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Tractors Big ones, small ones, old ones, new ones, buying, using, fixing...you get the idea.

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Old 02-12-2015, 11:57 AM
chrisser Male chrisser is offline
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Default Hay Balers

Been considering purchasing a used square baler.

We have maybe 10 acres in pasture. All our neighbors have lots more, so they all have round balers.

My wife and I don't really like round bales. You can't move them by hand, you can't stack them easily, and there's no easy way to distribute hay (like you could take a "flake" off the square bale).

I'm partial to IH equipment since we have an IH tractor, but I'm open to other brands.

Been looking at used ones on ebay, craigslist etc. I'd like to keep the budget under $1000.

IH 45 and 46 seem to be pretty available, and there's a New Holland 66 baler available locally.

I don't know the first thing about them, although I can probably fix/repair/rebuild as necessary once I have one.

Anything I need to know?

Also, can these implements be trailered behind a pickup?
What sort of hitch would I need (I have an adjustable height receiver with balls right now)?
Do I need plates, or is a triangle enough? Can I tow it on the interstate? Are magnetic trailer lights enough or do I need more?
Is there a standard bolt pattern for baler wheels? I think it'd be worth bringing a set of known good tires on some spare wheels rather than risking a blowout on the way.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:45 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Mytractor forum
Tractorbynet forum
Greentractortalk forum...
--
These forums are geared mostly to compact and yard tractor ownership and use... The main focus mostly on cat1 size 3pt implements, and tow implements that would work with the horsepower available in this tractor size range.... A lot of small/hobby size farm specific info...

There are a number of haying threads with info that may be useful for your application.. Not knowing the hp and cat of 3pt your tractor has, you may have a wide variety of implements that are useable to you...

Good luck..
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:00 PM
chrisser Male chrisser is offline
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I'll check them out.

I have a gas IH B414. Around 45 HP IIRC - it's like an oversized Ford N.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
I have a gas IH B414. Around 45 HP IIRC - it's like an oversized Ford N.
That's pretty low HP for running a baler, but it can be done if you take your time
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:42 PM
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The original specs were:

43.5 hp engine
31 hp at drawbar
35 hp at PTO

Of course, it's 50+ years old, although I do maintain it pretty well.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:48 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Do you already have the sickle mower and hay rake, or will you need to buy them too?

Round bales can be hard to move if you don't have a tractor, but sometimes they can work. I used to haul home a round bale in the back of my pickup. When I got home I put down the tailgate, backup up fast, and hit the brakes. Once the bale was on the ground I used the blade on my tractor to roll it to where I wanted it, and I then flipped it on end.

Now I have a way to carry one, and move it around so it's much easier. In my case it worked as well as square bales, and of course was much cheaper. I fed horses twice a day, and because they were show horses they were fed separately and many times in stalls. I put a round bale under cover in the back of the barn, and flipped it on it's end. I then just peeled off what I needed for each horse with a pitchfork. I could flip over 2 round bales in the back of the barn, and depending on how many horses were inside I might not need to move more bales in for a month or more.

On the square baler, I had new Holland, but I can't remember what number. I bought it maybe 15 years ago, I think I spent $150 at the time. It did fine with alfalfa, but grass gave me a bad time. I got what I called banana bales, they were curved. I tried working on the string tension but nothing seemed to work. And because I didn't have a problem with alfalfa I didn't think that was it. Later I was told it had something to do with the plunger and it not cutting the hay off correctly. Ended up selling it and went with round bales.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:23 PM
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I'd need everything, although the sickle mower and hay rake would be a lot easier to acquire or I could potentially borrow from one of the neighbors.

We don't have livestock yet, and the fields haven't been cultivated in years.

My plan was to get the baler first since that's the hardest thing to acquire, and anything I buy will probably need work and parts to get it in good running condition.

I'd prefer to hold off on the livestock until I knew I had fields with sufficient nutrition and had the equipment in place to harvest them. But worse case, I could get round bales from one of the neighbors - most harvest plenty of excess and then sell off the extra. I have a feeling they might want to borrow a square baler if we had one and harvest some of their crop in square bales to sell to hobbyist horse owners.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:34 PM
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I have a feeling they might want to borrow a square baler if we had one and harvest some of their crop in square bales to sell to hobbyist horse owners.
That is true, the guy I but my round bales from also has a small square baler just so he can put up a few hundred bales for a few of the horse folks in the area.

Until such time as you have need for it, have you thought about letting one of your neighbors bale your grass on shares. He gets half for doing the work, you get the other half which you can sell. It might give you an idea of how much hay can come off the ground, and give you some money to help pay for any equipment needed.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:28 PM
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That's a good idea. Plus, since those bales (at least the ones I would get to keep) would stay on my place, they'd be a lot less trouble to transport.

Actually, that's a really good idea, since I'd be working and may miss the best time to cut and bale. My closest neighbor's retired and harvests some of the fields behind our place, so he drives right past on his way there.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:42 PM
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The idea of having someone else do the baling is a good one.
You get part of the hay, and have no equipment headaches.

