baler test



Gold Member
Mar 19, 2008
I looked at A NH 310 square baler at a dealer.I brought some hay to run a few bales through the baler.Some of the bales were bannana,some chisel shaped,and one pretty good.The dealer didn't make a windrow,just pushed hay into the baler.I could see one haydog was broken.Is this a fair test of the baler? How else could I test a baler?


Elite Member
Dec 2, 2006
jd 1070
Bananas come in 2 types: equal string length and unequal string length. (You have to measure).

If the strings are equal length, then there is a bale chamber pressure difference. The hay dogs hold the preformed bale end in place while a new flake charge is being formed. One busted is a problem. Another is the bale case is 'lubricated' by a clay layer of mud, hay leaves, sticks and stones and glued together by the moisture of the field. When this sludge drys, the poltice gives the pre-bale a tunnel problem. The other obvious banana splits result from unequal clamping force (Crank tension at the end of the bale case) and insufficient bale tunnel length (the bale extensions are often removed to ramp the hay up to a wagon or thrower pan). That means you need to know if its banana up or banana left or right. The feeder forks have adjustments to move each charge into the center of the plunger chamber. The windrow size and ground speed affect the amount of hay being loaded there. If the charge is offset to one side, you tend to get banana left or right.

If the strings are unequal length, then the problem often results from unequal pull tension of the twine thru the bale case as the bale is being formed. Use a fish scale to measure the pull tension at the knotter frame for bothe side. Should be about 15 lbs both sides. If not, then adjust the twine box tensioner clamps as necessary. Also check all twine guides for wear and the needle eyes to see if one is worn or blocked. There should be a diagram on the bale case showing the proper threading of this baler, too. If one side is misthreaded (easy to do going around the needle guards), then the pull tension will be asymmetric. Make sure both twine spools are the appropriate type. One side being square bale twine and one side being round bale twine can be made to work but will contribute to a banana shaped bale

I suggest you claim banana bales as an issue and a purchase price adjustment factor. Then drag it home, clean it out, start at the beginning of the manual, buy a fish scale and go to town on it.

If none of this helps, declare banana bales to be a feature and raise their price. Easier to stack, won't fall over, makes good hay igloos, fits better in a round bale feeder, and can get more into a pickup truck bed sideways !


Super Member
Apr 10, 2000
central New York
all makes and models
Years ago we learned you could run all the hay you wanted to through a baler like that and it would make a perfect bale. (not your case here yet) Take them to the field with the bouncing and steady intake they wouldn't be consistant at all! Much the same as you saw!!!!!!

With a broken dog, rust in the chamber and on many parts probably I'd doubt it could bale to many good ones with out running a wagon load of hay through and a tube of grease.