AttachmentsTractorsStraw bales at record speeds

The John Deere 6R 150 tractor and the John Deere V461R round baler produced a mammoth 130 straw bales in a one-hour field test – beating the record from 2012.

In a French field near the John Deere factory in Arc-les-Gray, pulled by a compact yet powerful John Deere 6R150, the V461R fires out a new round bale of straw every 28 seconds. The team is attempting to beat the record set ten years ago for baling straw, by the legendary 6930 tractor, pulling a 990 round baler that achieved 127 bales per hour.  The latest tractor and baler combi­na­tion has become the bench­mark for straw bale produc­tion, setting a new record.

High produc­tivity with four cylin­ders

Since then, John Deere engi­neers have continued to develop tractor tech­nology, producing four-cylinder models that can master tasks requiring high perfor­mance, while remaining compact, agile, and econom­ical. Ulrich von Stael, Product Marketing Manager at John Deere, thought it was time to test what a four-cylinder combi­na­tion can do today. This gave rise to the idea of attempting to set a new record. “We wanted to test, under real­istic condi­tions, how many bales a four-cylinder tractor/baler combi­na­tion could produce. And whether this combo would be able to beat the record set by a six-cylinder tractor ten years earlier.”

The tractor supplies the baler at all times with exactly the power it needs to pick up the straw and finally press well-formed bales from it

If straw and parti­cles adhere to the outside of the radi­ator grille, the driver can let the tractor "exhale" once, so that it is then effec­tively cooled again.

The V461R round baler is partic­u­larly impres­sive thanks to its effi­cient feed system with powerful pickup, its high-perfor­mance rotor with full-width lower­able floor plate and the FRS quick ejec­tion system.

130 bales per hour

At the end of the record run, 130 clean bales lay in precise rows on the field. A new record was set, surpassing the old one by three bales. But how? Philippe Stein­mann, Product Marketing Manager for Mid Trac­tors at John Deere Europe, explains. “A result like this is always an inter­ac­tion between baler and tractor. The 6R 150 with its powerful four-cylinder 150-hp engine, capable of 177-hp peak power, plays its part. Making this progress possible is the Intel­li­gent Power Manage­ment (IPM), demon­strating its strengths, partic­u­larly in work that requires more than just trac­tion.”

A result like this is always an inter­ac­tion between baler and tractor.

Philippe Stein­mann

The tractor can consis­tently provide the baler with the power it needs to pick up the straw, and press out well-formed bales. As the IPM makes power avail­able as required, it effort­lessly handles peak loads, while also being easier on the farmer’s wallet.

For long-term perfor­mance, it’s impor­tant that the engine is suffi­ciently cooled. This is espe­cially impor­tant while baling straw on a hot dry day, when a cooler can easily clog. To combat this, the tractor reverses the air flow of the engine’s cooling system. If straw and other parti­cles stick to the front grille, the oper­ator can let the tractor “breathe out”, so it can be effec­tively cooled again.

At the end of the test, 130 clean bales lie in precise rows on the field.

Produc­tive baler

The record-setting John Deere V461R round baler, “is the bench­mark and the most powerful round baler on the market today,” explains Ulrich von Stael. “Most impres­sive, is its effi­cient intake system with a powerful pick-up, its high-capacity rotor with a drop floor and fast release system, which is vital for rapid bale ejec­tion.” The quality of the pressed bales shows that the record is not just a number for the gallery. On average, these bales weigh a prac­tical 205kg and have a diam­eter of 1.3 m.

This record run has shown that a powerful four-cylinder tractor can match and exceed the bench­mark perfor­mance of a six-cylinder tractor

Ulrich von Stael

“This record run has shown that a powerful four-cylinder tractor can match and exceed the bench­mark perfor­mance of a six-cylinder tractor,” says Ulrich von Stael. Philippe Stein­mann adds: “Thanks to tech­nical progress, smaller trac­tors now have quite a bit of power under the hood – and can deliver it when needed.”