PO Box 5404
Dalkeith 6009
Western Australia
www.glenvar.com
Phone: +61 8 9672 1045
Fax: +61 8 9672 1023

PO Box 5404
Dalkeith 6009
Western Australia
www.glenvar.com
Phone: +61 8 9672 1045
Fax: +61 8 9672 1023

The project aim

To collect the 2001 harvest residue from a Caterpillar LEXION 480 harvester directly into a Case (Hesston) 8585 producing 3 by 4 by 8-foot bales weighing approximately 400kg each. The large bales will be transported directly from the paddock to the pellet process mills using mechanical lifters and flat bed transporters.

This adoption of this technology will provide significant economies of scale by aligning the residue bale size with mechanical pick-up, transport dimensions, pellet mill 'feeders' for processing and reduce the labour issues highlighted by earlier research.

More importantly, the efficient removal of harvest residue from the farm will address the herbicide resistant problem by effectively reducing the weed burden and chemical resistant populations, allowing for a sustainable cropping program.

The Case 8585 baler was 3.5 tonnes heavier than the small bale Freeman baler used in 2000 and has more momentum when baling which, in turn, produces higher shock loads to the towing vehicle. The larger Case baler requires a larger power source for towing, with this need being met by leasing a 365HP Caterpillar LEXION 480 harvester. For a similar reason the hitch mechanism will be attached to the front axle of the harvester and installing a shock absorbing system between the harvester and the baler.

The primary modification will be supplying power to the baler. The Freeman baler originally used was self-powered using a air-cooled Deutz engine mounted on the baler. The Case 8585 is currently designed to be externally powered by a tractor PTO. The baler will be powered directly from the Caterpillar harvester. The hydraulics will also be plumbed directly into the LEXION hydraulics to capitalise on the Caterpillar heat sensors, level sensors and cooling system.

These modifications include:

  • The tow hitch assembly to allow the baler to be in line with the back of the harvester. (Described above and including the harvester chassis requires strengthening as the current hitch assembly is only used for towing the comb trailer.)

  • A purpose built conveyor to collect material coming directly from the harvester cleaning system. The complete transfer section has been designed to allow the articulation between the header and baler.

  • A back-up collection tray to be constructed to fit under the conveyor to make sure of a 100% weed-seed retrieval and prevent any straw blockage.

  • Mounting a hydraulic pump on the Caterpillar Lexion to power the baler.

  • Larger wheels will be fitted to the baler to increase the clearance between the pick-up and the ground, allowing sufficient room for the conveyor to feed into the system.

  • Two video cameras will be mounted to provide continuous feedback to the operator via a 6-inch screen monitor to allow the operator to identify any problems before causing damage.


The project aim

To collect the 2001 harvest residue from a Caterpillar LEXION 480 harvester directly into a Case (Hesston) 8585 producing 3 by 4 by 8-foot bales weighing approximately 400kg each. The large bales will be transported directly from the paddock to the pellet process mills using mechanical lifters and flat bed transporters.

This adoption of this technology will provide significant economies of scale by aligning the residue bale size with mechanical pick-up, transport dimensions, pellet mill 'feeders' for processing and reduce the labour issues highlighted by earlier research.

More importantly, the efficient removal of harvest residue from the farm will address the herbicide resistant problem by effectively reducing the weed burden and chemical resistant populations, allowing for a sustainable cropping program.

The Case 8585 baler was 3.5 tonnes heavier than the small bale Freeman baler used in 2000 and has more momentum when baling which, in turn, produces higher shock loads to the towing vehicle. The larger Case baler requires a larger power source for towing, with this need being met by leasing a 365HP Caterpillar LEXION 480 harvester. For a similar reason the hitch mechanism will be attached to the front axle of the harvester and installing a shock absorbing system between the harvester and the baler.

The primary modification will be supplying power to the baler. The Freeman baler originally used was self-powered using a air-cooled Deutz engine mounted on the baler. The Case 8585 is currently designed to be externally powered by a tractor PTO. The baler will be powered directly from the Caterpillar harvester. The hydraulics will also be plumbed directly into the LEXION hydraulics to capitalise on the Caterpillar heat sensors, level sensors and cooling system.

These modifications include:

  • The tow hitch assembly to allow the baler to be in line with the back of the harvester. (Described above and including the harvester chassis requires strengthening as the current hitch assembly is only used for towing the comb trailer.)

  • A purpose built conveyor to collect material coming directly from the harvester cleaning system. The complete transfer section has been designed to allow the articulation between the header and baler.

  • A back-up collection tray to be constructed to fit under the conveyor to make sure of a 100% weed-seed retrieval and prevent any straw blockage.

  • Mounting a hydraulic pump on the Caterpillar Lexion to power the baler.

  • Larger wheels will be fitted to the baler to increase the clearance between the pick-up and the ground, allowing sufficient room for the conveyor to feed into the system.

  • Two video cameras will be mounted to provide continuous feedback to the operator via a 6-inch screen monitor to allow the operator to identify any problems before causing damage.


All the major modification areas have been identified during the research work on the Freeman baler during harvest 2000. Caterpillar have indicated their ability to assist with the hitch design and hydraulic engineering and similarly Hesston on the powering the baler externally. There are no unidentified issues.

Where Glenvar is at in September on the baler project

The tow hitch for the Baler is currently being manufactured by a local Agri-engineer- Charlie McIntosh. This hitch has been adapted to the baler and will be adapted to fit the header in the next couple of weeks. The hydraulic pump required has been fitted and the basic design for the conveyor belt began.

At harvest the baler will be used intially to bale all of the Lupins on the property and then will begin harvesting the wheat.

Where Glenvar is at in December on the baler project

The baler is working beautifully behind the header. Many of the small development problems have been solved. It allows the header to work to capacity and there is sufficient power to run the baler successfully.

All the major modification areas have been identified during the research work on the Freeman baler during harvest 2000. Caterpillar have indicated their ability to assist with the hitch design and hydraulic engineering and similarly Hesston on the powering the baler externally. There are no unidentified issues.

Where Glenvar is at in September on the baler project

The tow hitch for the Baler is currently being manufactured by a local Agri-engineer- Charlie McIntosh. This hitch has been adapted to the baler and will be adapted to fit the header in the next couple of weeks. The hydraulic pump required has been fitted and the basic design for the conveyor belt began.

At harvest the baler will be used intially to bale all of the Lupins on the property and then will begin harvesting the wheat.

Where Glenvar is at in December on the baler project

The baler is working beautifully behind the header. Many of the small development problems have been solved. It allows the header to work to capacity and there is sufficient power to run the baler successfully.

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