385 Baler, twisted the belts
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    amber's Avatar
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    385 Baler, twisted the belts

    What did I do wrong? Currently, it's in the shop to fix the problem. I still have half a field to finish baling, though. So, I'm wondering, what did I do to cause this?

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    When attempting to start core especially with a smaller windrow one needs to weave rapidly from side to side so core is level to near level. I'll bet the forming core in your baler resembled a snow-cone cup or tepee. Flipping belts back over is a PITA but not impossible to do & can be done without taking splices loose. BTDT several times when I was employed by JD dealer
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    Zebrafive (06-13-2016)

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    amber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tx Jim View Post
    When attempting to start core especially with a smaller windrow one needs to weave rapidly from side to side so core is level to near level. I'll bet the forming core in your baler resembled a snow-cone cup or tepee. Flipping belts back over is a PITA but not impossible to do & can be done without taking splices loose. BTDT several times when I was employed by JD dealer
    Thank you! It was a smaller windrow. Unfortunately, the two belts that flipped, also twisted together There was no way I was getting that apart...even if I did attempt to take the splices out. I'm kind of a wimp.
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    Open the baler

    Quote Originally Posted by amber View Post
    Thank you! It was a smaller windrow. Unfortunately, the two belts that flipped, also twisted together There was no way I was getting that apart...even if I did attempt to take the splices out. I'm kind of a wimp.
    At least on our very veteran Vermeer baler, if you open the bale door the belts loose up. Then you can untwist or flip them. I'm not sure if that's true for all balers. Obviously you also don't want to be in the baler but you can flip the belts from outside. The other alternative is to loosen the springs/torsion bar or whatever provides tension to the belts.

    Yes, I've twisted the belts and as previous poster said, it's because of an uneven starting feed. It's worse for me with hay with more moisture. Hang in there, even when it gets frustrating. I would ask the dealer tech to show you what they did to straighten everything up. Even if you don't want to do it, it's worth knowing how so you have some feel for what the fee should be at the shop. Obviously it's a lot easier doing it in a shop than in the middle of a hot hay field. I'll bet the tech even takes a leaf blower to the baler before working on it!

    Treefarmer currently with hay on the ground
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    Opening rear gate will put slack in belts on JD rd balers built since the mid 80's. Getting the twisted belts straightened out in area between metal starter roller & lower belt drive roller is a challenge because of the stated rollers close proximity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by amber View Post
    Thank you! It was a smaller windrow. Unfortunately, the two belts that flipped, also twisted together There was no way I was getting that apart...even if I did attempt to take the splices out. I'm kind of a wimp.
    Amber
    You're welcome. Do you own a rake?

    For my JD 467 I rake three 9 ft swathes together to create a large windrow that requires very little if any weaving to form a level bale of hay. There's no chance for belts to flip in my baler.
    Jim
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    amber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tx Jim View Post
    Amber
    You're welcome. Do you own a rake?

    For my JD 467 I rake three 9 ft swathes together to create a large windrow that requires very little if any weaving to form a level bale of hay. There's no chance for belts to flip in my baler.
    Jim
    I've never done three. Last year was my first time to do the cutting so I raked two swathes together. This year, my grass was quite a bit taller, so I thought I could get by with just one. I guess I was wrong haha
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    The hay controls the rake

    Quote Originally Posted by amber View Post
    I've never done three. Last year was my first time to do the cutting so I raked two swathes together. This year, my grass was quite a bit taller, so I thought I could get by with just one. I guess I was wrong haha
    I try to let the hay volume control the rake, in other words I'll put as much or as little together as necessary to get a good windrow. It's not perfect as conditions vary across the field but when double or triple raking you can move over into the already raked portion to put less hay in the windrow or go full width for more hay. I'm so used to weaving that I'll shoot for a windrow about 1/3- 1/2 of the baler width. Maybe it's to cover up that I can't drive straight. . . The weaving makes it look intentional, at least that's my story anyway.

    I look with some envy when seeing some of the new balers with auto tie, auto fill etc. Then I look at the price tag and get over it pretty quickly. I'll bet they won't last the 30+ years our old one has either but one of these days, I'll offer to help someone bale with one of the new machine just to see how it feels.

    Treefarmer
    Last edited by Treefarmer; 06-13-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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    treefarmer
    Tons per acre of production has a lot to do with how many swaths can/should be raked together. If 2 tons per acre or less I rake three together. I will stop & correct my rake tractor driver if I catch him raking anything other than full swathes IE I detest trying to bale 1-1/2 or 2-1/2 swathes as it causes baler operator to have a very difficult time to make a level bale. My H&S 14 wheel rake is similar to one in photo so I can rake 1,2 or 3 nine ft swathes with one pass. Several yrs back one field I remember made 8+ 4X5.5 bales to the acre and I opted to rake 1 swath to bale. Windrow was dragging a little under my 120 HP baling tractor. I also detest/refuse to bale windrows made by 2 passes of a side delivery rake. These type windrows have uneven places in them similar to old "bread commercial of twisting the dough". This twist in windrow makes it very difficult to fill the extreme sides of bales for a smooth appearance. My JD 467 is the easiest to operate of all the balers I've owned. Barring it catching on fire I expect it to outlast my baling career and it has 22,000+ bales on it
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    Last edited by Tx Jim; 06-13-2016 at 11:43 AM.
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    In 25 years of baling I had the belts twist one time.

    From the manual:

    Belts turn over or cross.

    Closing gate with PTO engaged and strong winds prevailing and/or side hill operation.

    Disengage PTO before opening gate.

    Operating baler empty with gate up and no tension on belts for extended periods.

    Do not operate in this manner for an extended time.

    Driving too long on one side of windrow at bale start. Hay pushes out between belts.

    Center pickup on windrow at bale start.
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