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Is new equipment better by design?


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#1 Edd in KY

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 01:24 PM

Haytalk has many discussions about machinery, and many times the post is about buying equipment.

Often the advice is to buy newer equipment. I am curious about the subject. Is this advice because the newer equipment actually does the task better, through design or technology improvements, or simply because the older equipment is likely to be worn out needing repairs and being less reliable.

Example: Does a new 4 rotor tedder do a better job of tedding than a similar model did when new 20 years ago? Is it more reliable by design.

Same with an 8-wheel rake?

How about a 2020 NH small square baler vs. a NH 276 when it was new?

I have no knowledge or opinion since I have never had any new hay equipment.

 



#2 r82230

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 01:53 PM

Well, let me start with story. 

 

A year or so ago i stopped at a local equipment dealership with my wifey.  As we were driving home, she commented, I'd didn't recognize any of the parts men.  Got me a thinking, either she quit having affairs with the parts guys or with newer equipment she isn't frequenting the place as much.  :lol:

 

AS I have gotten older, the realization of the saying 'you can spend time or money' is more meaningful.  I have less time here on Earth (as everyone else does, with each passing day), so I spend money to save me time or wrenching.  Along with making hay is quite often a timely matter.  Newer equipment allows me to do more with less tme (less break-downs).  YMMV by far.

 

Larry


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#3 Trillium Farm

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:09 PM

What Larry said!

Also I'm not one to waste money, but I do differentiate between Price & Cost.

Older equipment will be cheaper (price) but will demand more of your time, parts & down time (cost)

Newer equipment will have improvements to make the task better/easier

Newer equipment will have more easily found parts

Newer equipment will have a better resale value.

Newer equipment will (should) have more tec people able to work on it.

My own rule is, the more complex the piece of equipment the newer I want it.

 

That's not to say that there isn't a place for older equipment, there is, but it should be a transitory stage while on the way to newer one.


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#4 Snow Farmer

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 03:30 PM

Good points from Larry and Trillium.

As we all know, in this business everything comes down to time vs. money

I think that, if you can afford it, new equipment is better than old.

 

We have been fortunate to be able to afford new or newer hay equipment the last few years, and have never looked back.

First and foremost is reliability, around here, the weather window for good hay making has shrunk in the last several years,

having newer equipment that is less likely than old to break down can make the difference between good hay and mediocre hay.

 

Sometimes new equipment is near about the same design as older, just less likely to break (balers, rakes)

 

Other times newer is just plain better (mower conditioners) our 2017 Kuhn center pull disc mo-co is so much better than any

I have owned or used I could never willingly go back to previous disc or sickle mowers. Compared to those, it is faster in the field,

gives better results in the field, and is easier to maintain.

I know there are many others probably just as good on the market, my experience is with Kuhn.


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#5 gradyjohn

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 04:05 PM

Just to add on to what has been said. I got a MF 1840 at the beginning of the year. I looked forward to baling each time this year and would been happy if we had a 4th cut. I spent less time out of the tractor ... broke less bales. I cut loading and stacking time by about 30%. At the end of the day I left a happy camper. When I did custom baling I got a new cutter and round baler every three years because I couldn't afford down time. 


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#6 Edd in KY

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 04:49 PM

Thanks guys for the input.....but that was not my real question. My question:  is the work performance of the  equipment much improved over the same item (when it was new)  20 years ago. Personally,  I think the new round balers are much better than the round balers of 20 years ago, but is that also true of rakes? tedders?  8ft disc mowers?  small square balers?

 

So, does your new 4 rotor tedder actually dry hay faster and better than your year 2000 4 rotor, tedder did when it was new?



#7 Trillium Farm

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 07:00 PM

Thanks guys for the input.....but that was not my real question. My question:  is the work performance of the  equipment much improved over the same item (when it was new)  20 years ago. Personally,  I think the new round balers are much better than the round balers of 20 years ago, but is that also true of rakes? tedders?  8ft disc mowers?  small square balers?

 

So, does your new 4 rotor tedder actually dry hay faster and better than your year 2000 4 rotor, tedder did when it was new?

IMO The MF/Hesston inlines are way ahead than what we had 20 years ago, there have also been improvements in the side pulled ones as well, in terms of tedders and rakes they may have evolved/improved and the material may also have improved, but substantially they are the same design.


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#8 PaulN

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 07:58 PM

I used to have a NH 273 sm sq baler. It made good looking tight bales. But couldn't handle big windrows. When worked too hard, it wound start shearing bolts. It had a bale thrower, so pulling those heavy loads behind the baler broke the pole more then once.

Then we upgraded to a NH 316. What a difference! It has more strokes per minute, so it can handle a big fat windrow without choking. It's built heavier all around. The current models are built even heavier yet.

The downside to these improvements is that it takes more horsepower. Now you need  bigger tractor. :huh:



#9 r82230

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 08:01 PM

Thanks guys for the input.....but that was not my real question. My question:  is the work performance of the  equipment much improved over the same item (when it was new)  20 years ago. Personally,  I think the new round balers are much better than the round balers of 20 years ago, but is that also true of rakes? tedders?  8ft disc mowers?  small square balers?

