Ultimate guide to buying a big square baler

With contractors and larger arable units increasingly turning to big square balers for both grass and straw, technology is playing a role in helping operators get maximum performance from their machines.

On the latest Claas Quadrant balers, for example, a new approach to density management draws on readings from sensors on the front chassis beam and three or all six of the knotters to measure of stress loading on the driveline and the twine.

See also: How to get a big square baler ready for the season

Automatic Pressure Control software then regulates the hydraulic cylinders on the bale chamber compression doors to achieve regular density in changeable conditions and keep the machine running at peak output.

Fully automatic density control also features on Agco balers built in the Hesston factory, including the new Fendt Squadra 1290 Ultra Density and Massey Ferguson 2370 Ultra HD machines.

The load on the plunger face is monitored by sensors on the two rods connecting it to the gearbox so that automatic adjustment produces bales of consistent density and weight in variable conditions.

Among Krone’s comprehensive BiG Pack square baler range, the 1290 HDP II is the one packing the most material into every bale, giving up to 10% more density and 50-70% higher throughput than the regular version.

As with all models, the tractor clutch is relieved from undue stress by a hydraulic motor that gets the heavy flywheel spinning before the pto takes over.

Operators of Case IH ‘LB’ (pictured above) and equivalent New Holland BigBale machines can switch on a control function that regulates the tractor’s forward speed to help maintain consistent performance along a variable swath.

As an alternative strategy, the intake monitoring system can also help get a consistent size and number of “slices” in each bale.

Crop flow sensors in the pre-compression chamber also give operators of latest-spec New Holland BigBaler models left/right steering advice along narrow swaths.

Bale weighing – and location tagging in some cases – is now a common option for big square balers, including the John Deere L1500 Series and Kuhn LSB models.

With weigh cells built into the roller chute logging the mass of every bale as it passes along, contractors have the opportunity to charge by quantity rather than area and producers have an accurate record of crop yield to help inform management decisions.