Haybaler Remembered

Content Tools

Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 68441

After reading the article 'Haybalers Hay Press', I've decided to write up my experience with the first windrow pickup haybaler started in August 1936, N series model size 14x18 on steel wheels and PTO drive. We pulled it with a Model L Case tractor with steel wheels.

The first thing we learned was to reduce the size of hay windows so that the treys could handle tying as fast as the hay came in. After we learned that, we had no trouble. The blocks were the 3 wire type. We used only 2 wires and made bales averaging 70 to 80 pounds.

I took 3 men on the baler. I was feeder and blocker, with one man on each side riding on running board seats. Looking at the baler from the rear, the man on the left side poked the wires through to the man on the right side who tied and retrieved the block to the block holder that the feeder (me) dropped in at the proper timing or 'goodbye blocks'. The wires were carried in a special tube on the left side ahead of the wire poker. This N series worked well baling out of stacks. By putting a sprocket on the baler and steel chain the pick up would run at stationary work so hay only had to be slid across to the pickup. It operated at 32 strokes per minute and on many stationary jobs of straw or hay I've seen 5 bales come out of the baler in a minute weighing 70 to 80 lbs. That was mowing a lot of hay in a short time with no less than 3 men in the stalls.

While on haybalers, recently I saw a 1909 picture of a stationary baler making round bales. If I can ever catch up with the original picture, I'll share it with GEM readers.

In the spring of 1936 I found a market for wheat and rye straw and shipped 38 20-ton cars of straw. The contract called for 20 tons which had to be loaded in each RR car. Did you ever try that? Then the following fall I found a market for 62 cars of hay, so I know what a bale hook was made for!