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Shopping for a new to me square baler


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#1 W Bench Farms

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 07:17 PM

I make about 1 to 2,000 small square bales a year. I think I have my old New Holland 270 sold, so looking to upgrade a bit. Not looking for anything brand new, probably 1970s to 1980s equipment. I would like to stick with New Holland, because I pretty much know them inside and out. Have been shopping around a little bit and there's quite a bit to choose from, and quite a big price range. Would probably like to get into the 300 series, and I've seen some pretty nice 311s out there for the money. I know the 273s, 275s, and 276s are all pretty old, but I think that even those would work for what I'm wanting to do. I don't think I want to spend to get to the 575's. Not sure if I want to go with a thrower or not. We do bale a fair amount on the ground for customers to pick up. And, some of our hills are pretty steep so getting a wagon on those can be tough. Not sure how easy it is to move a thrower out of the way to bale on the ground. Would really like to stay under $5,000. Don't mind putting some work into one over the winter . That's what I did with my 270, got a deal on it, put some work and parts in it, and it's been a good baler for the last four or five years. Just need to upgrade to something with with a little more capacity. I have heard that the 310's, 315s, and 320s had some issues if run at rated speed. Just interested in what you all have to say about some of the older balers. I definitely want one with a super sweep, as I have had some issues with my narrow pickup leaving some hay with our bigger windrows. Just thought I'd shop around now when there may be some deals to be had at the end of the season.

#2 8350HiTech

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 08:44 PM

If you get one with a #70 thrower, which would be 311/316/326 and many 310/315/320, those have a drop floor designed into the thrower. It’s very easy to switch between throwing and dropping bales flat on the ground. As far as I know, thrower models both older and newer than the 70 do not have this feature. It is unique to it. Putting bales on the ground with the others is probably most easily accomplished by pulling the drive belt for the thrower and letting the bales push out the top then drop.
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#3 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:33 AM

I know you stated you were looking for a NH sq baler but if you find a used JD small sq baler give it some thought. All JD small sq balers from the model 336-348 are very similar with majority of parts are interchangeable. Higher capacity JD sq balers have wider pickup attachments with more rows of teeth & hay dogs. IMHO 1 big advantage to JD sq balers over other brands as they only have only ""2 roller chains"" to contend with & with simple adjustments will make a very even bale. 

 

And if necessary I think they're simpler to repair than some other brands but I've been utilizing/repairing them since 1965


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#4 r82230

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 07:08 AM

You are heading into a good time to shop for a baler IMHO (now, until maybe mid Feb).

 

As far as balers, the guys with in-line sure seem to love them, IDK if your price range puts them out of reach or not however.

 

Then you have the side pulls (lot more numbers) to look at.  Which gives you the opportunity to have more choices, along with a lot of different wear/abuse variables to throw into the equation. 

 

If you do your some or most of your own wrenching, I'd tell you look mostly at NH.  Rational: go to the Machinery section of this forum, Mike10 had graciously posted detailed tips & tricks to repairing NH balers. :)   Along with how to make special tools.  :)   More than makes up for the cost of admission to this forum by far (oh, wait it's free, that's even a better deal ;) ).

 

Now, if you are not doing your own knuckle busting, then you might want to look at what color dealership brings the most knowledgeable service/parts guys to the table.

 

My two cents, hope I didn't short change you too much.

 

Larry



#5 W Bench Farms

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 09:19 AM

I do all of my own repairs, and know the NH balers pretty well.  I'm not opposed to switching brands, but pretty in the dark on other models.  What JD models would be comparable to the 315/316 and 320/326 NH balers?  I have JD and NH dealers close by, so that's not an issue.  Just looking for something that I can put out 200-300 bales in a couple hours and not take all day.  I also bale straw behind a walker combine with a 13' head, so need something that will handle that as well.



#6 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 09:55 AM

My JD sq baler choice would be one of the models listed below plus the model 346. My reason for baler choice is these models have the widest pickup attachment JD offers. I baled wheat straw with the 347 for my nephew that I just sold & I think the combine header was a lot larger than 13'.   I hope HT member leeave96 will chime in because he owns a JD 348

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#7 Hayman1

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:01 AM

I had a 315 with a 70 thrower.  Served me well but it was all mechanical.  Upgraded to a 570 with a 72 thrower with hydraulic tension, hydraulic throw direction and electronic sped control on the thrower belts purchased new in 2008.   Totally pleased with the product .  Easy to reduce the speed to minimal and pooch bales on the ground or to the side ( and not in the wagon) if extra damp.  If you are making a purchase for the long term I would suggest that you consider a 570 just because it is newer and has a great feed mechanism.  I would not get the 565.  The 570 is a heavy baler but was not the one favored by the high volume guys-that was the 575-which is why I would stay away from that one.  Even considering a 570 or a 575 you may be looking at a 20 year old machine 


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#8 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:22 AM

I agree about not choosing NH 565. Many yrs back before I purchased my 347 I hired my neighbor to sq bale some hay & nearly all of the bales were shaped similar to a banana.



