15 September 2000

Baler claims a faster work rate and neater bale

By Mike Williams

HIGHER workrates and better looking bales with a softer centre are the key benefits claimed by Vicon for its latest RV series variable chamber round balers.

And to achieve higher workrates, Vicon has redesigned the pre-chamber to allow a more positive start to the bale forming process, with twin powered rollers above and behind the crop to get the material rotating as soon as it enters the pre-chamber.

A 2.1m wide pick-up is claimed to achieve faster throughputs, and a feed rotor with integral augers is available from Vicons fixed chamber balers to give a more positive crop delivery from uneven or tangled silage swaths.

Outputs up to 100 bales an hour have been achieved by UK contractors using pre-production versions of the new RV1601 and RV 1901 balers.

"Bales are formed by a combination of belts and rollers, which helps to give a better finish and a more even shape," says Tim Baker of Vicon. "Appearance is particularly important for contractors and well-shaped, uniform size bales are also easier to wrap."

Crop wastage is claimed to be less, with the balers having five wide belts as opposed to six narrow versions. The new wider belts are said to cover 90% of the bale surface, rather than the 80% allowed with the previous six-belt design.

Vicon is evaluating both endless and joined belts, and at this stage, both types are available.

Mr Baker says the bale forming process avoids the usual high density centre, with a tensioner increasing belt pressure progressively to create a high density outer layer.

"Livestock producers find material in a dense core more difficult to use. The softer core allows the centre of the bale to breathe, while the dense outer layer improves weather resistance."

A completely new feed mechanism is used to apply net wrap to the bales. Net rolls are loaded on the back of the machine, and when bale forming is complete, a steel plate presses the end of the net against the belts which carry it on to the bale surface. This avoids the need for feed rollers and the risk of the net wrapping around them, says Mr Baker.

Other developments include an improved twin-twine tying system, together with a beefier driveline. The Autoform electronic control system now measures the length of net used and shows this data on the in-cab display. In addition to showing when the roll needs replacing, the unit will check the length of net on the roll.

The RV1601 baler produces bales up to 1.6m (5.2ft) in diameter, increasing to 1.9m (6.2ft) for the RV1901.

Prices start at £19,235, with a full spec RV1901 costing £26,995 including net/twine tying, together with the optional Opticut chopping unit and integral auger/rotor. &#42

Above: Neater bales with a softer centre are claimed for the new RV Series variable chamber balers. Right: Reducing the number of belts to five leaves fewer gaps for crop loss, says Vicon.

Net wrap rolls are mounted on the rear of the baler with a new belt-operated system.