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PTO HP required to run big square baler?


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#1 JD3430

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:14 AM

How much PTO HP do I need to run one?
When I ask how much, I don't mean the BARE minimum, but what would be "adequate",,,, like a step up from minimum?
Thanks.

#2 fredro

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

150 to 180 perferbly 4x4 also these things are heavy

#3 mlappin

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:51 AM

Yah, with HP comes added weight. Depends on the brand of baler as well.

#4 JD3430

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:44 AM

OK, cause I found a Case-IH 7110 4WD/cab for a decent price, but only 132PTO HP :((((

I can't believe they need that much HP!!!!

#5 JD3430

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:55 AM

One of my dilemas is that the "old pros" in MY area run square balers, but the mushroom companies I sell to are starting to prefer round bales because they keep better outside and don't require tarping like the big square bales. One guy I sell to really likes buying from me because he likes my rounds.
I wonder if I should just buy another round baler, or do what the "old pros" do? I'm thinking I might be on to something by producing rounds intstead of big squares????? I wonder if it's the new trend and I should "give the people what they want"???
Heck of a lot cheaper baler and doesn't require as big of a tractor. I would save fuel. Also I would be able to sell rounds to cattle and even a few horse people I have are buying round bales!
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#6 Teslan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

If all you want to do is sell to mushroom companies then I guess round is the way to go? Much cheaper balers that's for sure. But I guess ask yourself what kind of bales bring the highest price. Here round bales are very hard sells and bring less money in normal moisture years (this year is different) then large square and small square. The market for them just isn't nearly as great.
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#7 FCF

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:21 AM

One of my dilemas is that the "old pros" in MY area run square balers, but the mushroom companies I sell to are starting to prefer round bales because they keep better outside and don't require tarping like the big square bales. One guy I sell to really likes buying from me because he likes my rounds.
I wonder if I should just buy another round baler, or do what the "old pros" do? I'm thinking I might be on to something by producing rounds intstead of big squares????? I wonder if it's the new trend and I should "give the people what they want"???
Heck of a lot cheaper baler and doesn't require as big of a tractor. I would save fuel. Also I would be able to sell rounds to cattle and even a few horse people I have are buying round bales!

Who or what market would you be able to sell to that you currently do not sell to if you had a large square baler? The purchase of a large square will require at least another larger tractor and some way to handle the bales. How do you intend to get an added return on the added investment over what you currently have? These are questions I would be asking myself if I were in your situation,

Just my 2 cents.
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#8 JD3430

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 02:50 PM

Who or what market would you be able to sell to that you currently do not sell to if you had a large square baler? The purchase of a large square will require at least another larger tractor and some way to handle the bales. How do you intend to get an added return on the added investment over what you currently have? These are questions I would be asking myself if I were in your situation,

Just my 2 cents.


Sage advice there!! I was thinking the same thing. It's great when someone with experience feels the same way.
You are sooo right, there comes a time when bigger isn't always better. I'm thinking that another 10-15K good used 4x5 round baler and another 100-125HP tractor is the way to go. Big balers are incredibly expensive, but there must be a reason the big time experienced guys use them.....
The thing I think might be happening is the mushroom growers are starting to change their thinking about the cost of storing bales. lots of hassle & expense on putting those huge tarps on the big piles of square bales.....

Teslan,
Round bales seem to do well HERE in my area. I can sell to mushroom, cattle and even some horsey people. I agree with you that different regions in the country seem to have different preferences!

#9 Teslan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

I think big square bales do better here then rounds for resale because they are easier to transport. Nearly all of my hay sales of either small or large square bales go at the least 30 miles to where they will be used. Plus here the large squares tend to weather fairly well outside. Not as good as rounds, but guys stack the 3x3 bales 6 high and the 4x4 bales 4 high.

#10 bryce

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:59 PM

I run a 85 Horse JD 2955 on my 3x3. It's fine in the field with the wheels set as wide as they go. It is a little light on horsepower and weight going down the road though.

This is only temporary though as my big tractor, 202 Horse JD 4960 is in repair for the majority of the summer but I wouldn't mind the 2955 all the time.

