Hip to be square

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Enorossi Enopack 900 small square baler

As the sun beats down on a calm Novem­ber af­ter­noon in the south-west Vic­to­rian town of Winchelsea, Noel Cas­tle and his wife Glenys are flat out bal­ing and cart­ing hay.

Glenys is on their new Enorossi Enopack 900 small square baler and Noel is in charge of cart­ing du­ties aboard his old but re­li­able New Hol­land 1035 self-pro­pelled bale wagon. It’s a race against na­ture as threat­en­ing storm clouds start to build in the west.

As I drive into the pad­dock to wit­ness the new baler in ac­tion, I am in­stantly trans­ported back to my late teenage years, back to the days when a young school kid could earn enough money cart­ing hay dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­days to keep him in pocket money for the rest of the year.

Sup­pressed mem­o­ries of blis­ters, sun­burn, sore eyes and stale sand­wiches packed in an old foam Eski flood back. I seem to re­mem­ber rip­ping the knees out of ev­ery good pair of Levi jeans I owned, then hav­ing to spend half of my hard-earned in­come re­plac­ing them. Lit­tle did I know that 30 years later in 2017 ev­ery teenager would be pay­ing a hefty sum for brand-new jeans that al­ready had the knees ripped and frayed. Go fig­ure!

And I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber strug­gling to un­der­stand the laws of na­ture. I grap­pled with the mys­tery that no mat­ter what di­rec­tion the truck was trav­el­ling, the wind, with­out fail, al­ways blew di­rectly in my face.

MOD­ERN SPIN

The words ‘Ital­ian made’ in­stantly make me think of pre­ci­sion­made equip­ment. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily about its ap­pear­ance but more about the smooth sym­phony cre­ated by the rhythm of hun­dreds of mov­ing parts all work­ing to­gether in per­fect uni­son.

That is the ex­act im­pres­sion I re­ceived the mo­ment I wit­nessed the Enorossi Enopack 900 in ac­tion for the first time.

The stroke of the plunger in­side the cham­ber cre­ates a per­fectly timed beat. The nee­dles and knot­ters chime in with timed reg­u­lar­ity and the 1.8m tined pickup pro­vides con­stant ma­te­rial to the main per­form­ers.

It is this per­fectly per­formed har­mony that pro­duces an op­ti­mum-shaped and -weighted bale ev­ery time – each one ex­actly the same as the last.

So it goes with­out say­ing that my first gut feel­ing about the Enorossi small square baler is noth­ing short of ex­cel­lent.

At first glance it seems that noth­ing much has changed in the way of small square baler de­sign. The heavy fly wheel on the

It is this per­fectly per­formed har­mony that pro­duces an op­ti­mumshaped and -weighted bale ev­ery time – each one ex­actly the same as the last

Enopack 900 is PTO-driven, the grass is fed into the front of the baler by a tined pickup, swept into the cham­ber by twin forks, cut and com­pressed by the plunger, and tied be­fore be­ing spat out the back ready for the dreaded job of hay cart­ing.

But while ev­ery­thing seems un­changed from the early-model balers from the 1950s and ’60s, a closer in­spec­tion re­veals that while the ba­sic de­sign is sim­i­lar, the in­di­vid­ual fea­tures have been im­proved dra­mat­i­cally.

The new Enorossi Enopack 900 has adopted elec­tron­ics, hy­draulics, au­to­matic lu­bri­ca­tion and clean­ing mech­a­nisms to bring it into line with mod­ern ma­chin­ery. Com­pared to the old New Hol­land 56 I used to op­er­ate years ago, the Enorossi 900 is faster, qui­eter, smoother and pro­duces a bet­ter bale in terms of con­sis­tency and den­sity.

OLD HABITS

I can’t help my­self; as soon as I get out of my car I walk straight up to one of the freshly made bales to find out if it passes the qual­ity in­spec­tion. Ev­ery farmer, or ex-farmer, checks a new fence line for straight­ness, a plough fur­row for even depth and a hay bale for den­sity and weight. It’s just what we do.

The per­fectly shaped bale passes the pickup test with fly­ing colours. The 36cm-high, 46cm-wide and 120cm-long Enorossi bale is per­fectly straight, in­di­cat­ing equal pres­sure has been placed on both sides of the cham­ber.

The cut side of the bale shows only beau­ti­fully sliced stalk ends so the knife must be sharp and do­ing its job prop­erly. The strings are tight but there is enough space to slide my fin­gers un­der. Ev­ery bale is firm and dense and a bloody hell of a lot heav­ier than I seem to re­mem­ber.

