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Thread: Hay baling - old style

  1. #1
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    Hay baling - old style

    Ah, the memories!

    Including some I'd like to forget, like spreading mouldy hay as mulch. It's a wonder I didn't get Farmer's Lung!

    And discovering that the top layer of bales on a stack had gone very mouldy as a result of condensation under a plastic cover fitted far too early!

    https://www.farmcollector.com/equipm...sI67DAlAj1XVWw

    JV
    Agtronix - the home of the Weedswiper

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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Ah, the memories!

    Including some I'd like to forget, like spreading mouldy hay as mulch. It's a wonder I didn't get Farmer's Lung!

    And discovering that the top layer of bales on a stack had gone very mouldy as a result of condensation under a plastic cover fitted far too early!

    https://www.farmcollector.com/equipm...sI67DAlAj1XVWw

    JV
    Yeah John, I remember lugging those rectangle bales - my first summer job (age 12) was working on a farm, which included haying for about 150 head of cattle.

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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    I started my contracting career with a Massey 701 baler, same as the chap is using with the MF 35X. Called a nodding donkey because of the design of the packer. Bales were formed sideways in the chamber and the needles were on one side of the chamber and the knotters on the other side and so the packers went up and down. The knotters had a belt driven fan on them and if the belt broke you might as well pack up and go and get a new one because the knotters would soon be full of crap. Just remember to fold the needles in when going through a gateway. The baler would play up if it was a bit damp. The straw/hay went up the elevator to a cross auger (were the words Massey Harris can be seen on the photo.) and that auger would wrap and block if it wasn't fit. Made a good bale though. Mine was P.T.O. driven, the one in the photo. has an engine. Probably an Armstrong Siddeley engine.

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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
    Yeah John, I remember lugging those rectangle bales - my first summer job (age 12) was working on a farm, which included haying for about 150 head of cattle.
    Pah, you're all too soft today. We used to pitch little bales all day long onto trailers with a bale fork (I still have 2 forks) and we had a couple of lads out of the village come and help us after they had finished their day job. It was a matter of pride that if you could get a couple of reasonably tight bales, side by side on their edge and touching each other then you could pitch both of them together. But it was a tradition that it was a pie and a pint afterwards in the pub. They were good days.

    Youngsters today don't know what hard work is. I'll shut the door on the way out.

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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I started my contracting career with a Massey 701 baler, same as the chap is using with the MF 35X. Called a nodding donkey because of the design of the packer. Bales were formed sideways in the chamber and the needles were on one side of the chamber and the knotters on the other side and so the packers went up and down. The knotters had a belt driven fan on them and if the belt broke you might as well pack up and go and get a new one because the knotters would soon be full of crap. Just remember to fold the needles in when going through a gateway. The baler would play up if it was a bit damp. The straw/hay went up the elevator to a cross auger (were the words Massey Harris can be seen on the photo.) and that auger would wrap and block if it wasn't fit. Made a good bale though. Mine was P.T.O. driven, the one in the photo. has an engine. Probably an Armstrong Siddeley engine.
    Excellent post zaza. Thank you!

    I was not familiar with the 701, and had to look it up, but it's design evolution is clear: a stationary baler with a pickup glued to its side. The needles worked sideways coz that's how the stationary balers of the day (I have one, and very content for it to remain stationary) were. They had to be that way, to allow the wire to be fed through to form the bales. That set me to wondering why the pickup was on the right hand side, and for the 701, it may well have been coz the drive gear was on the left. Why were most (all?) early mouldboard ploughs made to turn the furrow to the right? Was it something to do with the position of the horses/ bullocks relative to the furrow, and did this set the precedent for all machines which had an offset working part?

    The other thought relates to the number of people required to make baled hay. A stationary baler needed a team of at least 7 people: one on the buckrake which formed the windrows (I have one); one on the sweep which moved the rowed grass to the baler; a "forker-in"; two threading and tying the wires (usually women, here); and two (or more) stacking the bales.

    Compare that with a pickup baler. Two people if the hay was raked & baled simultaneously (or only one, if the jobs were done in sequence - a good idea to give the bottom hay a chance to dry).

    Re engine powered balers, in my memory, only New Hollands had that option. My lat bro' in law had a NH with a twin cylinder Wisconsin, and man, did that engine bark when the load came on with each revolution of the plunger. You could hear it for miles!

    JV
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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Pah, you're all too soft today. We used to pitch little bales all day long onto trailers with a bale fork (I still have 2 forks) and we had a couple of lads out of the village come and help us after they had finished their day job. It was a matter of pride that if you could get a couple of reasonably tight bales, side by side on their edge and touching each other then you could pitch both of them together. But it was a tradition that it was a pie and a pint afterwards in the pub. They were good days.

    Youngsters today don't know what hard work is. I'll shut the door on the way out.
    Gawd,zaza!

    Your pitchers must have been mighty men. I can't imagine anyone here pitching one bale, never mind two!

    As for "good days", seems to me they were good only coz they are old! I'm old - and I'm *very* good !

    JV

    Oh, and I'll do the same with the door!
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    Re: Hay baling - old style

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Gawd,zaza!

    Your pitchers must have been mighty men. I can't imagine anyone here pitching one bale, never mind two!

    As for "good days", seems to me they were good only coz they are old! I'm old - and I'm *very* good !

    JV

    Oh, and I'll do the same with the door!
    It's not so much "mighty men", there is a knack in pitching a bale. You need the proper fork for a start. Not what we call a pitchfork, that was for sheaves. A bale fork has two tines but they are spaced wider apart and are straighter than a pitch fork. You stab the fork into the bale between the two strings in the middle of the bale and here's where the knack comes in, you pick the bale up off the ground but swing it at the same time and once you've got it up to the level of your shoulders then it's just a case of pushing it up into the air.

    When you were trying to show off by pitching two bales at the same time you put them on their edge side by side and because the tines were quite wide on the fork you could get one tine in each bale. Of course a lot of the time it went disasterously wrong, sometimes one bale would come adrift and come back and hit you on the head. Sometimes both would break free. As I have said, it was only done to show off.

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