The hay baler helped change the farming industry by allowing for the quick and efficient gathering of hay into bales (either round or square) where they can be easily move to wherever they are needed. A hay bale accumulator is another type of equipment that is used to gather and transport hay bales.
Known early on as roto balers, the round baler is the most common type of hay baler, producing cylindrically shaped bales of hay. A round baler rolls the hay up inside of it via rubber belts until it has reach the proper size, at which time the hay is wrapped or twined to hold it together.
Once secured, the bale is then discharged from the machine as door opens up and the hay bale rolls out. These bales can weigh over 2,000 pounds. Due to their weight and round nature, which puts them at risk for rolling around uncontrolled, a specialized method is used to transport round hay bales.
The round baler was first conceived of in the early 20th century, but wasn’t introduced until the middle of the century in 1947. Today’s modern round balers use a concept design from 1972.
Based on a 1937 design, the modern rectangular baler comes in two main types: the large rectangular baler and the small rectangular (or square) baler.
Square bales conserve space as they are more easily stacked tightly. They are also generally safer since they are not at risk of rolling off a truck or other transport device. They can also be placed on slopes without fear of them rolling away.
Hay bale accumulators are sometimes used to quickly and easily gather large numbers of rectangular hay bales for placement onto a flatbed or other equipment for transport to and from the field or from field to field.
After a hay rake has formed a windrow (hay that has been cut by a mower) the hay is lifted by a baler’s tines. A plunger and knife move back and forth in a front chamber of the baler, cutting and compressing the hay into bundles. Once the bundle has reached the proper size, it is wrapped with twine to hold it together in a neat square or rectangular shape.
The bales are discharged into a hay bale accumulator. When the hay bale accumulator is full, the bales are lifted or carried away, usually on to a flatbed to be transported.