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Choosing a baler


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#1 NEOklahoma

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:57 AM

This is my first post on this forum, came here looking for advice from folks who have done it. I’m going to start mowing my own hay for my cattle and to sell to offset the cost of my equipment. I expect to put up 300-600 rolls a year of Bermuda, fescue, and Johnson grass hay in 4x5 net wrapped rolls. There are a lot of older Vermeer balers in this area. I believe to have narrowed my choices down to a few balers for you to critique. I don’t want to spend over 15k and would like to be closer to 10-12 honestly. Very nice barn kept Vermeer Rebel 5410’s with 3-4K rolls can be had for 10-12k. Vermeer 504m classic silage balers with 9-12k rolls can be had for 9-12k. Occasionally one can find a Deere 467 or 458 with a higher bale count for 12-15k. My main concerns are downtime and baling speed. I want simple to repair and reliable, and I want a machine that will bail fairly fast. This will be part time work so I need to make the most of my time. Can a rebel eat thick hay at 5-6mph or would I be better suited with another machine? I’m open to suggestions, thanks for your time.

#2 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:22 AM

I can't answer about a Vermeer baler but a JD 467 will definitely bale thick windrows at 5-6+ mph. I have baled over 50,000 bales with the two 467's that I've owned. My nephew bales in excess of 10 mph with his JD rd balers but my ground is too rough to travel that fast.  About 80%-90% of rd baler in use around me are JD's


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#3 gradyjohn

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:41 AM

I can't answer about a Vermeer baler but a JD 467 will definitely bale thick windrows at 5-6+ mph. I have baled over 50,000 bales with the two 467's that I've owned. My nephew bales in excess of 10 mph with his JD rd balers but my ground is too rough to travel that fast.  About 80%-90% of rd baler in use around me are JD's

Same here ... mostly green. Only thing I would add is make sure they have a net wrap. I was slow to come around to net wrap ... but would have nothing else now. Twine slows you down and will not preserve the hay as well. If selling most of your hay I would recommend a 4x6. If using most of it for your own use I would go with a 5x6. That's my opinion for what's worth.


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#4 Jimmy Bartlett

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:47 AM

 I also can't comment on Vermeer.  On the JD balers, the mega wide pickup head was a huge step up in terms of capacity to eat windrows.  the earlier versions of mega wide had plastic bushings on a shaft with stuffer forks that were just "ok."   If i remember correctly that was on a 446 baler.  the mega wide on this 448 i'm using now is quite a bit better feeding design.  


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#5 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:48 AM

I disagree about baling 4X6 because if double stacking 6' tall bales on an 18 wheeler trailer one can have over height problems when going under some overpasses.  I agree on utilizing netwrap. IMHO JD engineers do not have application/cutting(ripping) of twine perfected near as well as netwrap application/cutting.

 

I agree with Jimmy that JD 466 Mega-wide pickup baler was one of the sorriest balers that I ever owned. The crankshaft for feeder fingers with plastic brgs located under pickup attachment was not one of JD engineers most intelligent thoughts.



#6 Tim/South

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:17 AM

I would not buy a Vermeer Rebel. I have a 504M Classic and it is much more baler than the 504 Rebel.
Buying anything used pretty much depends on how the previous owner serviced and operated.
I bale from 5.3 to 6.7 MPH with our M Classic.


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#7 r82230

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:56 PM

I don't care what color you get, get the one with the best dealer support, first.  Get a net wrap baler, second.  Get a well taken care of machine (inside storage), third.  And last get one that has seen (or seen little) cornstalks.  You can mix these up, cause they all are important IMHO.  Hopefully, you got the ponies available to properly operate no matter what size you get.  ;)

 

BTW, welcome to HT, NE.

 

Larry


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#8 NEOklahoma

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:44 PM

TXJim, what kind of repair bills have you incurred with your well used 467’s? Do you know the difference in a 467 and 468? Iwill definitely have net and in a 4x5 size, that is what I’m set up to handle and that is what is marketable in my area. Tim/South, I’m curious to know why you frown upon the rebel balers? I’ve herd some share your sentiment, but others say they will eat anything and love theirs. I would be settling for a more used 504m classic for the money a lightly used rebel brings, but that may be the best option for me. Trying to wade through it

#9 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:50 PM

On current 467 that has 26000+ bales on it I replaced the belts at around 20000 bales. Last yr I welded metal sheets on inside of tailgate to cover holes worn in bale chamber. I put the metal in so sides of bales would be smoother not because holes were that large.  I replaced the 3 lower RC60 sprockets on LH side & pickup drive sprockets on RH side this spring.  I've replaced 4 or 5 brgs since I bought it used in '07 with 4000 bales on the monitor. I've replaced all the chains a couple of times.  I've probably replaced 25-50% of the teeth compliments to baling about 1000 corn stalks & rough fire ant/gopher infested fields over several yrs.  I've had 14'' rods welded om each side of starter roll in between original rods to stop dry Coastal from running up belts in front of baler & help core start forming.

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things as I'm not very good at keeping records. I supervise my own equipment repair & my balers never been back to dealer since I've owned it.

 

If I remember any other repairs I'll update this post.

 

468 has roller in frt of pickup to compress windrow. RC80 chains & sprockets in lieu of RC60 on 467. There may be other differences but I've never really checked since in my old age I have no plans to upgrade my baler.


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#10 somedevildawg

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 06:35 PM

I’ll inject my .02....I know nothing about the Vermeer Balers but I do know they are well built.....

There are three ways to actually purchase the equipment and that may be the most important step.
(1) through a dealer. That’s the most expensive generally and something I try not to do, but you can get a history, as they know it, report from them. It may well gleen some insight as to why the customer choose to get shed of said baler.
(2) from an auction....I don’t like option #2 very much for thing mechanical in nature unless I can really get hands-on the particular equipment. It’s perhaps the less expensive way to purchase but could easily be the most expensive way as well....the ole’ double edge sword.
(3) from an individual....this is without a doubt my favorite way to purchase, scour CL and tractor house for individuals selling EQ. Now you can usually get somewhat honest answers to the condition of the EQ. Preferably this would be in person....there something to be said for looking a fella straight in the eyeball.....just sayin’

The actual EQ.....Vermeer, NH, Deere, all have their good and bad, light duty and heavy duty, entry level and commercial level. I don’t think you’ll notice one gnats worth of difference between the three of those brands in terms of ability to eat the winrow. The 468 deere has a rolling crop press that helps in heavy hay, don’t think the 467 had it....you definitely want the bale pusher bar, net is a no-brainer....
If I could find it, I would opt for the silage special but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker if I wasn’t going to put up silage on a regular basis....the 467/468 being variable chamber can make a variety of bale sizes no matter if you’re feeding up or selling. Smaller if selling and largest if feeding...
I would’nt hesitate to spend 12-14k on a well maintained 468 with lower bale count....<10k
Hard to find tho....
The key is the WHO or HOW you go about purchasing. You’ve done the right thing by using this resource to get opinions, everyone here has a different one, kinda like.....well, never mind.
Welcome to Haytalk, here’s to you and your adventure, buckle up :D
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#11 TJ Hendren

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:14 PM

Eubanks Equip. in Welch, OK  is the largest Vermeer dealer in North America. I have dealt with them, bought my mower conditioner form them. Great people, great service and during season pretty much 24 hr service. All balers go through the shop and i believe have a one year warranty. The principal is Craig Eubanks. BTW i live in Grove.






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