I re­peat the test a num­ber of times and ev­ery bale is ex­actly the same which is crit­i­cal when build­ing a good qual­ity stack. There is not a bro­ken or bent bale to be seen so the knot­ters are work­ing per­fectly as well.

NEW TWIST

The new Enopack 900 has a 180cm-wide pickup with flared edges, and a handy ad­di­tion is a hy­draulic lift­ing arm. This al­lows the op­er­a­tor to con­tin­u­ally ad­just the height of the pickup to suit the con­di­tions with­out leav­ing the com­fort of the cabin.

The smooth-run­ning tined pickup gath­ers in the windrow very ef­fi­ciently, barely leav­ing a sin­gle blade of grass be­hind.

Dual heavy-duty sweeps work in per­fect har­mony with the plunger drag­ging hay across into the cham­ber in be­tween plunger strokes.

The plunger op­er­ates at 93 strokes per minute but even at that speed con­tin­ues to run very smoothly and doesn’t rock the trac­tor back and forth like the older balers used to.

Bale den­sity is one of the few fea­tures that have re­mained a man­u­ally ad­justed set­ting. The bale den­sity can be al­tered man­u­ally by us­ing two ad­just­ing springs, which al­lows the op­er­a­tor to choose the pres­sure on the bale depend­ing on his or her needs.

Wind­ing down two levers at the rear of the bale cham­ber cre­ates more pres­sure on the bale, thus in­creas­ing the bale den­sity and weight.

The dual knot­ters have changed lit­tle over the past 50 years but a few handy in­clu­sions on the Enopack 900 help main­tain proper per­for­mance. An au­to­matic lu­bri­cat­ing de­vice guar­an­tees just the right amount of oil is ap­plied to the mech­a­nism. From mem­ory, too much or too lit­tle oil on the knot­ters can greatly hin­der their proper per­for­mance.

An elec­tric blower fan pre­vents dust and chaff build­ing up, which can also hin­der the knot­ters ef­fec­tively ty­ing off the bales, and an op­tional light kit mounted to the baler di­rects light over the knot­ters when bal­ing through the night.

To add a bit of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to an old de­sign, Enorossi has fit­ted an elec­tronic bale counter to keep ac­cu­rate records of bale num­bers

An ex­tra ad­justable pneu­matic wheel mounted to the rear of the baler is a safety de­vice in­stalled to pro­tect the pickup. It pre­vents the out­side wheel of the baler from drop­ping into a hole which would cause the pickup to smash into the ground.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

Small square balers are still get­ting heaps of work main­tain­ing sup­ply into the horse, stud stock and hobby farmer mar­ket, not to men­tion also bal­ing up straw for the nurs­ery in­dus­try to sell as mulch.

If you’re work­ing in this space and need a well-de­signed piece of equip­ment then in my view you can’t help but be onto a real win­ner with this Enorossi Enopack 900. I am def­i­nitely a fan.

On the face of it the Enorossi Enopack 900 is like any other small square baler, but it soon be­comes ap­par­ent that this is a next-level ma­chine. Words and pho­tos by Tom Dick­son 1

2 4 6 1. An­other per­fectly shaped and weighted bale

ex­its the Enorossi Enopack 900’s bale cham­ber 2. The good-sized windrow dis­ap­pears with ease

down the throat of the 1.8m pickup

3. The dual bind­ing knot­ters fea­ture a self

lu­bri­cat­ing mech­a­nism

4. The elec­tric fan blows dust and de­bris away

from the knot­ters

5. The ad­justable ten­sion mech­a­nism de­ter­mines

the weight and den­sity of the bales

6. An elec­tronic bale counter adds a touch of

mod­ern tech­nol­ogy

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7. There’s plenty of room for up to six

bun­dles of twine

8. A rear safety wheel pre­vents the baler from drop­ping into holes and dam­ag­ing the pickup

9. Op­er­at­ing at 540rpm, the large fly­wheel with built-in shear pin main­tains con­stant mo­men­tum to the main work­ing parts

10. The hy­draulic ram on the pickup al­lows con­tin­ual height ad­just­ment from the op­er­a­tor’s seat

11. There’s a 1.8m-wide pickup

12. Dotty, the res­i­dent qual­ity con­trol ex­pert, checks ev­ery bale for the cor­rect den­sity and com­fort 11

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