An important question to consider when purchasing a round baler or baler-wrapper: which type of bale chamber is most suitable? A fixed bale chamber with rollers, a variable bale chamber or a high density (HD) bale chamber that can produce a variable bale size? We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of bale chamber below.
Fixed bale chamber
A fixed bale chamber is a round chamber with driven steel rollers that rotate and form a round bale. This is a reliable and easy method of producing a good bale. A fixed chamber baler will still produce a good bale even under difficult conditions, for example, with short or wet crops.
When the bale chamber is being filled, the operator can use the full intake capacity. The baler will only start to compact the crop when the bale chamber is almost full. After being wrapped, the bale is ejected quickly to start forming another new bale. This means that a fixed chamber baler wrapper has a high capacity.
Due to the maintenance-friendly, reliable concept and its user-friendliness and high capacity, an advantage of a fixed chamber baler is the low cost per bale. However, the disadvantage of a fixed bale chamber is that it offers no versatility in bale diameter, and compared with a variable bale chamber it is more difficult to create good bale density with drier crops such as hay and straw.
- User-friendly method; easy to produce a good bale
- Extremely reliable concept with fixed rollers
- Good cost price per bale
- Low power requirement
- High capacity
- Very suitable for short and wet autumn crops
- Variable bale diameter not possible
- Less suitable for drier crops such as hay and straw compared with a variable bale chamber
Variable bale chamber
A variable bale chamber has a combination of fixed rollers and adjustable belts that can increase the size of the chamber. Baling pressure is built up from the core until the desired diameter is reached. It is also possible to set whether the bale should have a soft or hard core and a soft or harder outer layer. The variable concept also has a better ability to produce a good bale with a high density from dry crops such as hay and straw.
With a fixed bale chamber, the last bale to be formed might not have filled the bale chamber, so the final bale is not as firm. A variable bale chamber can compact and bind the bale well even if the chamber is not completely full.
A variable bale chamber excels in versatility. It can produce bale silage with a diameter of 1.3 m in the morning, switch to forming smaller hay bales in the afternoon and finish with large straw bales in the evening. All possible with the same machine.
A variable bale chamber is easy to use but demands a little more experience to produce the perfect bale. Especially in wet conditions, it can be more difficult to produce perfect bales.
- Variable bale size possible, from small bales for horses to large straw bales, for example
- A larger bale size can save money
- Well-compressed bales from start to finish
- Variable density from core to outer layer possible
- More suitable for dry crops such as hay and straw
- Exceptionally good cost price per bale
- Low power requirement#
- The operator will need a little more experience to produce perfect bales
- Less suitable for extremely wet autumn crops
Variable HD bale chamber
n 2022, KUHN introduced a variable high density (HD) baler-wrapper: the VBP 7100 series. This model combines the advantages of a fixed and variable bale chamber in one machine. It can bale extremely wet crops in the same way as fixed bale chamber, but it can also bale hay and straw with an extremely high bale density. The intake is designed to fill the bale chamber quickly in the same way as a fixed bale chamber. The bales are also ejected at the same speed as a fixed chamber thanks to a special bale chamber concept with two tension arms. This allows the tailgate to open and close quickly, and the belts are immediately tensioned ready to start forming a new bale. This innovative technology means the machine can easily create perfect bales in all conditions.
An HD baler-wrapper can form bales with extremely high densities. As a high bale density contains a higher volume of crop, high forage quality and lower transport costs are guaranteed. The heavy-duty construction of the bale chamber makes the machine extremely robust. The machine is over-dimensioned, so if a standard bale density is used, the machine’s service life will be extended further.
However, the price of a baler-wrapper with a variable HD bale chamber is higher than a model with a standard bale chamber. A larger tractor is also needed to utilise the high capacity of this heavier machine.
- Combines a standard fixed bale chamber and a variable bale chamber in one machine:
- Variable chamber enables variable bale size
- Innovative technology makes creating a good bale shape easy
- Suitable for short and wet autumn crops
- The variable chamber is also extremely suitable for dry crops
- High capacity
- Heavy-duty construction
- High bale density
- High forage quality
- Lower transport costs
- Extended machine service life if used for standard bale density
- Higher investment
- Larger tractor required compared with a fixed or standard variable bale chamber
- How does KUHN make a good bale?
- Save costs with a larger bale diameter
- The advantages of a higher bale density