The Marcrest Bale Baron bale accumulator has given Mid Canterbury company Drummond Contracting Ltd more capacity and new options.
Daniel Drummond has done three seasons with his Bale Baron, which he uses to bundle up small square bales of hay, balage and straw.
Drummond Contracting is a small contracting business based at Fairton, between Ashburton and Rakaia. It specialises in baling and does a lot of work on lifestyle blocks and smaller farms.
Daniel hadn’t used Marcrest products before, but he previously worked in Canada, the home of Marcrest, where he saw their machinery in action.
“From the research I did and from what I had seen overseas, I knew it was a good option. It was about taking the plunge. Then North Canterbury Equipment approached me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to have a crack.”
He purchased the Bale Baron 4245P pick-up model, which hooks on to the back of the tractor and gathers conventional bales from off the paddock.
The machine follows Drummond Contracting’s two conventional
balers. It bundles 21, 18 or nine small squares into large, compact bales, which can be easily loaded onto the back of a truck or stacked in the shed.
“If the rain is coming, we can get the balers in and go for it. We can get the bales in the shed within a few hours. Nothing is touched by hand,” Daniel says. “One day we did 1800 bales in 12 hours because of the weather forecast. We raked, baled, and bundled the bales, then carted and stacked them in the shed. I didn’t think we would do it, but we beat the rain.”
Daniel says he usually picks up and bundles 18 conventional bales with the Bale Baron.
“It produces a nice big bale, which we can get on the back of the truck. We have just completed out third season and the numbers we do with it are steadily growing.”
“Probably 70 percent of the work we do is contracting for others and the rest is bundling bales for ourselves.”
Daniel leases several small blocks around Ashburton. He also buys and sells standing grass and bales it to sell to local farmers, so the Bale Baron gets plenty of work.
“I have been impressed with the sheer efficiency of it. It would be pretty hard to get through the work we do without the Baron.”
“We still have quite a few clients who like to stack their small squares in the shed themselves. But anyone with 200-plus bales can see the benefit of paying a bit extra and letting the Baron do it. They can stand back and have a beer.”
“Having the Baron allows us to get more hay done in those smaller windows, which we seem to be having more of these days.”
Getting experienced staff can be a challenge these days, but Daniel says the Marcrest Bale Baron is straight forward to operate.
The touchscreen display in the tractor identifies most issues, and they can generally be resolved with the touch of a button in the cab.
While the new series of Bale Barons run on ISOBUS, Daniel has an earlier model which runs on tractor hydraulics and a tablet.
The double-tie Rasspe knotters are reliable and low maintenance and the Bale Baron is compatible with other machinery, making it easy to source parts when there is a break down.
Daniel also uses a Marcrest clamp alongside the Bale Baron. It makes handling bales efficient and easy.
He says North Canterbury Equipment has been good to deal with, with most issues resolved over the phone, aside from “a
couple of warranty claims”, which were promptly resolved by NC
Equipment and Marcrest.
“We quite enjoy the machine. It has changed the direction we were going. It has definitely been a game-changer.”
NC Equipment distributes the Bale Baron range in both the North and South Islands. Phone 0800 908 908 to find out about a demonstration in your area.