#11 Waterway64

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:12 PM

this is my first year with a 3x3x8 baler. I still have my Super M to. I rum both on my 5088 IH and it does well. If I were to continue selling locally I would have stayed with all round bales. However we have been selling into Treslans' market area because of the good prices and big squares sure help with trucking. Truckers are telling me it adds a mile per gallon on fuel as well as permit costs. The trip is about 350 miles and crosses 3 states. Mel

#12 Teslan

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:48 AM

I think the 5088 IH falls within minimum of most 3x3 balers and the weight on it is good. I would think the JD 2955 would be a stretch though for one. Mel are you shipping alot of hay to Colorado? I heard that there wasn't to much hay in South Dakota?

#13 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

Jd 3430, Do you have enough hay land to justify another round baler and tractor? Before I moved back into row crops and took out a lot of my hay land, I could cover 100's of acres in a year with no problem. Sometimes I would run 2 balers but not often. With a big square, it's not only horsepower but also being able to handle the weight, Just a thought. Mike
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#14 mlappin

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

In a nutshell, I don't think it's hardly possible to have too much tractor on a large square baler. If you go that route, you'll also need enough help to make sure you can pick em up in a timely manner.
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#15 JD3430

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:31 PM

I am in the process of picking up more land. What I am finding is that it's pretty simple: No one around here wants to farm anymore (or work hard anymore). Everyone wants to sit on their fat ass in front of a computer and try to make a living. I want to work hard and farm. There's so much land simply being let go to stickers. I keep driving bby thinking "what if...." I think I could easily get more land to farm and in fact, I am aquiring more and more as the months go by.
I think I'm gonna make a go at this. Everytime I climb on the tractor and make hay I hear this voice inside saying "this is what God intended me to do". I finally found the job I really like. It doesn't feel like work even though it's very hard work. I know some of you might be laughing at this, but it's the way I really feel. I like the equipment, the solitude, the dealing with customers, the wide open spaces.
Anyway, my plan is to expand beyond my 120 current acres and I need a 2nd tractor. I want to tie the round baler to the bigger tractor and use my current smaller tractor to run the rake, tedder, sprayer and load bales. A 2nd baler is on the horizon and my son is interested in helping me. He's a great kid and big enough to hunt bear with a stick. He'll be hooked instantly and can work summers with me. Even my daughter wants in.
I think i oughta buy a 2nd tractor that's strong enough to run a sq baler in case I upgrade.
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#16 Waterway64

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:21 PM

I think the 5088 IH falls within minimum of most 3x3 balers and the weight on it is good. I would think the JD 2955 would be a stretch though for one. Mel are you shipping alot of hay to Colorado? I heard that there wasn't to much hay in South Dakota?

I have been shipping nearly all my hay out of state the last year and a halh and since December just to Colorado. People here are still thinking I should sell cut rate. We are the region of the U.S. that has the cheapest hay in the country. Buyers here have that mindset. I like being able to sell at a competitive price for quality hay. Mel

#17 Teslan

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

JD3430 that's how I feel about farming also and I've been doing it my whole life. I also sell real estate, but would not want to do that all the time and depend on it for my living. You are right. It is hard work, but it doesn't feel like work. Even in a challenging year due to weather. I also think that it's great in your area you can expand your acreages so easily from what you say. Can't due that around here so easily.

#18 mlappin

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:50 AM

Can't expand easily at all here either. Good land with irrigation goes to seed corn, green beans or cucumbers. Also have several large guys here that have very successful business's already and use the farming as a tax write off. Latest wanna be BTO hit one of those progressive jackpots in Vegas, all kinds of new equipment as of late. I'm happy to get a slab of bacon once a month from the tip boards at the VFW.

#19 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:31 AM

Well JD3430, You certainly have the right attitude. Just need to have a good business plan of where you are going and how you will get there. Mike
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#20 Vol

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:12 AM

I think I'm gonna make a go at this. Everytime I climb on the tractor and make hay I hear this voice inside saying "this is what God intended me to do". I finally found the job I really like. It doesn't feel like work even though it's very hard work. I know some of you might be laughing at this, but it's the way I really feel. I like the equipment, the solitude, the dealing with customers, the wide open spaces.


It would take a ignorant fool to make light of your confessions. By the Grace of God you are being allowed to do what most only wish they could do....to enjoy their work. I like all the things also that you mentioned. If I felt I absolutely had a need for a 150 horse tractor, I would first buy a older used alice or something in those lines to confirm those thoughts.....if you found out you did or did not need that large of a tractor, then you could adjust accordingly with smoother financial transition. Ecclesiastes 2:24(work)

Best Regards, Mike
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