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How Do I Choose the Best Used Hay Baler?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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The process of selecting a used hay baler is similar to buying a new unit, though there are also some unique factors you will need to consider. There are a number of different hay baler designs and configurations, so you will first need to decide whether you want square or round bales, how you want them tied off, and whether you want them wrapped or not. It is also important to take your existing equipment into consideration, since the unit you choose will either need to work with your tractor, or be self-propelled. When selecting a used hay baler, you will also need to inquire about any maintenance records, and carefully inspect the condition of the unit. It can also help to do some research on individual models you are interested in, since some older hay balers are known to develop specific issues after extensive usage.

Hay balers are machines that gather up cut hay into cylindrical or square bales, and tie them off for easy transport and storage. Certain units also wrap the bales in plastic, which can either protect the hay from the elements or cause it to ferment into silage. Some units are towed behind a tractor, and operated by a power takeoff (PTO), while others are self-propelled. Due to the wide range of styles and options available, each baler is best suited to a particular application.

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If you are in the market for a used hay baler, the first step is to identify your needs. You may want to start by determining the square footage of hay that has to be baled, and then decide how large your bales need to be. Self-propelled balers are typically a good choice if you have a very large volume of hay to work with, while towed units are better for smaller fields. You will also need to decide whether you want a baler that uses twine or wire, and if you either need or prefer a unit that is capable of wrapping the bales in plastic. If you want to produce silage, you will need to find a used hay baler that has a wrapping feature.

There are also a number of unique considerations when choosing a used hay baler. If you are interested in a self-propelled unit, you should carefully inspect the operation of the engine and drive train. Regardless of the type of hay baler you are looking at, a close inspection of the baling mechanism is typically a good idea. If at all possible, you should also have the unit tested to make sure that it actually operates properly. Another way to make sure you end up with a good used hay baler is to do some research on the makes and models you are looking at, as some older models can fail to tie bales off properly, or have other issues as they age.

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