Latest self-propelled round baler ‘makes good operators even better’
Vermeer’s self-propelled round baler broke cover last year; the so-called ZR5 got its first public outing at Husker Harvest Days in the US.Also Read: Self-propelled round baler arrives: It’s a reality
According to the North American manufacturer, the ZR5 promises to make “quick work of any field”, while supposedly “offering unprecedented ride quality and maneuverability”.
More recently, the company has been busy extolling the virtues of the machine’s considerable automatic driver-aids.
In this video (below) produced by Vermeer, Forage Systems engineer Gary Burns explains how automation can help “reduce steps in the baling process” and “ultimately help increase productivity”.
He says that the ZR5 takes the baling process down to one step, versus the “traditional nine steps with a tractor-baler combination”.
He explained: The ZR5 really helps you to be able to start being productive a lot sooner than you would be with traditional baling equipment.
The automation allows you to take a lot of the tediousness out of the baling process, because it remembers and does a lot of the routine things for you.
“So after an operator’s been working, say, seven, eight or nine hours a day, they can still produce good quality bales after several hours of working. That’s because you don’t have to: look back a lot; pull a lot of levers; or push in or release clutches.
“There’s a lot less physical work for you to do.”
Gary (pictured below) went on to say that automation takes a lot of the experience and knowledge that might normally be required out of the equation.
He said: “It lets someone with maybe a lower or less experienced skill level be a fairly good operator. It can make good operators even better.”
The machine automatically stops when it reaches ‘full bale’. Then if you are turning it will [tie] the bale and turn and then, when the bale is finished, it will open the tailgate, release the bale, close the tailgate and turn back at the same time.
“Then,” added Gary, “at the end of the automation process, push the ‘go’ button to confirm that you want to start a new bale and the machine will go ahead and start you up.”
At the time of its launch last year, Josh Vrieze, Vermeer’s product manager, said that the VR5’s “patent-pending suspension technology allows operators to better handle the bumps and jostling that naturally comes with baling”.
He explained: “Operators experience a smoother, more comfortable ride with the cab uniquely positioned over the suspension.”
With a nod to the lawn-care industry, Vermeer has applied ‘zero-radius turning’ technology to this machine’s steering system. This feature, says Vermeer, allows better maneuverability than a conventional tractor-baler combination.