Chains and slats were standard in round balers decades ago, but most manufacturers shifted to continuous belts.
Germany’s Krone held out against that move, citing the reliability of chain systems to form a bale under nearly any forage harvesting conditions and the reliability of the all-metal design.
The company will continue to offer its chain baler designs but now it has launched a rubber replacement with a new belt machine.
Krone said it had years of feedback from North American farmers who preferred the belt system’s speed and flexibility, as well as it being the standard for region.
Texas producer Stephen Turner tried the machine and said its ability to open, eject and close again in five seconds was a feature in the new unit that saves operator time and said it was the fastest baler he had run.
Krone said the design allows the machine to have three different densities for a single bale. For instance, the core could be softer for greater air movement, the middle more dense for volume, and the outer layer could be very dense for durability.
The baler also has a hydraulic floor that can be released from the cab in the event of plug. The optional eight-inch control panel has a built-in camera system so the operator doesn’t need to turn to watch the machine.
The new VariPack round balers are available in 4×5 and 4×6 bale sizes.
The company said its belted design will maintain the Krone reputation for forming a bale under nearly any conditions.