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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I posted this same question over on the tractor forum, with @Tx Jim participating. Figured I'd jump over here and continue with some other's opinion as well.

Looking to upgrade my round baler. I currently have an old New Holland 850 chain baler. Love it, and will probably keep it as a backup baler.

But customers have complained that the bales are not as tight or as good looking as they want. And I can’t fault them. If I was feeding my own herd, this would be my choice of a baler. Simple, cheap, and does the job.

However, since I sell 90% of my hay, I realize I need to meet customer requirements.

With that being said, if I am going to buy another round baler, it needs to bale 5x5 and 5x6 bales per what customers want. And also have the option for net wrap.

I have been looking, and have narrowed it down to either a John Deere or a New Holland, based on what I know of each, and local service. There are practically no other dealers/service available for any other brands in my area.

Based on reading, seems like people tend to lean towards Deere due to the NH balers having extra parts. (Sledge rolls) looking for advise and reviews on these.

New Hollands I would consider would be 644, 688, of that ball park.

Deere balers look like the 535 and 566 are my best options. Also looking for real world experience from people who have run both. Pros and cons.

Looking to stay at or lower than 10k.

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Jumping on from there, I have an additional question. I'm really leaning towards a Deere, and have the option for a really good looking 535 with net for just over 8K. Seems a little high to me, but I have not went and looked at it yet.

Monitor question again. I currently do not have a cab tractor. Eventually we will have one on our operation but not there yet. I know the 535's box is more or less just lights telling you what's going on, and a switch for twine vs net correct?

So is a 566 not a good option if the monitor will be exposed outside all the time?
 

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My experience is later style electrically controlled JD netwrap attachment is much better than the 535 hydraulically operated netwrap attachment. Later style monitor is much better also. I've seen plastic sacks used to protect monitor on open station tractors
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hear you on protecting it with a sack. I guess my question is more about the dust and hay debris blowing around while bailing. Will this interfere at all with the later style monitors?
 

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I've seen several JD later style monitors mounted on open station tractors so I think dust/foreign material inside monitor won't be a problem. Dust in tractor operators lungs is a different story!!
 

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My monitor with the 535 stays on the open tractor. It has a canopy but doesn't keep all the rain off. I do park under a roof when not using the tractor. 10 years and no problems. A cover in the off season sounds like a better idea. Mine does not have the net option, though.
In regard to the baler, it has been relatively trouble free. Replaced on set of cogs and a short chain. Some pickup parts have had to be replaced or repaired due to my fault
It replaced an 853 New Holland. No more air bags and only drive chains to oil.I think you'd like it. Just watch the needles and drive like they tell you. The old "count system" we used on the chain balers
 

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If you can find a 600 series New Holland it would work well we had a 644 NH used for over 10 years with no problems no cab should not be a problem for the monitor just disconnect and store inside when not baling
 

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I think you’d be very satisfied with a 535 Deere. That’s what I run and I have no cab. I do always park mine in the dry. Mine is twine only. I have heard that the 535s with netwrap were not as good as the newer netwrap system. However, for simplicity and reliability, you can’t beat a 535
 

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I baled around 1500 bales of peanut hay with an open station JD 4455 and JD 458 baler when my allis was down a few falls ago. Baler and monitor were fine but my eyes, lungs, and sinuses would have rather I fixed my cab tractor. Also I run my arcusin square bale bundler with a JD4000 open and the monitor for it is much more advanced. I unplug it and put it in the truck when not in use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, need more opinions. The 535 has sold, and any others on the market are either 6+ hours away, or look like someone has taken a sledge hammer to every piece of sheet metal.

I see a Deere 566, that is 5 hours away for a decent price. Says the linear actuator for the net knife just went out. 11,000 bales on it. Looks to be in decent shape with newer belts and a few bearings just replaced, $8,500.

Also see a New Holland BR780 just over an hour drive from me. Not much info other than seller needs money to rebuild the tractor that pulled the baler. $7,000. I know nothing about these balers, but get the jist that people don't like them?


If the 566 were closer, I'd jump on it. Opinions on the BR780?
 

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I have baled beside a nice BR780 and they will work fine. I would prefer a BR780A, next series newer, just because of some minor improvements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update with more questions. I think I'm mainly interested in the 566. He says that he just replaced the actuator for the net knife, but hasn't had a chance to try it yet. Is there a way I can cycle the knife to ensure its working properly?

Second, he stated that this baler has been used for a lot of silage hay. What components should I be concerned with with regards to that? I'm assuming that silage will be tougher on belts. Educate me on knives.

Also, supposedly it has original chains and sprockets, but all hex bearings have been replaced. What bearings are these?
 

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Power up monitor with tractor pto in off position, press wrap key while someone watches actuator rod extend/retract. There are sealed roller brgs on each end of each roller
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So here’s what I ended up pulling home. A different 566 that popped up and was a lot closer to home.




Overall I think it’s in decent condition. Paint is a little faded and the tops of the side doors bow out a little. A few pickup teeth needing replaced and one pickup band missing.

A few things I’m concerned with or just want opinions.
Bale monitor shows just over 4,000 bales. Seems way too low for the age and condition of baler. Does this counter reset if the monitor was replaced? That’s the only way I can think of bale count being so low.

Seems to me that there is a short belt in place of a long one, and can be seen in the first picture below. Not sure if this really effects anything.
Also, one belt is significantly looser than the rest, and two of the belts have more outside wear than the rest. Thinking an alignment issue. I remember reading something about the alignment roller and checking for wear?






Overall, I think it’s a decent baler that has netwrap for 8k.
I know I will cuss the netwrap when I get in the field, or so I’ve heard, but needed to start somewhere.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I just picked up a 566 this last Tuesday. Gonna be one heck of a learning curve going from my old baler. Looks like a belt is different compared to mine. On a side note where are those parts for the pickup teeth that people seem to hate? I kind of poked around the other day but didn't know exactly what I was looking for.
 

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That's a nice looking baler. I'm not fully understanding what you're referring when you state ""pickup teeth that people seem to hate"". If you're referring to feeder fingers that are difficult to keep attached after crankshaft has wear those were only offered on model 466 with Mega-wide pickup. Your baler doesn't have Mega-wide pickup but does has converging wheels
 

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In reading up on the 66 series I read somewhere that people didn't like them because of something with pickup was kinda goofy. Something to do with when something gets wore out the teeth break off easier.
 
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