 

So, does your new 4 rotor tedder actually dry hay faster and better than your year 2000 4 rotor, tedder did when it was new?

 

RB, yes as mention, tension (consistency), ability to start a roll, quicker cycle times. 

 

SS balers not as much, but maybe what I call creature features. Hydraulic swing, pickup more adjustments for bale density and possible control(s) of kicker.  There is only so many pick-up teeth, feeding forks or auger or plunger design that you can do.  And until someone comes up with a better knotter system, there is a limit to improvements.  I'm thinking plunger strokes are most likely maxed out.  The inline was/is huge.  I've seen somewhere, where someone is working on a 'twin' baler, that makes two ss side by side.  Which would be almost doubling the baling capacity. 

 

Cutting, disc defiantly improved cutting efficiency.  Rolls and flails, IDK I think Massy might have just set a higher standard on roll type conditioning.  Quick change blades are a great addition, even though it does nothing for cutting.  Once again, I don't think you can increase blade tip speed for faster cutting much more (almost 15 MPH, is cruising).  

 

Tedders/rakes, probably not much left to improve that will speed drying.  Spreading/fluffing crop can be controlled by adjustments on some models and/or operator as far as tedders. Rakes, the roll-bar is most likely maxed out on design change improvements.  Same for wheel rakes and rotaries IMHO.  The difference is going to be in the style of rake, bar, wheel/v or rotary (along with the operator) as far as improving drying time/cleanness of hay/leaf loss. IMHO rotary is the gold standard.

 

Overall, I'd say not a lot that has improved any one thing, but discs over cutter bars, rotary rakes, would be the biggest two things, because of speed and quality of crop. 

 

Larry


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#10 somedevildawg

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 10:52 PM

By design, yes...until the pencil pushers and bean counters enter into the equation :o
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#11 danwi

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:18 AM

I think if you look at something like a tractor grandpas had 3,4 or 5 gears and a top speed of 13mph now we have 18 or more speed selections with a top speed over 30. When grandpa went to bale hay sometimes big single rows were almost too much in first gear and now we rake more then one together to feed the big balers. Thing is grandpas tractor is still running from 1950 but not doing heavy farm work, I really don't  think many of todays tractors tractors will be running in 70 years they will be parked because of a computer or electronic issue unless someone really gets going on fixing them. Then if you compare balers look at small squares vs big square they used to make 3 or 400 per day 500 was a big day with a couple of people. now we can go out and make 3 or 400 big squares but the big square baler will be worn out sooner because of the volume put thru it. Same thing with big shiny combines getting worn out inside from the volume of grain thru them. Think about mowing lodged hay with a sickle mower vs a haybine with a reel to pull the hay in and now a rotary discbine just buzzing thru it.  



#12 dvcochran

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 08:16 PM

I agree with everything I have read.

My 2 cents on rakes. I have an older 8 wheel V-rake where two wheels share the same arm which pivots to share the load. I also have a newer 10 wheel beam style rake where the wheels have independent suspension. The 10 wheel is far superior in making clean windrows and transitioning from row to row. 

One issue with the older rake is there are a Lot of pivot points and pins that are non-greaseable and have some wear. You add all these little wear points up and it is a bigger deal. This contributes to more teeth breaking and not as clean windrows. Still good enough to use though.

Also the new rake has a valve that makes each side raise equally no matter what terrain or slope you are one. A very nice feature on my Tennessee hills. 



#13 JD3430

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 07:20 AM

Thanks guys for the input.....but that was not my real question. My question:  is the work performance of the  equipment much improved over the same item (when it was new)  20 years ago. Personally,  I think the new round balers are much better than the round balers of 20 years ago, but is that also true of rakes? tedders?  8ft disc mowers?  small square balers?

 

So, does your new 4 rotor tedder actually dry hay faster and better than your year 2000 4 rotor, tedder did when it was new?

I pretty much agree with newer equipment having more attention to detail, more user friendly features and in more cases than not, being better built.

However, along with that, the newer equipment is more complicated and might be less user friendly to service. Kind of like newer trucks need computers to service, it seems like balers may be moving in that direction, too.
Rakes and Tedders generally appear to be built heavier with larger wheels, tires, heavier frames, but only a little more complicated. I don’t think they would rake hay or dry hay any better, but they make the process a little easier and may hold up to rough ground a little better. However, we don’t know if the metallurgy is any better or worse. We don’t know if the quality of steel is any better/worse. We don’t know if they’re painted better/worse. 
Balers are more complicated, but also seem built better with more user friendly features. I just sold my 2012 BR7060 silage special. It had 4 rows of thinner pickup tines and no roller wind guard. Bought a new RB450 has 5 rows of thicker tines. Also has a motor where the 7060 had an actuator. Holds 2 extra rolls of net wrap instead of only 1 on the 7060. RB450 has a lock for the hitch pin and other nicer user friendly features. Grease fittings easier to access.
 

Your question is difficult to answer because there are so many brands going in so many different directions. 



#14 Tx Jim

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 08:01 AM

Can someone explain the need to carry 4 rolls of netwrap on a rd baler?

