1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5, Page #01[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
On the Go Bale Wrap Machine
The first-of-its-kind add-on machine attaches to the baler axle. It loads and wraps round bales in one operation, controlled by an operator on a side-mounted platform. The machine's turn-table hydraulically tilts 45? forward to accept bales as they exit the bale chamber and tilts 45? backward to dump them off after they're wrapped.
"It eliminates the time and tractor needed to pick up bales from the field and haul them to a stationary bale wrap machine," says -man, a custom baler who also milks 90 cows on his farm. "It saves an operation and doesn't slow up the baler at all. It also allows me to wrap high moisture bales on-the-go while they're perfectly round to ensure trouble-free wrapping. If bales aren't wrapped soon after they're baled, it doesn't take long before they develop a flat spot from sitting on the ground. The flat spot keeps bales from turning properly on the turntable. Also, commercial bale wrap machines cost up to $7,000 whereas I built this machine for less than $2,200. The only major difference between my machine and stationary commercial models is the hydraulic tilting turntable."
During baling, the turntable is tilted forward at a45? angle. The baler discharges the bale onto the turntable. As the baler operator closes the tailgate and starts making the next bale the operator of the bale wrap machine pushes one lever to level the turn-table and another lever to rotate the turn-table to begin the wrapping process. The bale is simultaneously turned on both its horizontal and vertical axis so that the stretch plastic overlaps and evenly covers the entire bale. A clamp arm automatically cuts off the end of the plastic and holds it for the next bale. A finished bale is covered with up to 6 layers of plastic.
Once the bale is wrapped, the operator tilts the turntable 45? backward. The bale falls onto a 5-ft. wide, 6-ft. long section of canvas that's bolted behind the bale wrap machine and drags along the ground. The bale is pulled along on the canvas for a short distance, and then it rolls off. The weight of the bale on the canvas flattens out the stubble to keep it from penetrating the plastic.
"Keeping the bale wrap machine's frame low enough to fit under the baler was the biggest challenge," notes Zimmerman. "There's only 10 inches of clearance under the baler. The middle of the machine scuffs the ground when we go over ditches and banks but it doesn't hurt anything."
Zimmerman welded a clevis onto each end of the baler's axle, and welded a hitch to each side of the bale wrap machine's frame. To hook up to the bale wrap machine he simply drops a pin through each clevis. "We usually bale and wrap, but if the farmer has his own baler and wants us only to wrap bales, we can pull the bale wrap machine behind a tractor and use it like any other stationary model," notes Zimmerman. Zimmerman pulls his baler and bale wrap machine with a 150 hp Deere 4630 tractor which he says has no trouble handling the extra weight of the bale wrap machine. He charges about $10 to wrap one 5 by 4-ft. bale. "There's about $5 worth of plastic alone on each bale," notes Zimmerman.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lewis Zimmerman, Box 192, East Earl, Penn. 17519 (ph 215 445-6851).
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