When you need to quickly load a lowbed with bales, you need a big pack baler that knows its work. The Kuhn LSB 1270 DX that Hendrie Hills from Brits bought from Valtrac took his feed production business to a higher level. “Bales can now be transported more economically, because they are compacted to a higher density. This means more weight and more feed per cubic metre,” he says.

Some of his bales are transported to places as far as Stilbaai, and now the capacity of the trucks are fully utilised and the bales reach their destination neatly and undamaged.

Baling is an exact science on the Hills farm, and the Kuhn big pack baler is the implement that makes it possible. Hendrie says everything is done mechanically and with the help of only two men for loading and carting the bales away, he can bale many hectares in a day.

“This baler takes a windrow by storm,” he says.

Obviously the formation of the windrow and the moisture content of the material will largerly influence the working speed, but you know exactly how fast to drive, because the baler tells you! On the user-friendly control screen in the tractor’s cabin, you can follow the whole process.

Hendrie explains: “There is a pre-chamber with a meter that determines whether enough material has been picked up to fill the baling chamber. If not, more material is taken in, and if you see it must take in three times for one bale, you may increase your speed. The ideal situation is one-on-one, then your speed is just right.”

While you are working, the machine tells you the exact weight of every bale, and Hendrie also chose the option with the moisture meter. Admittedly, the moisture meter measures on the surface of the bale and not deep inside, but you can quickly notice when moisture levels change and the material is too wet.

Hendrie says like with any other baler, a knot may sometimes get stuck or baling twine may cause a problem, but the operator is warned by an alarm, and he can act quickly to solve the problem. The alarm also warns you when too much material in the intake may cause a blockage.

“Once I was held up by a blockage, but as I had been baling since two o’clock in the morning, I was not as sharp as I should have been,” he says.

Blockages are rare, but they can happen, especially when the material is wet. The baler has a trap door underneath, that can be opened to get rid of a serious blockage so that you can promptly continue with your work.

King of any crop

Hendrie plants oats and lucerne specifically for baling, but he has also tested the machine with soy beans and maize stover. Wheat rests are ploughed back into the soil, but he will also be able to bale that if necessary.

For the Kuhn LSB 1270 DX it is a breeze to neatly pick up and tightly pack any material into a neat bale. The pick-up height can be adjusted to suit the terrain and the material.

The technology used to feed the material smoothly and without problems, is Kuhn’s Integral rotor. This means that the augers feeding the material to the baler’s intake are directly mounted onto the feeding rotor, forming part of it. This patent is simpler, more efficient, more dependable, maintenance free and feeds any kind of material smoothly and positively to follow the shortest route to the baler intake so that you can drive faster and finish the baling job before the rain comes.

Cam clutches protect all the intake functions to increase efficiency and prevent damage.

A well-stacked windrow with sufficient material is the best way to ensure that you get the most out of your big pack baler. Hendrie also acquired Pöttinger power rakes and tedders from Valtrac to form the best possible windrows and to ensure prompt drying of the material.

Hendrie Hills and his son, Johannes, have reason to be proud of the neat, firm lucerne bales produced by their Kuhn big pack baler from Valtrac.

Firm, fresh and neat

Hendri admits that the first bale of the day is not as firm as the rest, and that is understandable for the bales press against one another for high density baling. The LSB 1270 FX’s bales are up to 10% tighter than those made by his previous or similar balers. He says the first bale usually ends up on his bakkie for a weekend visit to the game farm in the Bushveld, so nothing goes to waste!

His baler is equipped with an applicator that chemically treats bales with a high moisture content while they are pushed out of the baling chamber in order to keep the feed fresh. It works like a preservative and keeps customers happy and satisfied.

A double-knot system ties neat bales without any wastage of baling twine. Hendrie calculated that he could make about 32 bales per roll of baling twine.

Another major benefit is that a blower constantly sends an air stream over the knotter to keep it free of dust and problems resulting from dusty conditions.

Kuhn’s integral rotor proves that the straight route is alway the right route – also with feeding material to a baler’s intake.

Value for money

The Kuhns LSB 1270 DX is a big machine and Hendrie believes his 126,7 kW tractor is a good companion for it. He has not yet compared the fuel consumption per hectare with that of his former, smaller baler, but as the machine works quicker and more efficient, it completes the job with fewer runs.

For contract work, he works on half a litre of diesel per bale, but it also depends on the material to be baled.

In the field he has one operator on a tractor with an adapted bale fork that can stack three bales and load it onto the wagon, and one to haul the wagon to the store. Hendrie says when he arrives at the shed with his baler, most of the bales are there already and his two operators are on their way back from the field.

Recently, he started baling at a neighbour at 16:00 and by 20:30, 178 perfect bales were stacked and he was on his way home.

One of the appreciated features of the machine is the independent rotation of the rear wheels. This reduces the turning circle on the headlands, thereby saving time and preventing damage to crops such as lucerne. A baler with a fixed rear axle often removes plants from the soil. With the Kuhn, this does not happen.

Hendrie sets his baler to produce bale lenghts of one metre, because with this size he can stack the bales better on a flatbed trailer or in the shed.

Legendary service

Hendrie says he came a long way with oom Wynn Dedwith and his people from Valtrac, and he is fully aware of Valtrac’s legendary service delivery. On delivery, they came out to fine-tune his machine, and after his first major run of 504 bales, they also visited the farm to make sure that everything was running smoothly. Help is also as far away as a telephone call and if they cannot solve a problem the same day, surely they will have it fixed early the following morning.

He did not have time yet to study and employ all the functions on the ISOBUS control panel, but it became much easier to account for every kilogram of feed baled on the farm.

“I definitely recommend the machine for all farmers who desire speed, quality and density of bales, and especially for contractors,” Hendrie says.

Order your Kuhn baler from Valtrac. Contact Atttie de Villiers on 083-261-9863 or 056-817-7308 or attiedev@valtrac.co.za. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za for more information on Kuhn balers and all the other fine equipment and tractors supplied by Valtrac.