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Small Square Bale Accumulators


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This year a real game changer came out of left field and we picked up a hay buyer to pay a premium price for 1st crop small square bales.  Yes, I know they're idiot bricks but in reality NOTHING sells like them both demand and price wise.  The only down side is they're going into 53' van trailers for a backhaul and the scheduling can be screwy, but the inconvenience is worth the money.  

Where we are running into issues is unloading bottlenecks.  We have a nice thrower baler and a few 9x18 racks but with my dad and uncle getting up there, and my time to help limited some days we just get the hay off too dang slow.  Were likely leaving 20 acres sit to.waste this year as it just got too ripe.  A lot we made wasn't t much better either.  This stuff wasnt junk either, it was very sellable hay up until july 1st.  Sickens me this was money left "on the table" 

The more I think an accumulator setup would really help this process out. Can still use other baler for smaller amounts but could fire up the accumulator and bale 2000 bales a day easy.  

What setups does everyone and what works best for loading a van trailer?  Honestly I dont mind hand loading them but would like to have the option.  

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Bale Barron and a bale bandit both about ten miles from me . Small square repackaged as a big square. Both are liked by the guys that have them. If you have a decent loader a van trailer can be loaded by stacking in the back and pushing the load front. I have unloaded many loads of big square straw bales at our loading dock 

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New Holland bale wagon is what we use or handling small squares.  I have neighbor that uses a 1068 which is a two wide wagon to get the bales off the field and then uses a accumulator grapple to load/unload them on his semi.  If you are trying to least expensive way you could always get a bale sweep 

http://rockymountainbalesweep.com/rocky_mounted_bale_sweep_products.htm 

 

 

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Kuhn's accumulators work very well. No chains or sensors. Works off gravity. Have had one for 4 or 5 years now. If you have a loading dock you can load it with a tractor/skid steer using their grapple. We have a af10 and I have set bales up into the rear of a dry van that the buyer then moved by hand and restacked as we didn't have a loading dock. 

So apparently Kuhn's changed their name to norden. https://www.nordenmfg.com/

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NH stacker wagons have issues with hills. Neighbor had one and dead furrow etc and bale would fall over and not be able to pick up. Cheaper accumulators and grapple are the most economical probably 

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42 minutes ago, bitty said:

NH stacker wagons have issues with hills. Neighbor had one and dead furrow etc and bale would fall over and not be able to pick up. Cheaper accumulators and grapple are the most economical probably 

We use ours in the hills.  The only issue is trying not to tip the wagon over and spinning out because the engine is under the 2nd table.  The wagon is a Super 1049.  

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Another Kuhns AF10 like 885 has. That gray grapple is a tie grapple. Do practically no tying with it, but it sure squeezes bales together nice and tight for transport. Once you start using it, you forget about the price. Lol! That gets used in the field and when loading up some kind of trailer for someone buying them taking them out of the barn. Black grapple unloads wagons to stack in the barn. If someone has a narrower trailer you can set them on the way I have pictured instead of from the side. Sounds like you have 3 guys. That's perfect. Baler operator, guy in the field loading and a guy running trailer/wagons following in the field whatever you use to load.

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Our NH bale wagon covered a lot of ground on hills, pull type model. Doesn't take a big tractor to pull it. 

Pick up and can tip the stack back in the barn and stack it or can single bale unload onto a conveyor to stack in a mow or into the van trailer. 

I can't quite picture loading a van trailer to much past half capacity with a skidloader and grapple before running into the roof with the boom. Maybe I'm wrong.

Bale baron or bandit would be the cats meow but they would sure make the cat squeal when pricing one. 

