1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Self-Propel Pull Type BalersAn Oregon company self propels pull-type small square balers by hooking them up to independent power units complete with hydrostatic steering and drive, freeing up a tractor while greatly improving maneuverability and visibility.
Steffen Systems, Salem, Ore., converts a Hesston 4655 in-line baler (Case-IH sells this baler under its own colors) by removing the baler's hitch and pto assembly, then bolting a steel platform in place of the hitch. The platform carries the engine, fuel tank, hydrostatic drive, seat and controls. A hydro-static drive axle is bolted onto the rear and then the baler's original wheels are moved to the front steering axle and replaced with bigger 16.5 mud grip tires.
"It frees up a tractor and is more comfort-able to operate than pull-type models be-cause it's equipped with hydrostatic drive. Lets you vary speed according to windrow width to keep the baler full all the time and keep from plugging it," says David Steffen, president. "Visibility is great because the operator sits right on top of the baler pickup. You can see the windrow without constantly turning around. Another big advantage is its ability to make sharp turns. You can run right up to the end of the row and turn 180 degrees with no problems. All of our conversions will be of Hesston 4655 in-line balers. We chose them primarily be-cause the center-feed design lets us use conventional steering rather than having to use a single front tire. We may expand to other models in the future."
The power unit is equipped with a 4-cylinder, 105 hp turbocharged Deere diesel engine. "We built the first one for a custom baler who needed extra power because he works at high elevations. Future conversions will probably have an 85 hp engine," says Steffen.
A hydrostatic dual pump is mounted behind the engine. One pump powers a pair of hydraulic motors, one on each wheel, and the other pump drives the baler. Steffen says he plans to offer an automated control system that will monitor how fast hay goes through the baler and change ground speed accordingly. "The result will be a consistent number of strokes per bale no matter who's driving," notes Steffen.
Each conversion will be custom made and will cost $20,000 to $25,000 (not including cost of a new baler). A heated, air-conditioned cab adds about $5,000 to the price.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dave Steffen, Steffen Systems, 8045 State St., Salem, Ore. 97301 (ph 503 399-9941).
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