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Accumulator Vs. Stack Wagon


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#1 askinner

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Ladies & Gents,

I am looking at purchasing an accumulator soon, but I am also keen on a pull type stack wagon. I like the idea of the stack wagon, as it will save one piece of equipment running over the field (currently use a truck to load onto), and I wouldn't need two loader tractors for the operation (i.e. one for loading, one for unloading).

Everyone in this area has sold, or selling their stack wagons, and going to accumulators, so my question is, what are the draw backs of PT stack wagons? Having never run one, and seeing everyone selling them, makes me think something's wrong with them? Looking at the operation of them, I could imagine they could be tempermental mechanically? Advantage is they are selling cheaper than accumulators in a lot of cases.

TIA,
Aaron.

#2 Josh in WNY

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

I would start by asking the guys getting rid of the stacker wagons and going to the accumulators what pushed them in that direction. It might be something as simple as the wagon was getting worn out and the accumulator is cheaper than a new wagon.

That being said, one of the biggest things that will limit a PT stacker wagon is distance traveled on the road. If you are spending a lot of time driving back and forth between the field and the barn, that's wasted time with a PT. The self propelled units solve this problem, but are bigger money to get. I have a 1033 and it took some tinkering to get it working right, but once you get the bugs worked out they don't give you many problems and most of the stuff is fairly easy to diagnose and fix.

One thing to check is how worn out the wagon is. Once the metal starts to get thin or bent up, they can be a big pain. Big trouble spots to look for are the bale pickup chute (banged up, dented, etc.) and where it mounts to the frame (cracked welds, bent frame). Take a look at the entire frame of the wagon and be sure there are no other bad areas as well.

Also, if possible, check the hydraulic pump for proper operation.
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#3 Bob M

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

I would agree with Josh, if your storage is close to your hay fields, then stack wagon should work fine. We run 1 pull stack wagon and two self propelled stack wagons. We can put alot of hay away in a day, but if we have to travel very far it slows down quick. We have one farm 10 miles from storage, we will run the 2 self propelleds and use the pull type for loading trailers in the field.
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#4 enos

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

With 1033 and frame cracks around loader.....it's gonna break there anyway so if you find one with welds/fish plates on frame.....perfect...it's already broke and been fixed so it saves you doing it. Hook it on a new tractor that does 40 to 50 km/hr and your moving alot of hay per hr for a low start up cost.
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#5 covenanthay

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

Have used a 1037 for years and love it but I stay within 2 miles of the barns. There are several SP around but those guys are spread out more than I am. Never used one but an accumulator seems like it would be slower and needs more labor.
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#6 Teslan

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

I rarely see the PT stackers around here anymore. Mostly the people that bale small bales either own a self propelled stacker or have it custom stacked by someone who has one. I've never seen an accumulator used either. From looking at the accumulators online I think I might rather have one of those then a PT stacker. I think you have more options to stack more hay in a space then with a PT stacker. Also since you are in Australia is the high heat that I've been seeing in the news been bother you? I visited Australia when in 1988 with my parents and we stayed on a farm bed and breakfast somewhere near Melbourne or maybe Sydney. I can't quite remember. Someday I want to go back and tour Australia again.
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#7 enos

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

With most accumulator/grapple how high can you stack. Do they grab bale from the top or squeeze sides. I hand restack in our barns 17 bales high.( old covered bunker silos) Go up till we hit the rafters.
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#8 gradyjohn

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Ok this is the way I look at it. An Accumulator you can load customers in the field or load your trailers and unload in your barn. Stack wagon can't work in any ole barn and you can't put it on your customers trailer.
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#9 askinner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:49 AM

Thanks guys, some really good food for thought! The appealing feature of the bale wagons for me is the reduced traffic on the field, as I am wanting to go no till as much as possible (sandy areas don't respond well to tillage), and I also cringe every time I screw tractor tyres around when trying to get a load right on a truck (thinking of going to turf steer tyres on the fronts for this reason). BUT, gradyjohn makes a great point about loading customers in the field. My other concern with a bale wagon is the way they stack all one way, but I have heard somewhere you can stack a tie layer? Is this true??
One other point against accumulators is the truck can cut some pretty good ruts in the field in moist conditions, unlike the floatation tyres of a bale wagon.
Distance to the shed/barn isn't an issue, enos raises a good point too about loading height with a grapple, stacking height isn't an issue, so I would find myself probably hand stacking upper layers with an accumulator / grab combo, then the same again to load out. A forklift could solve this though, but that's another piece of equipment to maintain.
I also am without any helpers often, so with the bale wagon, this wouldn't be an issue.
Kind of wondering why I'm going away from rounds now? If only I could get $480/tonne for rounds!!

#10 askinner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:04 AM

Also since you are in Australia is the high heat that I've been seeing in the news been bother you? I visited Australia when in 1988 with my parents and we stayed on a farm bed and breakfast somewhere near Melbourne or maybe Sydney. I can't quite remember. Someday I want to go back and tour Australia again.


