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Compressor Shrinks Bales To Half Size
Western hay shippers are doing something about the high cost of hay transportation. They're putting more hay on every load with a bale compressor that reduces ordinary hay bales to one-half or even one-third their standard size.
Called "Containerbale", the compressor is manufactured by Conrad Kraft, Ellensburg, Wash.
The idea of a compressed bale started a half dozen years ago when a hay broker came to Conrad Kraft, asking for a way to get more tonnage on a load, especially for overseas shipment.
"The result was the small truck-mounted model," says Kraft, "and that was followed later by the bigger trailer-mounted models. Now, a hay shipper can put an 18 to 30 ton load on a truck, compared to a 9 to 10 ton normal load."
Besides the advantage of putting more weight in the same amount of space, Kraft points out several other advantages of compressed bales: "Because there is less air space in the bale, it won't take on moisture. The bales stay nice and green and we've kept them for as long as two years. Also, there's less waste in the feedlot because the crushed stems are more edible and cattle will eat 90% of them."
Containerbalers come in three models. The oldest and smallest model is the HB-70 which is mounted on a truck box. Conventional bales are fed into one end and compressed to half size by a cylinder. Next, after the old baling wires are pulled up tight and retied, the new compact bale comes out the side.
The larger HB-90 and the HB-110 models, which are mounted on 25-ft. and 30-ft. flatbed trailers, operate in much the same way. The HB-70 and HB-90 compress 2 to 3 bales per minute, while the larger model will handle as many as 5 bales per minute, according to Kraft. All units operate with a 3-man crew.
The price tag for Containerbale compressors ranges from $63,000 to $68,000.
Current models are designed only for standard size square bales, but Kraft thinks he could build a machine for big round bales.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kraft Machinery Corp., Rt. 3, Box 585, Ellensburg, Wash. 98926 (ph 509 968-3590).

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #6