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Lely's tornado is baling up a storm


The Welger Tornado baler-wrapper

The Welger Tornado baler-wrapper

The Welger Tornado baler-wrapper

Agricultural contractors need a steady flow of new machinery to maintain the condition of the fleet and inspire customer confidence.

The newest machine for the Moloney Agri crew based in Clogheen, Co Tipperary is a Lely Welger RPC 245 Tornado combination baler-wrapper that has been busy baling silage for the team since it's delivery in June.

Bought from William John Carroll Ltd in Rossmore for €76,000, the new Tornado baler replaced a McHale Fusion 2 that the Moloney's had been working since 2009. These red combination machines are gaining a recent foothold in the Irish market, with around 30 Tornados sold for the 2015 silage season.

Interestingly, baler buyers tend to be quite loyal with brand choice overall and rarely switch allegiances from one marque to another - especially from red to green or vice versa.

To that end I was interested in the reasons why Thomas Moloney made the change.

He told me that he went for the Fusion 2 in 2009 simply "because at the time Welger had no competing compact baler-wrapper unit that could do the job as well as the Fusion."

However, with the arrival of the Tornado, Thomas feels that changed, and so the decision was made to go from green to red.

"The old Welger at the time was nearly 10ft wide on the road and I just didn't like the build, but when I saw this machine I knew it was more in line with what I was looking for. It had nothing to do with after sales service because I've had great experience of both McHale and Lely on that front.

"It's just the Tornado wrapper ring folds up during road travel and that was a key feature for me because it makes it much more compact with less tail swing for going into and out of awkward fields."

Machine design

Using the well proven RP 245 Profi fixed chamber baler as the basis for this combination, in the Tornado Lely has linked the well-known baling qualities of this machine to one of the faster wrapping system in the market place.

The baler is placed higher than the table so the bale can be easily and quickly transferred to the wrapper table.

The ring wrapper on the Tornado does not vary in wrapping height because the bales always have the same size - a result of the tailgate having a hook to steadfastly maintain bale size even against growing pressure inside the chamber.

In addition to the fast bale transfer, the machine offers the benefit of a fast starting wrapper ring - even before the tail gate is closed - which also means a gain in output and less dead time.

The 2.25m cam-less pick-up has five tine bars to ensure a clean picking up, even for challenging stemmy crops.

After that an 800mm rotor and a 25-knife chopping system (the operator can select 12 knife chopping from inside the cab via the control box if desired) takes care of chopping.

Transport of the crop to the bale chamber is via the Hydroflex feed channel. The 18 steel rollers and mechanical locks on the bale chamber ensure high density and consistent shape.

The Profi baler has heavy duty bearings for reliability and durability, but one area where Thomas feels it could be improved is by having a bigger oil reservoir in the lubricating chamber.

The use of a fixed chamber baler means that the Tornado 245 is compact. The machine has an overall width of 2.70m. With the ring wrapper in the vertical transport position it is a surprisingly short unit given its output capacity in the field.

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One of the big pluses of the Tornado, says Thomas, is the smooth bale transfer from chamber to wrapper.

"There's no sudden jolt when the bale is being transferred, and this for me is probably the single biggest gain that the Tornado has got on its competitors. It makes a huge difference to driver comfort, which has always been a major consideration for my drivers and I because we can spend up to 14 hours a day in the cab."

On how the 2015 silage season will be remembered, Thomas said the last three weeks has been very busy after a month long hiatus in July that was forced by poor weather.

Maintenance and repair of the team's machinery fleet under warranty is carried out by the relevant dealers, but the rest is carried out in house at the team's impressive workshop. The crew keep maintenance and inspection forms for each machine. A weekly machine inspection list is also kept for each machine.

As regards tractors, Moloney Agri say they have a preference for four cylinder tractors where suitable because they have lower depreciation rates than six cylinder models.

They are big New Holland fans, as seen from the fleet list below. Machines are generally not replaced for a minimum of six years. Grassland machines are generally replaced after six seasons; tractors are often kept for longer as they tend to last if well maintained.

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