It has been a horrible summer so far, a few days of 114* heat, accompanied by strong 20% RH winds. Excellent hay curing weather, but it always seems to hit when I'm trying to grow! We have had virtually no rain at all, my water allocation is looking like I'm either going to have to lease some water, or go without hay towards the end of the season. Our electricity prices have gone up by about 40% also, thanks to our (insert profanity) government introducing a carbon tax. This is really hurting us irrigators, you can only irrigate between 10pm and 7am, otherwise it is uneconomical.
Upside to the dry weather though, is hay is in high demand, I had a shed full last I cut, and it was all spoken for in no time :) We had a really wet summer last year, that made a lot of hay burner owners think they can run 10 horses on 10 acres, they are now seeing that things can turn around quick.

#11 RockmartGA

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:47 AM

My other concern with a bale wagon is the way they stack all one way, but I have heard somewhere you can stack a tie layer? Is this true??


There are several PT and SP stack wagons that make a tie layer. This site has a very good bale wagon specification page: http://roederimp.com/

Also note that you will need at least 14 feet in height clearance for most pull type and up to 17 feet for the self propelled.

#12 RockmartGA

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:53 AM

Here is another balewagon specification page that has a little more detail: http://www.sodbuster...cifications.htm
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#13 Teslan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

It has been a horrible summer so far, a few days of 114* heat, accompanied by strong 20% RH winds. Excellent hay curing weather, but it always seems to hit when I'm trying to grow! We have had virtually no rain at all, my water allocation is looking like I'm either going to have to lease some water, or go without hay towards the end of the season. Our electricity prices have gone up by about 40% also, thanks to our (insert profanity) government introducing a carbon tax. This is really hurting us irrigators, you can only irrigate between 10pm and 7am, otherwise it is uneconomical.
Upside to the dry weather though, is hay is in high demand, I had a shed full last I cut, and it was all spoken for in no time :) We had a really wet summer last year, that made a lot of hay burner owners think they can run 10 horses on 10 acres, they are now seeing that things can turn around quick.


Your summer is sounding like my summer was almost exactly. Except we just 100 degree days, We didn't have enough irrigation water either. We don't have the carbon tax yet..... Hay demand was very high as were the prices. This summer so far looks to be the same or worse.

#14 acehay

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

I have run a 1044 pt and a 1069 SP and both work very good with a operator that knows how to run equipment. However, if your labor source isn't very bright they can cause a lot of damage! We bought both from roeder implement and was very pleased but now we run a rebaling system that converts rounds into squares.

#15 slowzuki

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

For us the problem with stackwagons are:
-difficult to stack in the field for reloading onto trucks with grapple
-pull type slow
-sp type too expensive to have sitting around 9 months of the year
-If working alone you are going to have a very tough time in our climate, the bales have to be up off the ground by about 7-8 pm.
-If the wagon breaks, you have a field of bales scattered around requiring a lot of manual labour to collect.
-Hills, corners and small fields are not the bale wagons friend.

I'm not saying the accumulator is without faults. They don't like turns, some hills are a problem, slow to collect the hay and load after.
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#16 Teslan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

-If working alone you are going to have a very tough time in our climate, the bales have to be up off the ground by about 7-8 pm.
-If the wagon breaks, you have a field of bales scattered around requiring a lot of manual labour to collect.
.



Wouldn't these two things apply to an accumulator also?

#17 Josh in WNY

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

-pull type slow


I'm curious about this. If the fields are smooth, I can run my 1033 PT fast enough that the 1st table doesn't have enough time to cycle (even with holding a bale in the pickup chute and pushing the next one along the ground. How much faster does a SP stacker wagon run the tables?

I try and have the hay raked such that the rate the wagon can pick up the bales limits my speed, not the ground speed of the tractor. If the hay is thin enough that the ground speed limits you, start combining more swaths into each windrow. It will save time both in baling and stacking.

#18 askinner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

Hmm, sounds like it's just going to come down to a preference thing. Thanks for all the help guys, I might see if I can hire a bale wagon to trial, to see how it fits my needs. I have neighbours running accumulators that love em, they have very similar operations to me, so I couldn't see one being a problem, but I just like the idea of one man operation and the limited traffic with a bale wagon.

Thanks again!

#19 hay rake

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

i can't speak about an accumulator but i do know a little about pt wagons after having a 1033 and a 1037. all the above is true but some is off the mark. first loading in the field can be done with a bale grab for your wagon 15 bales for a 1033/1037 18 bales for a 1063. if you tie every other layer you can go from the wagon to a truck or wagon without handling hay unless you want to load an 8 foot wide trailer then you need a 1063. as to unloading in a field either make the first load stepped or use posts to keep it up. in our fields that we dump in we have built backstops where we dump. in the barn you do need it to be open but with the same grapple you can pile as high as your equipment will let you. when you start with a wagon you will wish you never had, but in a short time it all becomes a snap. as to speed i can load 104 bales on a 1037 tying two tier in 15 to 20 minutes. with no more than a 3/4 mile haul when the baler leaves the field i can be right behind him. that is one thing i didn't see. with a wagon bale consistency and bale density are very important. light puffy bales will be turned into doughnuts and long bales will be sheared when the second table puts them on the load rack. hope this helps
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#20 askinner

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

That is one thing I have heard about running wagons, is bale consistency. Speaking of which, reading a post on here a while ago about baler stroke counters - did anyone find any info on this? My balers ties that quietly, I cant hear it. I am considering making my own crude indicator with a proximity switch and a light to mount on the dash so I know when it ties.




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