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I had a holscher accumulator and grapple, and the scattered small plots we had weren’t ideal for pulling all that.  Plus, I have an inline 1837 massy baler, and the older holscher was really made for a conventional baler.  Other issues were that a holscher really needs 17gpm minimum hydraulic flow, and that’s bare minimum… it’d rather have 20+.  Another issue is that you need the bales to be extremely uniform in length and exactly the length that you adjust the trip arm for on the accumulator.  So speeding up and slowing down to make up for windrow no uniformity is needed.  We tried it all season one year and some the next season… and gave up.  I think a different field and a different tractor would make tons of difference, as I know some fellows that use one all the time.  One thing tho… you can get hurt in a moment working on the things.  That arm goes up and down faster than the plunger in the baler makes a cycle, as it has to do that to prevent getting stuck on the next bale.  

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You guys don’t read very well! He already has a great way to pick up his bales, he just needs to be able to get them in to a 53 foot van. I seriously doubt that a New Holland stack wagon will unload into them? Might be wrong. 
A grapple and accumulator will work, but even then it’s hard to push it forward, since you can only load the back. 

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30 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

You guys don’t read very well! He already has a great way to pick up his bales, he just needs to be able to get them in to a 53 foot van. I seriously doubt that a New Holland stack wagon will unload into them? Might be wrong. 
A grapple and accumulator will work, but even then it’s hard to push it forward, since you can only load the back. 

Well the more I read the less sure I am what he is after. Lol. I think He is talking using the bale thrower baler for smaller plots but looking at an accumulator on a 2nd baler and he doesn't say it but I would assume a grapple to load unload wagon and load a trailer. Maybe I am confused but that's the way I take what he is saying?

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35 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

You guys don’t read very well! He already has a great way to pick up his bales, he just needs to be able to get them in to a 53 foot van. I seriously doubt that a New Holland stack wagon will unload into them? Might be wrong. 
A grapple and accumulator will work, but even then it’s hard to push it forward, since you can only load the back. 

You’re right, WP…. Sorry.  
 

Accumulators are a chatty prone topic if one dealt with them.  

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14 hours ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

We're likely leaving 20 acres sit to waste this year as it just got too ripe. 

Cut it anyway. The most of Arkansas and part of S. Missouri is in one heck of a drought right now. Lots of guys are already feeding hay, and second cutting isn't looking good right now even though we did get a bit of rain last night. At this point, most guys are of the "it'll beat a snowball come January" mindset when it comes to hay so you could probably send it down here and still make a profit.

As far as loading, a flat 8 accumulator and grapple would be fine for loading a box van. Stack as high as you can and gently push the stack forward until you get it full. Better bale 'em tight though, pushing on them very much might make a mess. Neighbor of mine sells bermuda squares and ships them all over, loads like I described. His bales will go 60 to 70 lbs and are very tight, so they can stand a bit of rough-housing. I'm still in the stone age, picking them up by hand behind the baler. But when you only make a couple hundred a year, it really doesn't pay buy an accumulator and grapple. Of course, then I'd have to buy a loader tractor to put the grapple on!

Mac

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  Accumulators were always more popular than NH bale wagons around here as the cost was lower for all equipment needed and the old running gears could be adapted over from thrower racks to flat racks.  Farmhand was the prevailing brand and they can still be found used.  Labor was comparable between the old thrower-hay racks system and the accumulator system.  Sometimes the guys got double duty if the hay needed to go into an old fashioned mow.  

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I'm with macar. If nothing else sell it as bedding. Somebody somewhere will buy it. I wouldn't discount it too steeply either. Least not at first. 

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4 hours ago, Lazy WP said:

You guys don’t read very well! He already has a great way to pick up his bales, he just needs to be able to get them in to a 53 foot van. I seriously doubt that a New Holland stack wagon will unload into them? Might be wrong. 
A grapple and accumulator will work, but even then it’s hard to push it forward, since you can only load the back. 

 

4 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Well the more I read the less sure I am what he is after. Lol. I think He is talking using the bale thrower baler for smaller plots but looking at an accumulator on a 2nd baler and he doesn't say it but I would assume a grapple to load unload wagon and load a trailer. Maybe I am confused but that's the way I take what he is saying?

