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  1. #1

    Default Bale Bandit Problems

    Would like to hear from people who own and operate a Bale Bandit. What problems if any have you experienced with your machine?
    My brother purchased a Bale Bandit and had it imported into Western Australia for this seasons haymaking. From day one he has had nothing but problems with it, mainly with the strapping of the bales. The manual that comes with the machine is quite frankly useless in diagnosing problems. He has been onto the manufacturers but they have not been a lot of help. He eventually worked out that two of the rams that compress the bales were faulty and had them replaced. This helped but this machine will still not strap every bale. Either one side or the other will not crimp now and then.
    This is not an isolated problem as we have now heard from other West Australia farmers who has been experiencing similar problems with their Bale Bandits.
    This is also a warning to any potential overseas buyers of these machines. Because the American manufactures will not sell to machinery dealers, (well not in Australia at any rate) you are pretty well left on your own with regards to breakdowns and warranty issues.
    These are premium priced machines that should not be causing the grief to farmers that they have been doing.

  2. #2
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    I don't own one and will not because of the reputation they have. I had thought about it but for the cost and reputation it just didn't suit me. From their reputations I would be surprised if a dealer did want to sell them. The warranty hassles would be amazing.

    For people who might have more actual experience go to Viewing a forum - Machinery Talk


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  3. #3
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    2,541
    Location
    michigan
    Tractor
    jd 1070

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    Just for yucks, I sent a link from your post to the auto e-mail at the manufacturer's website. Lets see how much God, Family, Another Country counts !

    I never saw the point of a bale compressor. Is it a transport issue? Why not just get a Big Square baler to knock out 4' x 4' x 8' bricks?

    avagoodone.

    BTW: Welcome to this Forum. Maybe we can help you redsign it. You are South of the Equator, maybe the machine is confused and should be flushed the other way...
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  4. #4
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    The bale bandit allowed you to bale up small square bales (where there is more money) while having the ease of handling and stacking that you get with large square bales.

    The problems with the Bale Bandit are not just down under. But then again all you usually hear about are the problems but so far I have not heard of very much good in terms of reliablitiy. When the machine works its great but if you have a problem you don't have a local dealer for assistance.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Jan 2010
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    ontario
    Tractor
    case IH

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    i am from ontario and have two bandits and love them we do about 750 acers of hay and another 500 of straw with them every year it is all in the operater and the tractor if it dont have 27 gpm at 2700psi back preasure then dont even bother beacuse it will not work if you have any questions put them on ag talk i am on there almost every night

  6. #6
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    I see where Messicks is a dealer for them now also which may help if your in his area.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Hoosier Hay Man's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    547
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    Indiana
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45S Cab, Quicktach FEL

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    Have you guys checked out the Bale Baron. Nice machine and I don't think it requires as much hydraulics that the Bandit does. It uses twine and knotters instead of metal bands. I am not large enough to justify a Bandit or a Baron.

    I am looking into a Kuhns Accumilator as it requires no hydraulics. With my 30year old equipment it will fit the bill.

    My JD 4430 at 125hp or my IH1466 at 140hp won't run a Bale Bandit. Also I think the Bandits are in the $50,000 range.
    Thanks,

    HHM

    Tractors include 2009 Kioti DK45S Cab, 1974 JD4430, 1952 Oliver 77, 1953 JD50, 1940 JD A, 1938 Farmall F-14,

    NH 489 Haybine, NH 315 Baler, Gehl 1465 Round Baler, NH 68 Baler, Kuhn GA301 GM Rake, Kuhn GA25 Rake/Tedder, JD 851 Rake, GT-77 ATV Herd Seeder,
    Everlast PowerArc 200

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2006
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    488
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    TX

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    Bale Bandits are VERY prone to have problems with dust. If the sensors get blocked, it goes nuts. My neighbor runs two of them. The first one drove him crazy until he learned to blow everything out every thousand bales (sooner if it's real dusty). That solved 95% of all his problems and he bought the second one last year.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Jul 2011
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    1
    Tractor
    John Deere 4255

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    I must say, I'm rather put off by the original post.

