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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last piece of equipment I need is the mower/conditioner. I am trying to decide on either a Disc mower, Tar River BDR-185, or an old used JD or NH Haybine. My target price is <$4,000. For those who use a disc mower without a conditioner, do you do anything other than tedding to help drying?

I watched a few videos on the haybines, one was really informative, so I have a really good idea what to look at and watch out for when looking them over. This is for a 3 acre plot, so I don't need large expensive gear. I currently have a NH 273 Baler that is in really good mechanical condition, just looks rough, picked it up for $1200, and an IH 35 side rake that I am overhauling, will be into it for about $1400 when all done except for paint. The left hubs were shot and had to replace those and the axle, but the gearbox is good, just needed lower bearing and seals, and only one bar bearing needed replacing, so should get a lot of years of use from it.

So suggestions on which models to keep an eye out for, what specifically to look for on them, and anything else would be helpful. It will be driven by an L4060, so 7' to 9' should be OK.
 

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What was the informative video you watched?

Aren't you in northern IL? There is a nice 488 haybine in my area (SW MI) for $1800. He's selling it too cheap for the condition it's in, but then again I paid only $2500 for mine and it was like a brand new machine. On this haybine I see for sale there are a few bent bars on the reel, so it looks like it's hit something at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heres the video, it happens to be the same exact model haybine as one in an ad in Craigslist. I haven't heard back on them, it was a pair for $2000.

They are also a good 20+ miles away, and after pulling the baler 7 miles, a 20 mile drag would be a DRAG if you know what I mean. Looks like the boom and PTO shafts can be removed, os its a matter of getting it on and off a trailer so it could be transported by trailer. Reason I am considering the BDR-165 or 185 is that I can go pick one up and trailer it on the pallet and assemble it at home, a little easier than the haybines, plus I would have to rent a larger trailer to get one vs the disc. Drawback is no conditioner. Is a conditioner needed for good quality hay, or can I make quality hay without one?
 

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I would not even think about trying to make quality hay in Virginia without a conditioner and a tedder. From what I read on Haytalk, your state has worse hu than we do
 

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A 20 mile drag is nothing! Many of us have done much more than that.

You don't have much tractor, I worry about how it would handle a disk mower. You would be better off with a haybine.

Roger
 

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Heres the video, it happens to be the same exact model haybine as one in an ad in Craigslist. I haven't heard back on them, it was a pair for $2000.

They are also a good 20+ miles away, and after pulling the baler 7 miles, a 20 mile drag would be a DRAG if you know what I mean. Looks like the boom and PTO shafts can be removed, os its a matter of getting it on and off a trailer so it could be transported by trailer. Reason I am considering the BDR-165 or 185 is that I can go pick one up and trailer it on the pallet and assemble it at home, a little easier than the haybines, plus I would have to rent a larger trailer to get one vs the disc. Drawback is no conditioner. Is a conditioner needed for good quality hay, or can I make quality hay without one?
Ok, I wasn't sure if you were referring to my video.

Pulling a haybine 20 miles is nothing. That's so insignificant. The first haybine I ever bought I pulled about 35 miles home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The mower I am considering has a 3600 pound tractor recommendation, the L4060 with loader is 5810 and has the HP to drive the 185, the 165 is 2600 recommended weight and 25 HP, they are designed for the compacts so not worried about that. For the haybine though, I am looking to get the best model for the price, so knowing which models to look for can narrow my search down a bit, rule out those that are problem childs.

The reason I am leery of making a 20 mile trek is not the time or distance, but the condition of the equipment. Without knowing how the bearings are kept and not being able to do a full tear down and repack, its a risk that it could break down halfway home. The baler had the drivers side tire get pretty warm on such a short trip, though the bearings were cool. The rake had a sloppy left wheel but was repairable when I bought it, but when it got to my house if nearly failed and I wound up having to replace nearly everything on the left, only the very expensive axle housing was saved. This is why I would rather transport it, even 20 miles, than tow it.
 

