Meet The Owner
Mark Niblock runs an agricultural contracting business in county Monaghan, Ireland.
Mark has a wealth of machinery knowledge, backed up by a number of years working for local contractors. Starting out with a stand-alone baler and wrapper, he is running his own contracting business since 2016. An issue for Mark was the unavailability of drivers to operate a separate wrapper, which got him thinking about a combi-wrapper machine.
Mark said: “I saw the Kuhn FBP 3135 working at the last Grass & Muck show and it impressed me”.
Mark made contact with a well-known contractor who has a long-standing history of Kuhn balers and got his opinion on the FBP 3135. Mark took his word and struck a deal with local Kuhn dealer Martins Garage.
KUHN FBP 3135 – Key Features
Pickup and Rotor
The FBP 3135’s ability to take in grass is a key feature for Mark. It is fitted with a 2.3m pickup complete with five tines bars which run on a cam track. The pickup follows the ground very well, putting a lot of this down to the positioning of the pickup wheels.
The FBP 3135 is fitted with the Opticut 23 rotor which spans the full width of the pickup. The close positioning between the pickup tines and the Hardox steel rotor makes for a smooth, steady crop flow, regardless of crop length. The rotor’s integrated augers at either end stops grass getting blocked.
If the baler blocks while the chamber is nearly full and net or film is about to be applied, causing the slip clutch to engage, the pickup and rotor can be disengaged at the press of a button. The bale can then be bound and discharged from the chamber without more grass being fed in. This saves valuable time without turning off the PTO.
Behind the rotor is the 23 knife selectable knife bank, which can provide a theoretical chop length as short as 45mm. The knives are automatically cleaned at set intervals.
“Chop consistency is good. I’d put a lot of it down to the fact knives are a good length, passing well through the rotor tines, creating a good cut.”
Both net and film can be left in position for binding. A lot of customers are moving towards film binding over net. The two rolls need to be inserted so the full width of the bale is covered and replacing film rolls is quick and easy.
Having the option to bind bales with film, as an alternative to net, is a game changer in farming. The whole process is more cost effective and environmentally friendly when it comes to less recycling.
The chamber consists of 18 rollers made from 3.2mm thick steel. The drive side of each is fitted with 50mm double-raced bearings, with all bearings centrally greased using an automatic greasing system.
The rollers have scrapers built in to push material away from the bearings. The pickup and rotor are driven from the left, while all 18 rollers are driven from the right.
Sensors on the rear chamber door monitor bale formation from 80% and inform the operator through the terminal whether to fill either the left or right side of the chamber. This feature keeps bales consistently well shaped.
Transfer and wrapping
The transfer system consists of two transfer arms. The first catches the bale as it leaves the chamber, passing it on to the main transfer arm and then on to the table.
When using conventional film, the bale is already 60% covered once on the wrapper. The 3D wrapping system will start by applying film to the edges and barrel of the bale. Once 80% of the bale is covered in film, the remainder is wrapped conventionally. The 3D system is extremely fast and efficient.
As he prepares the FBP 3135 for its second season, Mark is impressed with the baler: “Its intake can’t be faulted. Regardless of row size or if it’s short grass, it still swallows it. Its’ bales have all been well shaped and solid. A few farmers have even commented over the winter on the chop quality.”
Marks FBP 3135 is fitted with 500/45 R22.5 tyres which he says, along with the tandem axle, allows the machine to travel the ground well, even in wetter conditions. The low overall height, which he believes contributes to the good crop intake, also means the bale on the wrapping table can be easily seen while it’s being wrapped.
“It has a couple of unique features that stand out, particularly the pickup and rotor disengagement and film binding using conventional film”.
Width: 2.97m (9.41ft)
Length: 6.4m (21.19ft)
Knives: 23 knife selectable floor (combinations 0-7-11-12-23)
Bale Chamber: 18 Rollers
Terminal: Isobus compatible
Pickup: 2.3m, five tine bar cam track