Big baling just got faster, according to Claas.

The company has launched a new big square baler that it claims can handle more material per hour than any other machine on the market – up to 55t/hour in straw.

To achieve this, Claas has developed a two-stage pre-compression process that enables the operator to hold material back and pack it tightly before it is rammed into the bale chamber.

This is said to be particularly important in creating an evenly packed 1m-deep bale.claas main pic

As crop leaves the pick-up, it is stuffed into the pre-chamber by “stuffer-fingers”. A gate to the main chamber holds material back until a preset pressure is reached.

The operator can choose a setting from 0-10. At “0”, crop enters the chamber on every second stroke.

Increasing the number extends this “hold-back” period and consequently wad density is increased.

Bale depth has increased to 1m and straw weights of up to 500kg are possible.

Before, the largest bale the German manufacturer could offer was 350kg, 0.7m deep x 1.2m wide from its Quadrant 2200.

By comparison, the Massey Ferguson 187 (also sold as the New Holland 960) produces bales with a 0.9m x 1.2m cross-section, which tend to weigh in at a maximum of 420kg in straw.

As the Quadrant 3400’s nearest competitors, these machines have a minimum power requirement of 150hp and will handle about 30t of straw an hour, producing 70-80 bales.

But there is a trade-off for the big Quadrant’s impressive output.

The monster baler weighs 13t and is tagged with a monster pricetag of 111,500. Also, only a tractor of 300hp will handle it comfortably.

nick.fone@rbi.co.uk

Claas Quadrant 3400

Bale size 1.2m wide x 1m deep

Bale length 1-3m

Bale weights:

Straw 400-500kg

Silage 1000-1300kg

Max output 55t/hour in straw (120 bales/hour)

Power requirement 270hp min

Weight 13t

Price £111,500
(£134,600 with chopper)