they’re particularly valuable in residue crops such as cornstalks, soybean residue and wheat stubble.

“The new Model 1840 rectangular baler and 2900 Series round balers both feature design enhancements that keep pace with the productivity needs of our customers,” concludes Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for hay and forage equipment. “The Hesston legacy of innovation and commitment to quality is evident in the detailed engineering and rigorous testing that each of these models has undergone.”

Find out more about the 1800 Series Small Square Balers at http://www.hesston.com/products/square-balers/1800-series-small-square-balers.

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