How fast does the Bale Band-it operate?
In a controlled environment and with a tractor hydraulic supply of 25 gpm, the model 200 Bale Band-It can handle a bale consistently every 5.5 seconds thru the tie cycle. This is a rate of 654.5 bales per hour, but would be very hard to attain in the field due to turning at the end rows and the baler not consistently making a bale every 5.5 seconds.
A common question is asked “Will the Bale Band-It slow down my baling?”. This depends on a couple of factors. The first factor is whether or not the tractor being used has enough hydraulic capacity. If it has at least 25 gpm, then it needs to be hooked up to the Bale Band-It properly to prevent flow restrictions. The second factor is whether or not the operator is currently baling within the recommended strokes per bale, which depends on bale length. For example, most (if not all) baler manuals specify that each stroke should not exceed a 3″ slice in the bale. So if you wanted to make a 39″ bale, the baler manufacturers recommend a minimum of 13 strokes per bale. If the operator puts at least 13 strokes in each bale (for a 39″ bale), they will have consistent bale lengths and very uniform bales. On a high capacity inline baler that has 100 strokes per min, this would produce approximately 461 bales per hour if baling was non-stop. On other balers the strokes per minute are less, around 92 strokes per minute which is approximately 424 bales per hour if baling was non-stop. So to answer the question “Will the Bale Band-It slow down my baling?”. No, the Bale Band-It will not slow down the operation, if at least 25 gpm (2500 psi min) is supplied to the machine and the operator is baling at the recommended strokes per bale.
If an operator has a tendency to bale faster (less strokes per bale) then it is possible to overrun the machine during the tie cycle (bale 21). If this was to happen, the bales would begin to pile up at the front of the unit due to the fact that the machine will not take them vertically into the elevator until it is ready for them. For those who are interested in knowing how to know the number of strokes per bale that are being made, there are a couple of ways to do this. One is by visually counting the plunges for each bale being tied by the baler. The other way is to purchase a stroke counter for the baler. Stroke counters have a monitor that goes in the tractor cab and indicates how many strokes the last bale had. You would then adjust the ground speed (not the tractor rpm!) to fit the appropriate strokes per bale. This will, in many cases, fix issues with inconsistent bale length and uniformity.