‘Ploughing 2018’: On-the-ground updates for McHale mowers and balers

As always, McHale kept something up its sleeve for the National Ploughing Championships. This year, four significant improvements to existing products (rather than brand new machines) are front and centre.

Paul McHale (pictured above) was up bright and early; he was eager to explain the most recent developments, which the designers have been working on in Co. Mayo.

The first update addresses the problem of light crops – an issue that has drawn some criticism in the past, whereby thin crops could struggle to pass into a baler’s chamber.

The company has now installed a plastic plate that sits between the pick-up reel and the chamber; it can tilt up or down, to match crop density.

It’s mounted on a ‘buffer system’ that’s preset in the factory and adjusts throat height automatically (as the crop passes over it).

Another update (for balers/wrappers) is an ingenious and effective aid for loading rolls of film onto the platform (of Fusion Plus machines).

To overcome the need to carry heavy rolls up the access ladder, engineers have adapted part of the guard-rail so that it swings down to accept a roll at ground level. It can then be elevated up – for loading.

Another product update is the option of a recording unit that not only counts the number of bales produced but also their weight and moisture content.

At present, the system is intended to give an average for a field rather than tagging of individual bales. However, Paul is ruling nothing out for the future. The information is displayed on the company’s own in-cab ‘iTouch’ control console.

Last but not least is the addition of an extra pair of rams on the Pro Glide series of rear-mounted mowers. These enable the operator to adjust the working width by up to 300mm on either side.

This system, which adds “only marginally” to the overall weight, will become a standard fitting. It’s chiefly designed to compensate for when a tractor starts crabbing on sloping ground.

Overall, Paul was upbeat about the company’s present position and future prospects. He is not phased about the recent arrival of several competing balers (and baler-wrappers), saying: “It’s best to stay focused on what we are doing, although, of course, we do keep an eye on other makes.”

When pushed on what McHale might have in the pipeline he did hint at a significant announcement at the next Agritechnica show in Germany.