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Rebuilt Balers Double Capacity
“Back in 2013, the balers we had were 10 years old and when we couldn’t buy the size and capacity balers we needed for our specialized horse hay business, we decided to make our own,” says Ohio hay producer John Russell. They partnered with an equipment manufacturer in Michigan who helped them design and build a self-propelled double-wide small square baler that they first used in 2014.
Russell says the design had a wide pickup from a big square baler that fed two small chambers, but it didn’t feed properly, and the bales were uneven. They scrapped that design and in 2019 bought a new Hesston 1844 three-tie baler.
“We cut that machine apart, including the pickup, and built a new, larger bale chamber, plunger and knotter system,” Russell says. They added a knife to slice the bales in half after they were made, and it produced exactly what they wanted. “Our idea worked and we were able to make bales that our customers really liked.”
Russell says their new machine has a single feed system, a single chamber and a single plunger, solving the problems that doomed the self-propelled prototype they built earlier.
The Russells used their new machine to produce 70,000 bales during the 2020 hay and straw season. After minor revisions to the design, they made a second unit just like the first and are now running them side by side. Russell says “these balers double the amount we could produce with our single balers. We’re able to eliminate one tractor and one operator for each double baler.”
Asked if his baler design might reach the marketplace in the future, Russell says his family’s livelihood is hay and straw production, not building equipment. Still, he wouldn’t be surprised if the baler companies came out with one.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Russell Hay & Straw, 7187 Devils Hole Rd., Pemberville, Ohio 43450 (www.jdrussellhay.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5