#9 W Bench Farms

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:28 AM

My JD sq baler choice would be one of the models listed below plus the model 346. My reason for baler choice is these models have the widest pickup attachment JD offers. I baled wheat straw with the 347 for my nephew that I just sold & I think the combine header was a lot larger than 13'.   I hope HT member leeave96 will chime in because he owns a JD 348

 

 

What's the difference between a 336 and a 338?  Neighbor has a 336 now, but I'm thinking it's not going to be big enough for what I'm wanting.  Big difference between a 338 and 348?  Said he used to have a 348 and it would eat about anything.  



#10 Shetland Sheepdog

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:35 AM

Contrary to popular belief, you CAN make "banana" bales with a JD baler!  :o

You just have to know how to mal adjust the feeder forks!  :rolleyes:  :P 

Conversely, you can make bricks with a NH baler, if PROPERLY adjusted!  :cool: 

JMHO, YMMV, Dave


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#11 r82230

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:48 AM

I do all of my own repairs, and know the NH balers pretty well.  

 

You answered your own question, if this is the case. NH would be my definite choice, Mike10's stuff will be your bible.

 

Larry



#12 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:49 AM

S S

Take a deep breath. I fail to see where I stated or implied JD sq balers ""could not be fed or improperly adjusted"" so as to not make banana shaped bales.  Yes JD sq balers can make odd shaped bales!!! 

 

HAVE YOU ever baled hay with a NH 565? I have attempted unsuccessfully to make the 565 in question make a good bale.  Do you think Hayman1 misrepresented the model 565? 



#13 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:52 AM

What's the difference between a 336 and a 338?  Neighbor has a 336 now, but I'm thinking it's not going to be big enough for what I'm wanting.  Big difference between a 338 and 348?  Said he used to have a 348 and it would eat about anything.  

336 has a narrower pickup attachment with 4 tooth bar angles vs 6 tooth bar angles on 338



#14 W Bench Farms

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 11:03 AM

Where would a NH 278 fall in to it all? I know they are 1970's vintage, but look like they may be a higher capacity. See one of them with a thrower worth the money. Like I said, I don't mind older as I can work on them. Just don't want something that's going to come apart.



#15 Wethay

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 11:08 AM

When looking at John deere balers in the 300 numbers the second number is basically tells what capacity/ feature level  and the last number the series. A  348 would be the latest high end baler, replacing the 347, which replaced the 346. A "3" in the middle is a step down and a "2" in the middle would be entry level. Pickup width, plunger speed, number of teeth and bars in the pick up vary by model. 



#16 Tx Jim

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 11:31 AM

I'll add to what wethay stated that the JD higher capacity balers have 6 hay dogs vs 3 hay dos on lower capacity models


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#17 Shetland Sheepdog

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 05:30 PM

Okay Jim, I took a deep breath, and have to admit I'm a li'l sensitive  to the bashing that NH balers seem to draw, not necessarily from you!  ;)

I have never run a 565, but have put beaucoup bales through a 315 that has the same feeder system!  :cool:

I sold the 315 to a friend, in 2007 to replace his JD 327, and he has since resold it when he gave up haying!

At last report, it was on a farm in Maine, and still making "bricks"!  :huh: 

Here are pictures of the 315 & the 570, which is still making "bricks"!  :cool: 

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#18 r82230

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:21 PM

Okay Jim, I took a deep breath, and have to admit I'm a li'l sensitive  to the bashing that NH balers seem to draw, not necessarily from you!  ;)

I have never run a 565, but have put beaucoup bales through a 315 that has the same feeder system!  :cool:

I sold the 315 to a friend, in 2007 to replace his JD 327, and he has since resold it when he gave up haying!

At last report, it was on a farm in Maine, and still making "bricks"!  :huh: 

Here are pictures of the 315 & the 570, which is still making "bricks"!  :cool: 

 

Sheep, how did you make that old Ford 'automatous' ?  :D    :lol:  What GPS system are you using?  :D   :lol:  I didn't see an operator, so I'm assuming again and we know how that goes.  ;)

 

Larry



#19 Shetland Sheepdog

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:26 PM

Nah Larry, I use a check line, like the old school corn planters!  :D Took some engineering to get the check knots to trip the baler knotters!  :lol:  :rolleyes:  :cool:
My Avatar picture was taken the same day as the picture of the 315, and did you notice that the 315 had the #75 kicker, instead of the #70 belt thrower?  :o  :cool:



#20 r82230

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 07:26 PM

Yep, on the kicker, IIRC NH didn't do that too long, but maybe I'm wrong. :confused:

 

Larry






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