In-Season Maintenance Tips for Hay Equipment

Keep Cutting and Baling Equipment in Good Shape To Minimize Unexpected Downtime

Things move fast during during the haying season. Unexpected downtime due to equipment repairs can be costly — both in terms of productivity and forage quality losses. Making daily inspections part of your routine, as well as staying on top of maintenance schedules, will help maximize your productivity. The operator’s manual will have a maintenance checklist for your specific equipment, but here are some overall suggestions to keep you in the field and out of the shop.

Routine Maintenance for Cutting Equipment

Whether you’re running a disc mower or a self-propelled windrower — like the new Hesston by Massey Ferguson WR Series — keeping on top of in-season maintenance provides short- and long-term benefits. Look for well-designed, maintenance-friendly equipment to make it easier on you and your team. Features such as sealed bearings or composite bushings minimize lube points. Additionally, models with longer service intervals will cut down on maintenance in the middle of your busy season. A large portion of Hesston by Massey Ferguson equipment offers a 50-hour service interval to help maximize your productivity.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your equipment clean. Use compressed air to clear debris and chaff in the cutter heads and drives frequently. Sometimes you’ll want to pull out the power washer for difficult debris. Be sure to grease everything after washing run equipment for five minutes to purge any extra water.
  • Daily inspections are a must. Identifying issues before they become problems is key to minimizing downtime. Before you cut, give your equipment a quick walk-around. Check belt tension, drivelines and other vital components. This is also a good time to make sure your equipment is set for today’s field.
  • Keep up with wear components. For cutting equipment, maintaining sharp knives is important. Dull knives might require more power to cut, increasing fuel costs. Or they could result in a ragged cut, which reduces overall quality and productivity. Keeping a good stock of common wear components on hand can also save you unnecessary downtime with current supply chain concerns.

Routine Maintenance for Baling Equipment

When it comes to balers, straightforward dependable models — like the Hesston by Massey Ferguson 1745D round baler — provide a maintenance-friendly option. These rugged balers aren’t overcomplicated and provide years of reliable service. For those interested in more technology, the Massey Ferguson RB V Series round baler and RB V Protec are ideal for round bale and silage operations. To minimize upkeep requirements, these models incorporate low-maintenance features such as standard chain lube systems and additional grease banks.

Additionally, make sure to follow these suggestions:

  • Keep equipment clean. Use compressed air or a power washer to remove debris and chaff after operation.
  • Follow recommended daily checks. Consult your operator’s manual for specifics. Make sure chains are properly tensioned. Look for wear on belts. Ensure proper lubrication.
  • Anticipate knotter issues before they happen. Square balers, such as the Hesston 1800 Series small square balers or the Hesston 2200 Series large square balers, offer a dependable knotter system. However, keeping an eye out for certain signs can help minimize downtime. Check bill hooks for wear, monitor twine disc gaps and watch for tight tails.
  • Keep a good stock of consumables. Make sure you have enough plastic film, twine or net wrap on hand. Check inventory often and reorder early.

Hay Equipment That Works as Hard as You Do

Staying on top of routine maintenance helps keep your operation productive. Work with your local dealer to ensure you have all the parts and consumables you need for a successful hay season.

Find a Dealer