I apologize if I confused you.  The main goal is to get it off and stacked in without labor.  Loading the trailer hands free isnt a necessity but would prefer to use an accumulated bundle that would work IF we went that route.  

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7 hours ago, 856 Custom said:

Another Kuhns AF10 like 885 has. That gray grapple is a tie grapple. Do practically no tying with it, but it sure squeezes bales together nice and tight for transport. Once you start using it, you forget about the price. Lol! That gets used in the field and when loading up some kind of trailer for someone buying them taking them out of the barn. Black grapple unloads wagons to stack in the barn. If someone has a narrower trailer you can set them on the way I have pictured instead of from the side. Sounds like you have 3 guys. That's perfect. Baler operator, guy in the field loading and a guy running trailer/wagons following in the field whatever you use to load.

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How much do you (and others with a kuhns setup) have to allow for back pressure into the bale case? 

How good do the stacks stay on wagons?  

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I looked into a bale bandit years ago and I don’t remember what the price was, but thought it was crazy at the time. I couldn’t figure out how to make any money on baling small squares (or selling hay in general) and gave up on the whole thing. A bale bandit was the best thing I saw if you were short on labor, or had some guys that just didn’t like to work that hard. Everybody wants small squares here, but they don’t want to pay for them. 

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I saw a used kuhn style advertised for I think 10,000 recently. 1 of my neighbors real close has that style and a grapple on a New Holland telehandler. Seems to get along ok. They haul on the road and I know they tie or strap the top layer around circumference of the whole thing or maybe whatever the grapple stacks in a pile.

As for the running around I'm not sure it would save any time over riding  the rack but the labor would be a lot less physical?

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Those who call them idiot bales are fools... ya need to understand if you sell big bales you are selling wholesale. If you are selling small you it's retail prices Work out the dollars per pound, at least around here..... and no need to handle them them by hand.

Our setup from way back in the 70's, nothing new here, and still in use for maybe 8,000 bales a year

 

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2 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

My cousin drops the bales on the ground with a 1/4 turn chute and picks them up with a New Holland stacker. 

The whole accumulator/grapple deal just seems like as much senseless running around as dealing with round bales.

  For a lot of years the accumulator system at least as made by Farmhand was a whole lot cheaper than a NH and back in the day there were not many used NH units to buy.  The grapple system allows a farmer to be more efficient with an irregular configured building than the NH.  For some dairies it was hard to tie up 10,000-15,000 dollars in a 1033 or 1034 when another tractor could be put to work elsewhere when it was not on grapple duty.  Of course with small bales being far less prevalent the price on the used NH's have come done tremendously in recent times.  When the kids and the cousins were no longer around to make hay farmers just bought a round baler and round hay bales sometimes had to go through a rain or two out in the field before they got moved.  Could not do that with the small squares.  

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5 hours ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

How much do you (and others with a kuhns setup) have to allow for back pressure into the bale case? 

How good do the stacks stay on wagons?  

Heavier the bales the better. Air bales will be a nightmare. No less than 50# on hay. I try to shoot for 60# hay bale. People seem to like that weight, plus the heavier they are, the less bales to pick up out of the field. Lol! With those bales going up that chute you'll be surprised how little chamber pressure you need to have on the baler. Bale a few bales and go back to the accumulator and see if their heavy enough to suit and adjust the baler tension. I try to make the bales around 36" seems to work well for grapples and stacking. I try to get 15-16 strokes per bale for a good shape stacking bale. Just have to adjust speed to windrow size.

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We use this.  Parrish is the brand.  Pulls behind baler.  10 bale with 2 turned sideways as tie bales.  Never loaded a van trailer, but you can load other trailers from the back and push the stack forward.  I would think van trailers would be easier.  We carry ours from the field and stack in barn with grapple if it isn't too far.  Load trailers if it is.

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