While I was at the as the Professional Crop Producers Conference earlier this year, I attended an equipment session titled “Hay Baler Adjustments and Maintenance” presented by Gary George from Deere Country Farm and Lawn.

The following article is an overview of the session.

Good baler performance starts with a good windrow. The more evenly the hay is fed into the pickup the better the baler will perform. Large piles in the windrow the will greatly affect the density and size of the bales.

Start at the PTO. Make sure the drawbar of the tractor is low enough that the baler hitch and the PTO are level. Newer tractors with straight drawbars and larger tires often result in the balers running “nose up” which puts extra stress on the driveline.

Examine the universal joints for hair line cracks and signs of wear. Look at the slip clutch linings and check spring length on the bolts. It is a good idea to release the tension on the clutch, block the plunger and run the baler to ensure the clutch is free and clean.

Readjust the tension on the slip clutch bolts to manufacture specifications.

Flywheel; check the shearbolt, should be installed with the threads out. Also check the flywheel bushings by facing the flywheel and pulling on each side and check for any wobble.

Be careful if you adjust the chain to the feederhouse. If you tighten the chain you may affect the timing. Grease the plunger.