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Friday, 14 September 2018 10:00

RB for knockout rounds

Written by  Mark Daniel
Massey Ferguson’s RB variable baler. Massey Ferguson’s RB variable baler.

With AGCO buying the grassland division of Lely in 2017, it was a sure bet Massey Ferguson would launch a new round baler range taking the best from the Welger stable and building on MF’s long history in such products.

The new RB series, resplendent in MF red, is already available in Europe in Fendt natural green. It comes in a range of variable-chamber machines for the Australasian market, with several patented changes that come from both camps, but it still has familiar features recognisable by Welger fans.

The range offers a choice of two balers -- the RB 2160V and RB 2180V, making bales of 0.9 to 1.6m and 0.9 to 1.8m diameter, respectively. 

The Xtracut versions of the same machines have chopping units with options of 13, 17 or 25 knives. The chopping unit sees a helically designed rotor pushing crop across the hydraulically controlled knives; in the case of the 17 or 25 knife set-ups these can be used as single or double banks to adjust the chop length. 

Overload protection is offered by the well-known Hydroflex control, first seen in the Welger camp, that allows the lower part of the feed channel to drop and reduce the risk of blockages. In auto-mode this happens if small lumps are present, but in the case of a major blockage the system can be lowered manually to get things going again.

Ahead of the chopper unit a range of pick-up sizes, dependent on model, range from 2.00 through 2.25 to 2.4 metre working widths, with all-important tine-to-tine distances of 1.60, 1.86 or 2.2m respectively; all sizes use camless 5-bar layouts, said to allow higher speeds and quiet operation. 

The driveline has a Powersplit gearbox for optimum power distribution, and automated chain lubrication helps prolong chain life and reduce maintenance.

In the 1.23m wide bale chamber, four endless belts form the bale, using a patented sliding tailgate and two additional rollers to quickly form the bale core. 

Mechanical tailgate latches work with a constant pressure system -- two heavy-duty coils springs -- to achieve even density all through the baling process, helping to bale at pressures up to 180 bar.

The machines come standard with the Varionet system that net-wraps finished bales, and twine binding can be specified as an optional extra. 

Productive days are the fruit of the RB’s easy loading system and its ability to carry up to three rolls of net, allowing quick changeover. 

Control is by the E-Link system that gives a good view of all the machine functions. An E-Link Pro version uses integrated ISOBUS technology to offer a larger, brighter screen, with a broader range of information that includes customer, farm and field information for future reference. 

A range of tyre options means machines can be shod to suit all type of tasks and terrain.

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