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A NH 489 or newer 492 are good machines, alot of hay has been cut by them, One thing to check on them is the sickle drive gearbox, you need to the level of gear oil good in them and the chain that drives off the side of that gearbox, keep that oiled and tight and replace as needed.. That can cause a bad failure. One hack I have done many times for wheel bearings is first check how loose bearings are, would be simple if you could jack it up and spin the wheel, but the other thing I do is take the cap off the hub and inspect and when I install the cap I like to fill it with gear oil and pound it on so it flows to the bearings. If I don't have gear oil 30 wt is better then nothing and if real dry stop in a mile and refill the cap.
 

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NH488 is pretty much the gold standard for haybines. They started making them in the late 70's and still make them brand new to this day, so parts are plentiful.

NH479 is an early version of the 488 and nearly identical machine, a 477 is a 7' version of the 479, which might work for you a little better with just 3 acres.

489 and 492 are decent machines but are reportedly a little more difficult to work on than a 488.

JD 1209's were a popular haybine back in the day as well.

When I hauled a haybine some years ago now I just popped off the bearing caps and checked to see if the bearings appeared well-greased. I checked them a few miles down the road to see if they were heating up at all, to which they weren't, so I sent it.

If you want to transport a 9' haybine you'll need to back it up sideways on a long flatbed, and then remove the tongue and telescoping PTO shaft. Both of these are easy to do on a 479/488 type of machine. But way too much work for 20 miles. I had my 488 hauled from Illinois to Michigan but it was on a semi flatbed, the way I described.

Tire Wheel Plant Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The one I have a lead on is actually a pair of them, and was looking to rent a 24' flatbed to load them on, just like you posted to get them both home at one time. To me worth the $117 to rent it for a day instead of making two trips, with the price of diesel, would probably cost that much just in fuel to get them both home one at a time. It's a pair of IH 990 haybines.
 

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You will certainly need a machine with a good crimper starting out if you plan on having alfalfa in the mix as mentioned in your other post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You will certainly need a machine with a good crimper starting out if you plan on having alfalfa in the mix as mentioned in your other post...
Thats what I'm thinking. I just came back from looking at a 1209. They are asking $2995 (why always 95, just round it off). The rubber on the rollers is a bit rough but mostly still intact. The blades look good, the sheet metal is rough. It was well greased and oiled so didn't feel the wobble box for play as I didn't want to get full of grease. Belts looked good, U-joints were solid, and other than the bars bent up a bit on the feed rake, looked usable. I just don't know if the price is high or not. It is at a dealer. They also have a New Holland 467 7' but it is off site and no pictures available yet, and asking $4995. It is a 1984 model, one year after I graduated HS.
 

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You might not fit two IH990 mower conditioners on a 24 foot flat bed. Two 7 foot machines would fit, but maybe not two 9 foot machines. And even 7 foot machines would fit only if there was somewhere you could put the drawbar under the machine. That might not be easy. When you think about the time it would take to dismantle two machines, load them, unload them, and reassemble them, it would be much quicker to drag them 20 miles in two trips. And if you had to do two trips with the flat bed trailer it would be no contest.

In several decades of farming I have never encountered a wheel bearing on a farm implement lose lubrication and go dry. I have never had to replace a wheel bearing on a farm implement. Your tire warming was probably caused by not enough air pressure. You need plenty of air pressure in the tires for a road haul, more than you need in the field. Small square balers carry a lot of weight on their left wheel, that's why the left side tire is usually a larger size that the right side tire, and also heavier ply rating so you can run higher pressure in it. You won't have the same problem with a mower conditioner. Just make sure the left tire has something like 40 pounds and the right maybe 30 pounds. All I would do about lubrication for a 20 miles drag is jack the wheels up one at a time and give them a quick spin and see if they feel and sounds all right. And I might not even do that.

Roger
 

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Both of those prices sound too high for the condition of those machines.
 

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I would recommend a 7’ haybine. The hardest thing on the machine will be using it in a smaller 3 acre field and the spending so much time turning corners. Not enough straight parts to stretch its legs.

