Technical Questions

Where did the idea for the Airbaler system originate?

I baled hay for many years stacking the hay on a wagon being pulled behind the baler. If the bale density was not right I would jump off the wagon and turn the hand cracks a little to get it right. I would do this many times a day.

Several years back I purchased a New Holland hay stacker and now there was nobody touching bales to make sure the bale tension was right. That meant the person driving the baler had to make frequent stops to check bale density and make adjustments.

The problem was compounded because of the mechanical equipment handling the bales if the density and length did not remain relatively constant the hay stacker would break bales or goof up stacks.

This is when I came up with the idea of using air pressure to control bale density and I put together the first Airbaler. I have since used it to bale over 60,000 bales of hay and straw, with great success.

What is the problem with hydraulic and spring systems? Why don’t they work?

The secret to maintaining consistent bale density over a wide range of field conditions is to apply a constant force to the tensioning rails no matter how far apart they are at any one time.

Current spring tensioning or hydraulic tensioning devices are capable of maintaining a constant force on the tensioning rails, but only if the distance between the rails does not change.

The problem is that when field conditions vary, the distance between the tensioning rails can vary several inches. When the distance decreases, the force applied to the tensioning rails decreases significantly which is exactly the opposite of what would be desired. The reverse is true when the distance increases - resulting in applying more pressure to the bale at a time when less is desired.

The advantage of the Airbaler system is that as the distance between the tensioning rails increases or decreases from one end of the field to another the pressure being applied to the tensioning rails remains nearly constant. This is because as the air bag expands and contracts to take up changes in - air flows freely in and out of the airbag holding the air pressure in the system nearly constant at all times. Constant air pressure in the system means constant force is being applied to the tensioning rails.

How long does a tank of air last?

The Airbaler system does not actually consume air as it is being used. Fill the tank before heading to the field and check the bale density after the 1st 5 to 10 bales and adjust accordingly. Then continue baling checking the hay only periodically.

If you start baling just as the hay is getting dry enough to bale and continue baling until it is quite dry you may need to add a little air to the system with either a portable air tank or the optional air compressor kit. The reason this adjustment may be necessary is because dry hay will slide through the chute with less friction than wet hay requiring a little more force to continue to maintain bale density.

What air pressure should I run the system at?

This will depend on the condition of your baler chute (rusty or polished), the quantity of wedges bolted in the bale chute, and the type of material being baled. So far I have seen anywhere from 5 psi to 30 psi.

Will the system fit my older model of baler?

We are able to make kits to fit nearly every model of older baler. Please call for your particular model.

Will the Airbaler reduce wear and tear on my baler?

Yes. If you take dictionary and slowly apply pressure to it until it begins to slide across a table surface - notice that it takes almost twice as much force to get the object to start moving than it does to maintain the motion once started.

The same is true for the plunger on the baler to get the hay in the bale chute to begin to slide with each stroke. The Airbaler system allows the tensioning rails to expand and contract so easily they actually open up slightly with every stroke of the plunger. This allows the plunger to overcome the static friction or the force required to get the hay to begin to slide through the chute more easily. Less force translates to increased baler capacity without shearing pins. It also will reduce wear and tear on your baler. Less force also means lower horsepower requirements and a slight reduction in fuel usage.

Does the Airbaler help make bale lengths more consistent?

Some users have also reported more consistent bale lengths while using the Airbaler system which is critical for mechanized hay handling equipment like accumulators and hay stackers.

If you have other technical questions, please call or email Scott Seaver:

Mailing Address
Scott Seaver Co. LLC
4346 W Roosevelt Rd.
Montague MI 49437

Phone 231-894-9703