 

4 rolls of the net I utilize will wrap well over 1200 rd bales which would take much longer than a day to bale. Even 800 rd bales will require many hrs of baling time,  IMHO the more rolls of unneeded net one carries on baler contributes to soil compaction. I can't testify for other brand rd balers but I think JD rd balers aren't but very little more complicated than when I started custom baling over 30 yrs ago.

 

I think my H&S rake with rake wheels mounted singularly on an arm rakes better than the rakes with 2 wheels per arm BUT the rake wheels on my rake are next to unraked hay unlike cheaper models that have rake frame next to unraked hay..



#15 JD3430

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 08:33 AM

Can someone explain the need to carry 4 rolls of netwrap on a rd baler?

 

4 rolls of the net I utilize will wrap well over 1200 rd bales which would take much longer than a day to bale. Even 800 rd bales will require many hrs of baling time,  IMHO the more rolls of unneeded net one carries on baler contributes to soil compaction. I can't testify for other brand rd balers but I think JD rd balers aren't but very little more complicated than when I started custom baling over 30 yrs ago.

 

I think my H&S rake with rake wheels mounted singularly on an arm rakes better than the rakes with 2 wheels per arm BUT the rake wheels on my rake are next to unraked hay unlike cheaper models that have rake frame next to unraked hay..

Which baler carries 4 extra rolls of net wrap? That’s insane.



#16 r82230

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:03 AM

Can someone explain the need to carry 4 rolls of netwrap on a rd baler?

 

 

 

I hope Gear chimes in on this one.  IIRC he carries extra rolls of net on a custom carrier. 

 

Jim, I believe you are thinking about baling hay, cornstalks are a much different beast I do believe.  I get by with just over 2 wraps on hay, cornstalks are at least 3 if not 4 wraps.  So maybe you can cut your production numbers in half, for an idea of why.

 

Larry 


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#17 slowzuki

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:07 AM

Some technology matured a long time ago, I'll use JD small square balers for an example.  They fixed all the little failure spots.  Everything since the 1970's has been value engineering, ie how can we build it cheaper and make more money off it.

 

Rotary rakes are pretty mature now but with demand there are tons to new models still arriving on the market made by new producers with old mistakes reintroduced.  Off brands copying older models so you end up with 1980 and 1990 rotary rake problems with broken arms and failed gearboxes.

 

Haytalk has many discussions about machinery, and many times the post is about buying equipment.

Often the advice is to buy newer equipment. I am curious about the subject. Is this advice because the newer equipment actually does the task better, through design or technology improvements, or simply because the older equipment is likely to be worn out needing repairs and being less reliable.

Example: Does a new 4 rotor tedder do a better job of tedding than a similar model did when new 20 years ago? Is it more reliable by design.

Same with an 8-wheel rake?

How about a 2020 NH small square baler vs. a NH 276 when it was new?

I have no knowledge or opinion since I have never had any new hay equipment.



#18 Tx Jim

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:55 AM

Which baler carries 4 extra rolls of net wrap? That’s insane.

I misunderstood you because I thought that you stated 4 rolls but maybe you actually meant 3 rolls which still takes some serious tractor seat time to utilize.  I didn't consider amount of wrap required baling cornstalks!!!



#19 Tx Jim

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:59 AM

I hope Gear chimes in on this one.  IIRC he carries extra rolls of net on a custom carrier. 

 

Jim, I believe you are thinking about baling hay, cornstalks are a much different beast I do believe.  I get by with just over 2 wraps on hay, cornstalks are at least 3 if not 4 wraps.  So maybe you can cut your production numbers in half, for an idea of why.

 

Larry 

Yes I wasn't considering baling cornstalks which I have baled on a limited basis & would be very happy not to bale one more CS bale !! 



#20 Gearclash

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 11:33 AM

I hope Gear chimes in on this one.  IIRC he carries extra rolls of net on a custom carrier. 

 

Jim, I believe you are thinking about baling hay, cornstalks are a much different beast I do believe.  I get by with just over 2 wraps on hay, cornstalks are at least 3 if not 4 wraps.  So maybe you can cut your production numbers in half, for an idea of why.

 

Larry 

We are to a point where I would like to carry more than 4 rolls of net per baler.  We have, in the past, made 500 bales with one baler in one day.  We use 64” x 7000’ rolls and I absolutely refuse to use a longer roll as the 7000s of Pritchett already are job security for the chiropractors.  At 3.25 turns per bale it gets pretty easy to burn through at least 4 rolls a day.  I care not a bit about the extra weight of carrying spare net rolls.  If you are concerned about soil compaction you need bigger tires on your tractor and baler.  Bigger softer tires increase hourly productivity anyway.

 

If I had my way (in other words if I had the $$$$) I would have a front 3 point on the baler tractors so we could quick attach a tank for about 75 gallons of extra fuel and a rack for at least 4 rolls of net in addition to the 2 spares on the baler.

 

As we run right now I usually send both balers out with 6 spare rolls between the two of them and if we have a long day I will need to bring out at least 1 roll to finish the day.  It depends somewhat on how much is left of the roll in use.


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