Large square bale production is now more efficient than ever before with the introduction of the new generation AGCO Hesston 7400 Series large square balers.

A complete review of large square baler technology has produced a new, cleaner and more contoured look on the outside and faster, stronger and smarter components on the inside. At the same time, the new Model 7444, 4 × 4 and Model 7434, 3 × 4 retain proven Hesston elements like the double knotter and single gearbox chain drive.

“Since Hesston introduced the first large square baler nearly 30 years ago, we have preserved the best and improved the rest with every new generation, and we've done the same with the AGCO Hesston 7400 Series,” says Eric Raby, vice-president, livestock, dairy, and rural lifestyle marketing, AGCO.

“There simply isn't a more effective or easier to maintain drive system or more efficient knotter in the industry; so they were retained. However, where changes could improve handling and quality retention, we made them. The new feeder design and a faster gearbox improve capacity, while heavier tines and a new flotation system improve pickup. Serviceability is improved and durability enhanced with tougher components.”

Productivity starts with time in the field, and operators will get there faster and spend more time baling thanks to a combination of more durable components and improved serviceability. Moving from four slip clutch disks to five extends the main slip clutch life. Sealed bearings replace greaseable sleeves, and tapered roller bearings replace roller ball bearings. These improvements mean fewer service points and service less often as service intervals increase to 50 hours from 10. Even the knotter requires less service time as an Auto-Lube system, adjustable from the cab, replaces a hand-pump system.

“The in-cab controls for the Auto-Lube system let the operator adjust lubrication to field conditions, ensuring a smooth running baler without a maintenance stop,” says Jeff Noll, marketing specialist, hay and forage equipment. “Service is easier too with the shielding redesign. Single-latch access panels on either side reveal all side service points, while shifting twine storage from vertical to 30 degrees improves twine storage capacity and allows easier access to additional service points.”

Improvements on the hay pickup and feeder system enhance bale quality and capacity. The low-profile, four-bar pickup previously only available on the 3 × 4 baler had proven itself gentler on leaves. It is now standard on both the Model 7434, 3 × 4 and Model 7444, 4 × 4 balers.

Potential for bunching and override that can occur with the traditional single set of stub augers has been reduced. New patent-pending quad augers on both large square bale models feed hay smoothly and quickly to packer fingers. Cutter versions of the new balers employ a single overhead auger and base stub augers to move hay smoothly to the rotor feeding system.

Capacity is further enhanced with the addition of a heavier flywheel for greater plunger inertia and a faster gearbox. “We increased gearbox speed on the Model 7444 from 25 to 33 strokes per minute and 42 to 47 strokes per minute on the Model 7434,” says Noll.

“Improving flow and speed throughout the system has increased capacity for the new balers by 30 percent on the Model 7444, 4 × 4 and 10 percent on the Model 7434, 3 × 4.”

The single gearbox with chain drive design has long proven effective and operator friendly, adds Noll. Should a bolt be sheared, the operator simply lines up the two holes and reinstalls the bolt with proper timing assured. Competitors often use multiple gearboxes with multiple ways a sheared bolt can be replaced incorrectly, resulting in improper timing and the potential for significant damage.

“Throughout this redesign, our engineers strived to maintain the Hesston tradition of simplicity in maintenance and operation and our reputation for producing the highest possible quality bale in the most efficient and effective manner,” says Raby.

“Combine our new AGCO Global Technologies Console I control monitor and our ISOBUS ready design, and these new balers are even more operator friendly. The new color monitor offers superior viewing in all light conditions and easier access to track and adjust baler functions from the driver's seat. Our redesign makes these balers faster and better, and our technology makes them more intelligent. That means increased productivity for our customers.”

For more information on AGCO Hesston, visit www.agcoiron.com.