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25,000th Large Square Baler Celebrated in Hesston, Kansas

In 1978, Hesston Corporation introduced the Model 4800, the industry’s first large square baler, revolutionizing hay production and feeding practices at a time when labor availability and fuel prices were driving a need for innovations on the farm. Big square balers have come a long way since then, and on May 16, 2013, a large crowd gathered at AGCO’s Hesston Operations to celebrate the 25,000th large square baler built in Hesston, Kan.

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Credit for the big baler idea is generally given to Allen White, who spent more than 25 years as a company engineer. White started his research by building a giant bale chamber in the engineering lab and manually packing it with hay. When the 4-foot-by-4-foot bale did not get hot or spoil, engineers went on to build the first prototype baler. They quickly realized that the side-feed approach currently being used would not work, and in 1975, the first prototype that fed hay into the bottom of the bale chamber was built.
After extensive field-testing, the Model 4800 was perfected and released in 1978. Field testing and working with farmers to meet their needs have always been a hallmark of equipment development at Hesston. These productive balers proved to be a more labor-efficient and economical way to harvest, store and feed forages.

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Today, balers built in Hesston are sold in as many as 39 countries and used to bale everything from alfalfa and grass hay to wheat straw, miscanthus for biofuel production, and even recyclables such as newspaper and aluminum cans.
“It is amazing to look back at all that has gone into today’s big baler models,” says Dean Morrell, product marketing manager, Hay and Forage. “Building the 25,000th baler is an invigorating milestone and a great tribute to everyone who has been involved in its development. I know there will be even more innovations in the future large square balers built in Hesston.”

Fun Facts About the 25,000th Large Square Baler Built in Hesston

Tomorrow, May 16, the 25,000th large square baler will roll off the assembly line at the AGCO facility in Hesston, Kansas USA and be presented to its new owner. Here are a few fun facts about the large square baler to help kick off this historic eventHS_25k_Baler_Banner_v1

• The first large square baler — the Hesston model 4800, produced at the AGCO facility in Hesston, Kan. — was introduced in 1978.
• Nearly 50 individual patents were awarded to the original baler.
• There are at AGCO 15 employees who were involved with developing and building the first large square balers and are still working at the Hesston facility today.
• Together, they have 610 years of experience working at the Hesston facility, with tenures ranging from 36 to 49 years.
• Large square balers built in Hesston have been sold under the following brand names: Hesston, New Idea, Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, Case IH, New Holland and AGCO.
• They have been used to bale everything from alfalfa and grass hay to wheat straw, miscanthus for biofuel production and even recyclables such as newspaper and aluminum cans.
• Large square balers manufactured in Hesston have proudly been sold and delivered to customers in as many as 39 countries all over the world.
• Hesston by Massey Ferguson Models 2170XD and 2190 create bales that are 4-feet x 3-feet or 4-feet x 4-feet, respectively, and can weigh up to a ton.

 

Hot Tips Offered At Local Customer Day

Massey Ferguson customers in central New South Wales, Australia recently picked up some hot tips on how to maximise the performance of their large square balers.

The Customer Day was held by local dealers Cowra Machinery Centre and Forbes Machinery Centre with approximately 60 customers in attendance that were provided with a comprehensive overview of the Massey Ferguson large square baler range.

On hand to conduct the training was John Russell, Massey Ferguson Product Manager for hay products who has been running similar customer programs for many years now.

“The main aim of the customer day is to provide customers with information that will enable them to have their balers working at top capacity come harvest time. When the hay season finally arrives, we want our customers working in the paddock and making the most of the limited time they have and providing tips on correct maintenance, preventative measures and trouble-shooting will ensure their downtime is minimised,” says John.

Part of the training which was conducted by dealership staff included an electric powered knotter system that has the same key components as the knotter system found in Massey Ferguson large square balers. “Having the knotter system on a stand enables us to show customers how the system works which in turn provides customers with an understanding of how to fix any potential knotter issues that may arise,” adds John.

In addition to the benefits for customers, the training program also provides an opportunity to meet with customers and learn more about their enterprises and gather valuable feedback on machine performance. “Running the customer days is just as important to our organisation and our dealer network as we learn more about our balers from those who are operating them in various conditions. This enables us to provide valuable feedback back to the factory and to our Service departments, “ adds John.

Feedback on the training from the customers was also very positive as they now prepare for the forthcoming hay season in Australia. “The customer day was a great success and this is largely attributed to the efforts put in by the two dealerships – Cowra Machinery Centre and Forbes Machinery Centre who have built a solid reputation for providing outstanding customer service,” adds John.

Have you ever attended a customer day in your area? What did you learn?

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