    I'm from Ontario, and we operate two Bale Band-its. Personally, I have far more trouble with the tried-and-true knotters on the small square baler than I do with the Band-it.

    Diagnosing problems is relatively easy once you understand the unit's cycle. It has a monitor screen in the tractor, and if something goes wrong, you look at the screen and it tells you what step the machine is on. Then you figure out why it can't complete the step. If you're truly stumped, they have a tech support line, and the guys at the other end know the machine inside and out. They can usually tell you what the problem is immediately, or for more complex problems, they'll at least help narrow it down.

    Admittedly, even just being over the Canada/USA border from the manufacturers can be an annoyance. Specialized parts do take a while to replace. They're amazing for coming out with updates to known problems, though. Ever seen John deere change parts that break? No. They'll just let you keep buying more replacement. GFC releases updates to all major issues. We have a 100-series and a 200-series Band-it, and they only have a few parts difference because we were able to update the older model.

    As for Mike120's post, yes, they can be a bit of a bugger in very dusty hay. It's not all that bad, though. I just make a habit of wiping off the eyes whenever I change twine. If its not really dusty hay, I never have a problem with the eyes.

    We found too, that the first year we had a Band-it, it was maddening. Its a computerized, hydraulic-powered machine. A little different than the usual PTO powered equipment. Once you learn the machine's quirks, though, it makes haying much easier. If we could do-over, we might buy a bale baron instead, because of the hassle of the steel banding, but the Band-it machine itself, and the company that makes it, are great.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Location
    Toodyay Western Australia
    Tractor
    Bale bandit 100

    Default Re: Bale Bandit Problems

    I have also experienced some problems with a Bale Bandit 100 series bought secondhand, but when assistance was needed the staff at GFC helped me in a series of 'phone calls, me at night in Australia with a laptop in the field and installed/checked updates and machine operation, that problem solved in about 2.5 hours and only $54 in phone calls
    My machine has some modifications1.Apto operated power pack with about 300 litres hydraulic oil tank, 2. a fan forced oil cooler as in Australia air temp can be high so hydraulics need cooling help, 3.a pickup driven from the short horizontal feed chain through an extension chain and different sized sprockets to ensure the horizontal chain runs faster than the pickup chain thus avoiding bunching of bales on the horizontal feed
    Because of these mods I can operate in moderately hilly country with only a 50 engine horsepower tractor up front and because it is unequal 4WD it has better safety than a bigger2WD braking on downslopes in particular but with either steep side slopes can be exciting
    There are some little tricks that have taken me time to identify
    One is to use a mirror on an extension arm and a torch to set the strap lifters that lift the strap off the dies after sealing the strapping
    Checking no residue remains from sealing which causes strap breakage as it fouls the sealed strap and breaks the strap as the hydraulics withdraw from the sealing cycle
    Using good quality strapping
    Keeping photo eyes clear but even in dusty conditions that is usually a once a day cleaning
    If the bale breaks in the vertical elevator turn the machine off (VERY IMPORTANT!!!) and introduce a bale into the next station ready to go into the chamber so bale count stays accurate
    Baling bales to a reasonably high density so minimal handling problems
    Carefully adjusting the pack density to minimise bale-string breakages
    If getting to the dies change the electrical connection on the control of the hydraulic ram that pushes the dies over the strap path and then you do not have to drain the oil from the hydraulic cylinders the machine retracts the dies from the strap path turn the machine off (VERY IMPORTANT!!!!) and then safe and convenient to inspect the dies
    I cut, bale, bundle, and cart around 10,000 bales per season on my own and have baled, bundled, and carted to storage up to 1200 bales in
    about a 10 hour working day
    A bale baron may be a faster machine but it is bigger and heavier only takes shorter shorter bales and not without its own suite of problems, a neighbour was ready to donate his to any cause not just a good cause
    As Balrog 30 says if a problem arises look at the screen and follow the manual
    Talking of the manual it is very short on basic instructions on how to address the problem and that is an issue here where the helpline is 12 hours or so out of sync with my work day ie it is 9pm before I can make contact so much sitting and working the problem out for myself
    Hope this helps

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