I would also recommend a conditioner no matter what you buy. I am not familiar with your weather, but I can not make hay fast enough sometimes and it would be worse without a conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All good suggestions. I have not heard back from the guy selling the pair, he may have already sold them and is just not returning calls. I will try again tomorrow, and if not search elsewhere. The plot is 620' by 320', majority is along the long side, but I see what you say, that extra 2' can be troublesome in the short legs. 7' bines are hard to come by and as you can see, pricey from dealers. I keep checking Craigslist, but nothing new has come up yet. I missed getting the full set by a week from the guy I got the baler from.

If I do get in touch with the one guy and still has them, I plan to pull the wheels if I can and give the bearings a shot of grease and bring a compressor to make sure the tires are aired up. The rake parts cost me more than I paid for it, and had I trailered it, would have saved the axle and hub.

There is a NH 477 that appears to be in decent shape, rollers appear to be OK, blades look good, just has rusty skins, it is 216 miles away so that will have to be trailered. They are asking $3250 for it. Does that seem reasonable?
 

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You can't tell the condition of the knives by a picture because the critical part to them is how they're gapped against the guards, and how sharp they are. Knife sections and even the entire sickle bar are inexpensive and you'd probably want to replace this and adjust gaps with new sections or bar anyway.

IMO you gain nothing going to a 7' machine from a 9' machine on a 3 acre parcel. You still have to make turns (only you're making fewer turns with wider machine...1 less pass on a 9' machine for every 4 passes you make on a 7' machine). When making turns, from the tractor's and PTO shaft's perspective, it doesn't care if the machine has 7' or 9' sticking out. I used to mow my neighbor's 3/4 acre pasture with mine to do him a favor. If you can find a decent 7' machine locally then go for it, but no need to constrain yourself to one. You could get by with a 9' as well.

I would pass on those IH mowers. I would also pass on the 477 over 200 miles away. It's not a good deal for its price being that far away.

The last thing you want to do is go buy junk and the cheapest oldest junk you can find. You'll spend all your time fixing it (or researching how to fix it) and it won't be ready or working for you when the sun's shining and hay's waiting. BELIEVE ME I KNOW. This is a waiting game and you have to be patient, and good equipment will show up. When you look every day, you'll get an idea for what the general condition and price of things are, and when a true gem pops up, you'll know. As I mentioned earlier, I paid $2500 for my haybine. Found it on Tractorhouse at a dealership in Illinois. I have no idea why they were selling it so cheap. It was practically a new machine, had very few acres. Easily worth $5k or more. That was worth shipping, and it runs just as good as it looks.

You have 9 months until you need to start cutting hay, not necessary to jump on all the first mowers you come across. This is the time of year when everybody who's getting out of hay or upgrading in the spring wants to offload their old equipment. A bunch of it will pop up again in the spring. As I also mentioned earlier, there was a really nice 488 in my area for $1800. Be patient and you'll come across those kinds of deals. Also go for equipment that looks like it was well cared for and stored inside, not all rusted to crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Remember the main thing you need a haybine for is its crimping action vs a disc mower.....so roll condition is critical
Yes, this I gathered after all the comments, and is actually the very first thing I look at now.

I actually have an acre right now ready to cut, which is why I am looking to get one now. Otherwise I have to rough cut it down and try not to clump it up. Being that it is harvest season, no locals are available who even have a mower to come cut an acre. I could also use a drill right now to do an overseed, but looking at the calendar now, not enough time left, should have happened 2 weeks ago, so will have to wait until spring. If I did find one that I am looking for, by the time it got here, would be too late anyways. Mainly my goal is to have at least one cutting before the end of next year for proof of crop.

Hayjosh, thanks for the input. I hear you about the deals. I did get one on the baler, it looks rough, but mechanically it is sound and thats all that matters. Anyone can slap paint on a pig and call it a horse, there are a lot of them out there, and occasionally a jewel in the rough shows up, and hoping thats what I can find around here. The rake I got would have been a better deal had I been able to grease the hubs before it was brought home, but hindsight you know. In the end though, I am still ahead as it is still less than I could have paid for another one in the area. It also will be 100% working and good for another 20 years.
 
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