The BiG Pack Road Show
The Krone BiG Pack 1290 HDP Large Square Baler is a unique baler.
It can produce a 3’ x 4’ bale that weighs as much as a 4’ x 4’ bale. This means at the end of the day you have 25% fewer bales on your field, on the truck and in your stock, but the same amount of tons. This results in fewer bales to handle, truck and store saving operators a significant amount of money.
Saying that a 3x4 bale can weigh as much as a 4x4 is a BiG claim. To prove it, Krone set out on a seven-month tour to show producers that the BiG Pack 1290 HDP really can out bale the competition.
The BiG Pack Road Show began in early April with Niklas Beindorf, a Krone Germany employee, doing the demonstrations. The goal of the Road Show was to do as many demonstrations as possible while traveling through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas. With a JCB 8250 Fastrac, equipped with a bale scale on the front, and a BiG Pack 1290 HDP, Niklas started off his adventure in early April with many miles ahead of him.
The first stop was El Centro, Calif. in the Imperial Valley with the local dealer, Central Implement, and Krone Product Manager, Blake Fuller. The demos were a great success and the BiG Pack showed that it is the heavy weight champion. Customers at the demos were impressed with the bale shape and weights. At one demo the BP 1290 HDP was making 7’ bales of Alfalfa at 12-13% moisture that weighed in at 1,800 pounds. With the bale scale on the front of the tractor, it was possible to show the customers the bale weights right in the field. This bale size and weight allows the customer to move them directly into containers for export and make full container weights. A great cost savings for the exporter.
After finishing up the demos in the Imperial Valley, the BiG Pack Road Show moved on to Bakersfield, Calif. to meet up with Pioneer Equipment and Brent Raines, Western Region Product Manager. Niklas got to enjoy the sights of southern California as he drove the JCB tractor for the 360 mile, 10 hour trip from El Centro to Bakersfield. He found that the tractor moves very nicely and surprised several truck drivers on steep grades as he passed them with ease. It’s nice to have a tractor with a 44 mph top speed!
Once in Bakersfield, the Big Pack Road Show was put on hold as the rains came. Once the show resumed it was one great performance after another. At one demo, the BiG Pack really showed what it could do. Niklas was able to go 16 mph and produce an average bale weight of 1,844 pounds. A competitive baler in the same field could only travel 9 mph and the average bale weight was 1,523 pounds. This customer was not only impressed with the heavier bales, but also the smooth running of the machine and the camless pickup, which provides a nice, constant flow of crop into the machine without leaving any hay behind.
Finishing the month of May in California, it was over to a neighboring state for a whirlwind tour to prove the BP 1290 HDP can conquer the conditions in Nevada. Having great dealer support from Dan Smith of Smith Valley Garage, the BiG Pack Road Show performed at least one demo per day for two weeks. One demo was in a really rough field, but the steered tandem axle of the BiG Pack helped provide a smoother ride. At this demo Niklas was able to go 12 mph, twice as fast as the competitive baler, and he dropped 53 bales in less than an hour, including stops. Needless to say, the customer was extremely impressed.
The first stop in Oregon for the BiG Pack Road was with Klamath Basin Equipment located in Klamath Falls. Chuck Day and Tom Downs put together a great set of demos all over the Klamath Basin and Christmas Valley. The highlight of the week was working in an irrigated pivot that was over one mile across. It was very impressive to see the BiG Pack moving across the field making tight dense bales. The customer was also very impressed. At one point when standing next to the baler, he asked Niklas to engage the pto, and to his surprise Niklas told him the baler was already running. The quiet, smooth running of the BiG Pack is due to the large, 1,600 pound flywheel.
Moving on to the Columbia Basin in Washington, Niklas encountered a challenge that would test his skill as an operator of the BP 1290 HDP, baling blue grass. This crop has been described as baling rubber bands due to its ability to spring back after being compressed. The demo started with six broken bales before Niklas dialed in the perfect tension setting to max bale weights and still be in the limits of the twine. Once that level was reached it was off to the races. The BP 1290 HDP was able to produce a nice 1,200 pound bale. This seemed light until we compared it to the 1,000 pound bales the customer’s baler produced. This demo was a great test for the Krone twine as it was tested to its max and found to be up to the test.
The Road Show spent the next week in Washington with Evergreen Equipment in Othello, but due to the wet spring, the hay crops were about one to two weeks behind for wheat straw and right between alfalfa cuttings so the demo opportunities were scarce. It was a slow week, but the few demos that did take place were very productive. The following week the Road Show moved a little south to join up with Kirk Oswalt of Farmers Equipment, who was able to keep Niklas busy for a whole week and then some! At one demo the BiG Pack began baling 30 minutes behind two competitive balers. At the end of the demo the BiG Pack had dropped 78 bales and the competitive machines had only done 68 bales each, and when weighing the bales the competitive machines averaged 1,250 pounds while the BiG Pack averaged an impressive 1,850 pounds per bale. When the customer ran the numbers, he realized that he would be able to replace his three competitive balers with two BiG Pack 1290 HDP’s and produce the same amount. This will save him the expense of a third tractor and all that extra fuel.
The BiG Pack Road Show’s arrival in Idaho marked the start of many straw demos. The BiG Pack was able to achieve average bale weights of 1,140 pounds compared to the competitive baler’s 850 pounds.
Niklas and the BiG Pack Road Show traveled to Colorado the first week of October. There they got to bale cornstalks, averaging 1,530 pounds per bale, and sorghum, averaging 1,720 pounds per bale. The BiG Pack excelled in both conditions and the customers were very impressed.
The final city for the Road Show was Garden City, Kansas. Once again they baled corn stalks and sorghum. In second cutting sorghum they were able to make 1700 pound bales. Niklas had been told that corn stalks would make a big mess in the knotters, but he did not have any problems. A customer that ran a round baler was not only impressed at the weight of the bales, but also the speed and handling of the square bales.
After traveling 10,400 miles, for seven months, through 10 states, and conducting 90 demonstrations the BiG Pack Road Show is finished. The baler now has 150 hours and 5795 bales on it. Soon, Niklas will be returning to Germany to work in the marketing department for Krone. You can read about all of the adventures of Niklas and the BiG Pack Road Show on the BiG Pack Road Show blog: http://roadshow2010en.blogspot.com