Claas 46 baler

Discussion in 'Machinery Matters' started by ZetorMan98, Sep 15, 2020 at 11:01 PM.

  1. ZetorMan98

    ZetorMan98 Well-Known Member

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    Lads, I’ve been thinking the last while about buying a Claas 46 at handy money, needing a bit of work as a fixer upper and for making the few bales we do make every year, along with a bit of hay for a couple of neighbours. I won’t have enough work to justify buying a baler (would only make 100-150 bales a year ourselves) but would like to get one if nothing else to learn a bit about working on them and as a bit of a project that I could tidy up a bit and move on again in time.

    Ive been eyeing them up on DoneDeal for a while and prices seem to vary hugely (anything from 1500 to 5000 and occasionally a bit more). I know there will be a difference between say a narrow pickup non chopper twine only machine versus an all bells and whistles wide pickup chopper that has a netter.

    Basically I’m just looking for a bit of info on them. I may end up forgetting about it again and never buying anything too. I’ve heard plenty of good reports about them and no real horror stories. I know they may not be the fastest or nicest machine to run but it’ll be ran behind an Ursus C385 and will only do an odd few days a year.

    Are the narrow pickup balers worth bothering with these days and how do they compare to a wide pickup? And would they be any good for silage or would it be only really for hay and straw? How big of a row would they be fit to handle vs a wide pickup? I’ve only a 5ft 6” rotary mower at the minute so I know they’d manage that but at what point is it too much for the narrow one? Is twine a waste of time nowadays and could it be used with silage or would it be just hay and straw?
    Also, and this question will probably sound a bit mad, but would it be possible to fit a net unit off say a scrapped baler onto a twine only baler? Or were they a different built machine altogether to take the net. I’d be fairly handy with a welder and grinder, and electrics don’t phase me either.

    Sorry for all the silly questions. I never really saw any of them working around our part of the country and would have little knowledge of what I’d consider the ‘older’ technology. In my time it has been nearly all John Deere balers (575s and 578s) and then in the later days McHale (geography having a lot to do with that. Former major John Deere dealer in the west being in the next parish and only about 20 miles from McHale factory in Ballinrobe). As I mentioned, it’s more of a project than anything I’m looking for but would be able justify keeping it around the place if it came at right enough money. It’s not trying to cut out the contractor and I’ve no interest in trying to start contracting with it and undercut him with clapped out gear.
     
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  2. 100-90DT

    100-90DT Well-Known Member

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    I’m guessing you’d know what outfit we have,but I’ll still post it, the father bought a Krone KR130 3 years ago, all its done all its life was bale straw. For us it was not the idea of getting rid of a contractor, it’s moreso with good weather on the way it was handier for us to have a baler mower wrapper waiting, can drop 8 or 9 acres at ease and bale it up and wrap it up no bother at all, I wouldn’t get too worried about breakdowns or that, plenty of more advanced lads on here are probably cringing and laughing at the same idea but it works perfect, anyways back to the baler :scratchhead: it’s a narrow pickup model, with twine,for an old machine there isn’t really any problems I have to note about it :Thumbp2: the biggest things I’ve found with them older balers is its so basic that you don’t have much to worry about mechanically being so basic(I’m sure I will get quoted on that and pulled up on it) but that’s it for us anyways it’s a grand setup, the first few bales with it was fairly problematic (learning process) if you can find a manual online for whichever baler you buy is a massive help. The Krone manual got studied by me the full winter a dozen times over so when it came to baling there wasn’t a problem :Whistle2:that’s all I can comment about that chain and slat baler anyways, in wetter crops it’s not the best, but let’s be realistic what older baler is good in wet crops :unsure:
     
  3. MF30

    MF30 Well-Known Member

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    Have a 46 wide pickup here with net and twine option and have baled after a 25 ft combine before so it’ll pick up just about anything.
    For silage I’ve only used it once as it’s a non chopper and it’s hard to pack the bales tight enough to get value from plastic wrap. Net mechanism can be fitted over onto a twine baler, I use mostly net now due to the speed of netting versus twine. Parts second hand are readily available through the combine breakers. Bearings cost around €30, a full set of chains around €600. Good baler for hay as it won’t pack them so tight as they can’t breathe. Just make sure the baler holds the door pressure tight as there’s an expensive valve block on the baler that if worn will cause pressure loss and soft bales. I would be reluctant to go narrow pickup if only for the field corners alone, wide pickup is 1.9 m wide.
     
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  4. ZetorMan98

    ZetorMan98 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the replies lads.

    From what I can see in the photos of the ones for sale they aren’t a mad complicated machine and everything looks fairly accessible on them. They’d be a different kettle of fish I’d imagine to a chain and slat baler. And as little and all as I know about roller type balers I know nothing about chain and slats. I’d have sold chains, bearings and housings and sprockets among many other things so I’d be somewhat familiar with them.

    On the pickup, is it mainly just that the wider pickup is easier to live with? Say a bit more forgiving in corners etc as well as being able to take in a wider blow of grass?

    I notice there’s some of them that are Roto Cut models too, while some aren’t. What’s the difference in them?
     
  5. MF30

    MF30 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the wider pickup just makes life easier and cleans the field better in theory.
    A rotocut model is basically a chopper version, it has a rotor feeding material into the baler instead of the tradional packer bar with fingers.
    The rotor then feeds the material through retractable knives to give your chop. Some later non chopper balers had a rotor instead of a packer bar. The last 46 was built in 1999. Btw to change a roller bearing is a pig of a job, the roller must be removed from the inside of the baler to replace the non sprocket end bearings.
     
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  6. thefarminglad

    thefarminglad Well-Known Member

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    If you can afford get go for a rota cut model. Serious fast machine to bale and does a decent job making a bale of silage with chopper engaged. I have used both the wide pick up non rota cut and the rota cut. Rota cut with netting would be miles ahead and should last a long longer.
     
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  7. mixed fleet

    mixed fleet Well-Known Member

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    I have a 46 roto cut , mostly baling silage and some hay .
    most issues have been covered by the lads already . Wouldn't make a real tight bale but not bad. I wouldn't go without wide pick up or net.
    Just watch for the condition of the rollers. (Rust,rot) I have to replace a couple and your looking at €500 a pop for parts (roller, end plates bearings) and fit it yourself after.
    Easy drove and easy. enough to work on.
     
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  8. ZetorMan98

    ZetorMan98 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers lads. I’d love to go for a Roto cut with net, wide pickup etc but currently the budget isn’t stretching that far. I’m kind of hoping to get something middling cheap and in ok condition to get started out with and down the line if I’m happy enough with keeping one around for my own use, I’ll try to move it on and go to a Roto cut when the funds allow
     

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