At Reardon Farms in 2016 Season Review of the Bale Runner.
The following is an excerpt from a post-season review of the four-bale runner with Reardon Farms’ property manager Tristram Hertslet.
Q. With all new equipment, there is a flow of changes required and a settling in period, how long or difficult was implementing the Bale Runner into your company operations?
A. Very easy. It only required half a day of training, similar to any other machine.
Q. How many pickers did the Bale Runner look after during your picking season and did you use any other bale handling equipment?
A. It followed three pickers. We also had one on a tractor with a front and rear attachments. When we caught up we only used the Bale Runner as that was all that was needed.
Q. What was the deciding factors for you to buy the Bale Runner?
A. Carrying more bales per trip meant our tractor only spent half the amount of time traveling and half the time in the cotton stalks. It also was a way to get the bales off the paddock as quick as possible avoiding rain and extra compaction when wet.
Q. How many bales did it carry for you on average per day?
A. Approximately 300.
Q. How many broken bales did you have for the season with the Bale Runner?
Q. How efficient was the Bale Runner compared to the traditional tractor mounted bale handling systems? Were you able to measure how much more efficient your bale handling costs were?
A. The traditional set up was doing approximately 30% fewer bales per day, so as a rough guide if the tractor cost was $100 per hour for a 14 hour day. The cost per bale on a traditional bale handler works out to be $7.00/bale and the Bale Runner cost per bale is $4.66/bale, therefore, saving approximately $2.34/bale.
Q. How safe was it to use? Were there any difficulties in training staff?
A. It was safe and there is no difference in training staff as any other piece of equipment.
Q. How did the Bale Runner go compaction wise carrying 3 or 4 bales?
A. We had a dry pick so we only carried 4 bales and had no issues.
Q. Were there any issues by unloading the bales in wagon wheel style?
Q. Is the size of the Bale Runner an issue on the farm when in use?
A. It is bigger, however, it just needs to be treated like any other large piece of machinery. As the axles are close together it turns sharply and I had no issues.
Q. Any other comments?
A. This was our first year with the Bale Runner and we are pleased with how well it went and the support we received.