Rolling with the times - Check out the new players in the baler market
We review the new players in the round baler market and run the rule over updates to some old reliables
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Fendt has recently introduced the Rotana, a new generation of round balers that spawned from AGCO's takeover of Lely Welger's grassland division.
The Rotana will replace the previous Fendt balers 1125 F, 2125 F and 2125 F ProFi, and complements the firm's variable chamber balers. To keep wear and tear as low as possible, all Rotana models have a freewheel sprocket that can rotate a full 360°. If the baling process is suddenly jammed, the sprocket continues to spin and the bale can slow down and run out. The new freewheel function protects all chamber and drive components from additional wear in the event of a jam.
The new drive concept of the Fendt Rotana promises longer durability and a better transmission of power from the gearbox to the baler rollers. The main drive is now divided into two chains.
The power is distributed more evenly and the drive is even better protected against abrasion.
All new Rotana solid chamber models have redesigned press rollers and the diameter at the chamber inlet was reduced. The new position of the rollers means the bales rotate safely, bales are denser and feed throughput is higher. It has also installed a sensor that accurately measures the uniformity of the bale density. From the last 30pc of the bale pressing, an indicator on the terminal helps the driver to achieve a uniform bale shape: the driver sees how best to follow the swath; drive more to the right or left.
To prevent the accumulation of dirt between the chains, all models are equipped with a dirt wiper for the roller bearings.
The bale transfer system sees a moving transfer arm push the bale on to the lower table. To prevent the bale from slipping and to ensure a safer bale transfer, the bale transfer ramp is equipped with moving side parts.
In a key difference to the old Lely Welger design, the tilt angle of the main chamber has been reduced to 8° to improve stability on slopes and the throughput of the combi-machines.
Claas recently launched the new Rollant 520 fixed-chamber round baler as the new entry model in the 1.25m segment. The Rollant 520 features a new roller concept, optimised chain lubrication and a contemporary design. Variants can be equipped with a chopping system, feed rotor and assister feed rake if required.
The Rollant 520 produces bales with a diameter of 1.25m and width of 1.20m. The bale chamber has 16 rollers in all, eight of which are made from 3mm-thick sheet steel, and the other eight from 4mm-thick sheet steel. Claas say the ribbed profile of the rollers ensures precise rotation of the bale, even under moist conditions. Storage and power transmission functions are performed by the lateral stub shafts. These are flanged on to the roller body, and can be individually replaced if necessary, like the rollers themselves.
The baling rollers are driven on both sides. The rotor, main drive and tailgate rollers are fitted with one-inch drive chains. The oil lubricating the chain is pumped from a four-litre tank with an adjustable eccentric pump. Lubrication is not tied to throughput - the oil is distributed as needed, precisely on the chain link pivot points.
The baling pressure is controlled via the tailgate closing rams. For maximum bale density, pressure of up to 150 bar can be applied to the rams.
A crop guard is available as optional equipment. This improves the crop flow even with small swathes, and helps to produce a uniform bale shape.
Krone's Comprima X-treme round balers come with faster pick-up, rotor cutter and elevator speeds to allow it to cope in the most challenging harvesting conditions.
An ability to apply both net and film wraps also makes it a versatile all-rounder baler. A key feature of this baler is its bale transfer system, which has been updated to cut out downtime in the field. The design and arrangement of the chamber and the wrapping table allow the bale to simply drop from the chamber on to the table by its own weight. Should this be a problem in undulating terrain, the bale will get a nudge from the bale lifter.
The Comprima X-treme has a pick-up working width of 2,150mm with tine diameters increasing from 5.5mm to 6mm. A stronger pick-up unit helps to maximise baler stability at high forward speeds, while standard crop press rollers and baffle plates minimise blockages and boost throughput.
Importers Farmhand say the Comprima is specially designed for the Irish contractor market and offers the unique benefit of a semi variable chamber, offering bales from 4ft up to 5ft in diameter. The NovoGrip has been tried and proven in Ireland for over 10 years. Unlike ordinary roller balers, the Krone forms a tight core rather than compressing from the outside in.
Krone engineers say the new EasyFlow pick-up gives very quiet running and boasts a straightforward design as well as a significantly reduced number of moving parts. Less wear, in turn, means lower maintenance and service costs.
EasyFlow operates at a 30pc higher speed than traditional systems to pick up more material more cleanly. Its wide working width of 2.15m gives operators the edge in wide swathes as well as in corners and bends.
McHale need no introduction as market leaders when it comes to balers in Ireland. Their F5000 replaced the Mayo firm's earlier F500 balers, and feature better intake capabilities and chopping options.
The line-up consists of three models: the F5400 non-chopper baler; the F5500 15 knife chopper baler and the F5600 fully automatic, load sensing, 23 knife machine chopper baler.
All machines in the F5000 range are fitted with a 2m galvanised high intake pick-up. For shorter grass conditions, the F5500 and F5600 are fitted with a five tine bar pick-up system.
The pick-up reel and chopper unit has been mounted to maximise reel flotation in undulating ground. A new optional small diameter high throughput crop roller to level out uneven swathes is available for the F5000 baler. The rotor on all F5000 balers is welded on both sides and on the drive side, the rotor is fitted with a double-row bearing with a long service life.
On the top two models, the operator has the option to upgrade the chopper unit to a selectable knife system. On the F5500, operators can choose to engage and chop with a bank of eight knives or a bank of seven knives.
Should fine chopping be required, the operator can choose to engage both knife banks, which will give a 15-knife chopper system capable of delivering a 65mm chop length. Likewise on the F5600, the operator can choose to engage and chop with a bank of 12 knives or a bank of 11 knives.
To ensure the machine delivers a good chop quality, two monitoring systems have been put in place on the F5500 and F5600 balers.
The control box on these machines shows the knife-working pressure. Secondly, sensors monitor the distance between the tip of the knife and the spine of the rotor. If anything changes, the control box notifies the operator.
All machines in the F5000 range are fitted with the simple but effective McHale drop floor unblocking system.
Kuhn VB7100 series
For large farmers and contractors looking for a high-performance baler that creates dense bales, Kuhn Center Ireland in Cork has just announced details of its new VB 7100 series. The two models in the VB 7100 series, the 7160 and 7190, produce 1.60m and 1.85m round bales.
Kuhn say these variable chamber round balers create bales of up to 140kg/m3 and give a capacity of up to 30 t/hour in various crop conditions. The heavy-duty design promises a longer lifetime with minimum downtime.
The VB 7100 series features the new Kuhn patented "i-Dense" system. This intelligent twin tension arm system provides bale densities of up to 140kg/m3 in straw.
In combination with the measurements of the moisture sensor, it automatically adapts the baling pressure according to different crops and crop conditions, without the interference of the driver.
This leads to the most economical use of the baler without compromising on performance.
Kuhn engineers say the mix of the i-Dense system and a proven four-belt, three-roller design of the bale chamber ensures fast, consistent bale formation in both sialge and straw. The net binder with active stretch technology ensures a consistent net tension and sturdy bale shape.
The VB 7100 balers feature the fastest tailgate operation in the market; within four seconds, the bale is ejected and the tailgate is closed again.
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