Hustler Chainless Feeder the key to rebaling operation

Published 18th April 2013
New Zealand

Paul Reynolds has been making horse chaff at Oakland Stables, on the outskirts of Hastings, has been re-baling for the past 15 years.

He first spotted the business opportunity when he and his wife Sue, a keen horsewoman, realised that most of the chaff available at the time was of poor quality or too dusty.

Having been involved with haymaking since he was 12, Paul knew he could produce the quality of hay needed for making good chaff.

“Horse people are very particular,” he says. “By growing the hay, making the chaff, and bagging it, we have complete control of the process. This helps ensure the consistency in quality our customers expect.”

One of the challenges in setting up the chaff operation was finding a rebaler suited to high volume production that also fitted within Paul’s modest startup budget.

The answer was to employ Tom Dear, an inventive jack-of-all trades, who put together a system for considerably less cost than the half million dollars needed at the time for an off the shelf solution.

Paul describes his operation as ‘Kiwi ingenuity meets Heath Robinson’. The current re-baler has been operating since 2003 and is made up of a custom built Hustler Chainless 1000 Bale Feeder (with a stationary frame and no wheels or forks), a silage cutter, riddles for separating the fines and the chaff that is still too long, and a silage wagon.

“The Hustler bale feeder is reliable and easy to operate. It handles rounds and squares, runs 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, year round. It feeds evenly, which allows the silage cutter to cut properly without stalling. Maintenance is virtually nil because there are no chains and the bearings are all sealed.”

Paul Reynolds, Hawke’s Bay