Engineers at Kuhn must be busy clearing wall space in their offices to hang all the awards the company’s new SW 4014 bale wrapper has picked up lately. When the company displayed it at Germany’s Agritechnica in November it raked in a Silver Innovation award. Earlier in the year it won an AE50 award here in North America.
The SW 4014 has an autoload feature designed to wrap large square or round bales in a non-stop field operation, making life easier on the tractor operator and speeding up operations considerably.
“In the past the driver needed to look back and estimate when he is at the centre of the bale,” explained Bart deVries, Kuhn product and marketing manager, at the company’s Agritechnica display in November. “Now all he has to do is drive up and the machine is doing all the rest. It’s non-stop wrapping. At up to three km/h it will pick up a bale in the field. Before, you had to stop. Now it’s fully automated.”
The wrapper uses laser sensor technology to scan ahead for bales as it moves through a field, determining each bale’s position and exact size. Once the bale is in the correct location between the rollers, they automatically pinch together, lift the bale and begin the wrapping process. The wrapper can handle square bales up to 2.0 metres and round bales up to 1.4 metres in diameter. Maximum bale weight is 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds).
The SW 4014 is ISOBUS compatible and can plug into the back of any tractor equipped with a virtual terminal. Or it can be ordered with the company’s own terminal, which is also ISOBUS compliant, so it can be used to control other ISOBUS implements as well.
Unlike some other wrappers, the SW 4014’s IntelliWrap feature is capable of making an even or odd number of wraps, which allows for precise seals without wasting plastic. The company’s plastic wrap containers also come with a chart operators can use to determine how many wraps are required by matching the moisture content of the hay to the number of months it is expected to remain in storage.
“Most machines will only do four, six, eight or 10, wraps,” said de Vries. “This machine will do (odd numbered wraps) — five, seven and nine. So depending on the moisture content, you can always apply just the right amount of film wraps.”
In the field, the SW 4014 has an operating width of four metres, but its hydraulic sliding frame folds down to 2.5 metres for transport.
Tractors need to supply 45 to 60 litres/min. of hydraulic flow to operate the wrapper. However, the SW 4014 can be ordered with an on-board, PTO-driven hydraulic pump. That, according to the company, will allow an operator to save fuel by running the tractor at lower engine r.p.m.
The wrappers began full production in September. For more information visit kuhn.com.