Your tractor will easily handle round bales with a "spear" that fits your 3-point hitch, and with a little planning you can set up feeders so you don't have to feed them as often

With my sheep, I used about 1 round bale every 3-4 weeks , vs having to handle small bales every day or two by hand.

If you're using the land as pasture, you may not get a lot of hay anyway, depending on how many and what type of animals you have.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:07 PM
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If sheep are as bad about wasting hay as horses, you need to look into one of these if you don't already have one.

http://www.haynets.biz/

Not sure if this is the same one my daughter uses, but it sure saves on the hay. She has three horses together and uses a round bale feeder for them.

We hooked the hay net to the bottom of the round bale feeder. Then we set the round bale on it's end on a pallet. We then roll the feeder up next to it and flip it over the top The feeder settles into place and the net covers the round bale. When it gets real low we pull the feeder off move the pallet and set out another round bale. The net is still attached to the feeder so there is nothing to do there but flip it back over the new bale. By doing it this way you don't have any net under the bale so it's easy to get the feeder and net off the old bale and onto a new one.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
My closest neighbor's retired and harvests some of the fields behind our place, so he drives right past on his way there.
And when he's getting his bales out, he will be able to line yours up where ever you want them so you won't have to move them yourself. At least not until you'll actually use them.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
If sheep are as bad about wasting hay as horses, you need to look into one of these if you don't already have one.
I wrapped cattle panels around the bales so they couldn't tear it apart or walk on it

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Old 02-16-2015, 09:50 PM
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That should work good and a lot cheaper then the hay net.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:43 PM
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:03 AM
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Anybody remember forking the big piles into a wagon, then up into the loft?

I do.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad_Professor View Post
Anybody remember forking the big piles into a wagon, then up into the loft?

I do.
If you're old enough to have done that, then you're too old to remember it

In regards the haying equipment: the others are right that it's probably smarter & easier to hire the job out. If you're only talking about a few acres, owning the equipment wouldn't pay for itself, and timing is critical in making hay, so doing it yourself may not work out.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:11 PM
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I have a New Holland Super 68. It is newer than a 66. New Holland is known for their balers. Parts are still avaialable for some models. If you get a square baler, make sure you get a factory manual on how to run it. There are lots of adjustements and things to know!
We towed my baler home on 2 lane roads behind my pickup. The baler had sit in the barn for a while. The tires were weather cracked but held air. We took a long two spare wheels, that I borrowed from a firend. On many New Hollands there are two different sized wheels and tires on them. They are not the same wheel and tire on each side. Ck to make sure the bearinigs are greased good and in good shape before you go. Make sure the tongue is in the transport position. Make sure you wire up the pick up so it won't fall down too. Wire the pto shaft, if it has one, up good also. If you ruin the pto shaft they are expensive to fix or replace. We could drive about 35 mph. So not fast enough for interstate roads. Make sure you have a good safety slow sign on it and maybe even flasher lights. Try to find a friendly old farmer in the area how has experience with a small square baler to take along to see it at least. I have a trailer hitch on my pickup. I bought the insert that had a tongue on it and we got a good heavy pin, (make sure to not get too big of pin that it won't fit in the hole in the tongue of the baler or too short of pin for the toungue) Make sure you wire down the pin well so it won't jump out.

If they say it works, make sure they run some hay through it to see that it works! You can bring along some small square bales and cut the ties and feed them into the baler carefully! If it has a Wisconsin engine on it instead of a PTO shaft that hooks to the tractor, this is a good time to hear them run. Those old wisconsins are notorious for hard starts after they are warmed up and shut down. You have to let them cool down to get restarted. To rebuild one of those Wisconsin engines can be kinda expensive. When you look at the baler ask if the owners manual comes with it? Ask any history, like what parts have been replaced etc. On my New Holland you can work on fixing the banana bale (one side shorter than the other) by adjusting how the hay is fed into the baler. My Super 68 has like fingers that pull the hay from the pick up into the bale chamber. You can set them at different distances to change that, and also how you drive to pick up the hay, which side you are picking up on, more towards the outside or inside of the pickup. Also make sure your hay is good and dry before you bale, that makes for better hay. Not too dry though so all the leaves fall off the alfalfa. I have about $600 dollars in my baler. Last summer it worked well on my 3 acres. If you are going to pull a hayrack behind the baler (some balers you can because they have a tongue on the back of the baler for that purpose) and you have hills, make sure your tractor is heavy enough so when you go down hill, the wagon and baler don't shove the tractor down the hill and hurt someone. Most of the time when you see a small tractor on the front of the baler, they don't have a wagon behind and are just dumping the bales on the ground for pickup later. We have an Allis Chalmers WD and it is almost too light to have a pretty good sized hay rack behind it. I would go no smaller than an Allis WD or Farmall M or John Deere A to pull a baler and hay rack. If you have good sized hills to bale, get a bigger tractor or pick the bales up seperately.
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