Plunger Packer Fills All Ag Bags

The revolutionary silage bagger featured in FARM SHOW (Vol. 41, No. 3) is now market ready. The RamPack was developed over an 11-year period by Mike Koelker, Dyersville, Iowa, and field-tested in 2017. With 2 1/2 years of fine-tuning by Strobel Manufacturing, the RamPack is now being sold in limited numbers in Iowa and nearby states.

            "We want to work closely with the users for the first year to be sure the RamPack is as bulletproof as possible," says Mike Schippers, Strobel Manufacturing. "We've designed it to be user friendly and easy to operate. There are no computers, just a simple and efficient mechanical system."

            Strobel has stayed close to Koelker's original concept for a multi-purpose bagger to handle silage, haylage, forage grain and dry hay. Rotary or auger-fill machines need a large horsepower tractor. The RamPack uses old school technology of a rotating flywheel with dual clutches and plunger. It offers a 50 percent savings in fuel and reduces the power needed to 80 hp. It also packs the maximum tonnage per linear foot into the bag.

            "We enhanced the design, replacing auger flighting with a horizontal belt for better material flow and less impact on the forage" says Schippers. "We have no fingers or augers to distort dry matter by pressing or squeezing the nutrients out. As one nutritionist told us, the silage is perfect, just the way it came out of the chopper."

            Other refinements included reinforcing the gearbox and the driveshaft to the plunger with double pillow-block bearings on either end.

            "We wanted to take out any chance of malfunction and reduce possible wear," says Schippers. "We also went to mechanical brakes instead of hydraulic, eliminating inconsistent hydraulic oil flow that happens with changing temperatures."

            One thing that didn't change is the rugged nature of the design. The RamPack weighs 16,000 lbs., 11,500 of which are steel. Every bit of the machine is American made.

            "We wanted a machine that was totally reliable and dependable," says Schippers. "This summer we finalized our design with 2 prototypes, running every type of forage material and moisture content available through them."

            The final price will depend on the options selected by the buyer, notes Schippers. "It will be competitive with other baggers, if toward the upper end, but it offers a lot more in economy, low horsepower and ease of operation. It takes 5 min. to set up and the same to tear down. No need to drag a bag underneath."

            Options will include a bag-lift crane on the rear and a hopper insert allowing a grain cart to dump directly. The company also plans to offer a rear discharge in addition to the current side discharge.

            "We accommodate all side-dump wagons now, but custom operators want to be able to use rear discharge semis and wagons as well," notes Schippers. We want to further enhance usability for the custom bagger."

            Contact:  FARM SHOW Followup, Strobel Manufacturing, 105 S. Green St., P.O. Box 237, Clarks, Neb. 68628 (ph 308 548-2254;;