Wrap artist provides high energy for moist bales

BRANDON — Bale and wrap is the only option when wet weather prevents proper hay dry-down and farmers aren’t set up for silage bunkers.

Forty-five to 55 percent moisture hay starts to spoil rather than ferment if a wet bale sits for more than 12 hours. Oxygen will spurs growth of moulds and yeasts, making protein unavailable to the animal when the bale is finally opened.

However, stretch wrapping bales isn’t just for last ditch, wet weather panic conditions. Many producers routinely wrap their bales because it lets them harvest without leaf loss when crop quality is at its peak.

Bill Denstedt, operations manager for Tubeline Manufacturing in Elmira, Ont., said hay is either dry or wet.

“And if it’s wet, you should bale and wrap it as quickly as possible,” he said while showing the company’s TRL 5000 wrapper at Ag Days in Brandon earlier this winter.

He said timing and labour availability issues prompted the company to design the TRL 5000 A X2 to be a one-person wrapping operation.

Automation and remote control allows the operator to keep working the front-end loader or skid steer while the TRL wraps the bales.

Denstedt said the TRL 5000 requires only one bale to start a new row. Most machines need more bales to get a row started.

“When you’ve finished a row, you remotely instruct the TRL 5000 to turn around and start another row, wherever you want it,” he said.

“The main thing is that it does an excellent job of stretch wrapping to keep oxygen out of the hay. On high moisture hay, we stretch 10 or 12 wraps. And we have end caps on both ends, so it’s sealed tight.”

Tubeline wrappers have their towing tongue at the front, so a pickup can spot the wrapper.

Once the first bale is wrapped, the operator can remain focused on picking up bales and feeding them into the machine. A bale touches the trigger plate when it goes in and the ramp brings it forward. It is gradually pushed forward through the hoop, where two fork prongs support the bale in the air so the stretch wrap can go all the way around.

“The hoop has tensioners to keep the stretch wrap tight as possible without breaking it,” he said.

“The machine ensures the wraps are air tight. And the operator has to make sure the bales are tight up against each other. The hydraulic drive system is on the rear tires only. The operator uses his remote to turn the machine around and position it for the next row.”

It is available with a 13 or 20 horsepower engine for driving the hydraulic pumps that feed the orbital motors on the wrapper and drive wheels.

The TLR 5000 AX2 that was displayed at Ag Days wraps only round bales, while the TL 5500AX2 and TL6500 AX2 can wrap big round bales and big square bales, rapidly switching between formats.

The engine and hydraulic pump are hung below the chassis, just under the control panel, which allows easy access for service and repair.

Bale size, weight and elapsed time before opening all vary.

Tubeline wrappers have limit switches so that the cycle time fits the projected time requirements of the bale. A twin wrap option doubles the thickness of the wraps with each turn of the hoop for when the operator knows the bales won’t be opened for a lengthy period or thinks tough straw might puncture the wrap.

The ram runs on rubber wheels in a closed track system, which reduces energy requirements and parts wear compared to conventional steel-on-steel systems.

The TRL 5000 AX2 can wrap 120 big round bales per hour and handle round bales up to five and half feet in diameter.

Controls are electric over hydraulic.

A film sensor shuts the machine down when the roll is empty so no bales are missed.

For more information, contact Denstedt at 888-856-6613 or visit www.tubeline.ca.

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