How a Hustler bale unroller saves time, fuel and money on a 1,600-acre Scottish farm?

Published 29th January 2021
United Kingdom

Duncan farms in Scotland on 1,600-acres is home to roughly 1,000 ewes and 80 suckler cows. Duncan was looking for a quick and efficient way to feed his livestock and recently decided to invest in Hustler. He is now the proud owner of an Unrolla LX105 bale feeder. In addition to finding an efficient system that saves him time every day, Duncan also saves on fuel and maintenance costs!

Duncan’s farm is located at the end of the Pentland Hills, a range of hills running south-west from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale. The hills of Scotland and their unpredictable climate are renowned for their lush green landscapes, allowing high-quality fodder to be harvested.

Duncan makes about 1,000 bales a year – mostly in two cuts, though for the past couple of years he decided to try to sow about 25 acres with short-term leys and managed to take four cuts from them. The goal is to get a very high-quality baleage that can drastically reduce bought-in concentrate feeding costs.

Duncan feeds out on average four bales a day during the winter months. The Scottish Blackface and Lleyn lambs that are not retained for stock are sold deadweight, finished on grass and fodder rape and the flock stays outside all year round. On the contrary, the Angus and Shorthorn cows are all wintered on straw bedded courts.

Before Duncan bought an Unrolla LX105 bale feeder from his local Hustler dealer Agricar in Stirling, he’d put his bales through his McHale straw blower. Now feeding out is a lot quicker and easier!

“The Hustler unroller is ideal for my job.

The Hustler Unrolla LX105 bale feeder is primarily designed for feeding out round bales in a few minutes. The integrated tynes and the Snaplox hands-free automatic connection system allow the operator to load the bale without the need for another piece of equipment or another tractor. However, you can still choose to load your unroller with a bale grab or any other gear of your choice.

“I don’t feel that I’ve got the most efficient way to unwrap and load bales yet, but it’s very easy to hold the bale above the unroller with the loader, cut the net, then turn around to pick it up and distribute. It’s also near-perfectly clean with no fodder ending up on the ground at the loading site. There was always some mess loading the straw blower, and that’s after 10 years of practice!” Duncan says.

Thanks to clever engineering, its compact size and its light weight, the Unrolla can also be mounted at the rear of the front of a tractor. Duncan chose to use the rear 3-point linkage of his Valtra tractor.

“I’m also saving at least 6L of diesel per day so far.”

Duncan has done his homework: by stopping using his straw blower to feed out his livestock and investing in a Hustler unroller that requires minimal maintenance and runs 100% hydraulically, he can recoup his investment quickly.  “In terms of tractor diesel and servicing costs, that’s at least £600 a year reduction. That’s without counting the value of my saved time,” Duncan explains.

“I’m impressed that the Hustler works so well with the bales.”

The Hustler Unrolla LX105 bale feeder is built with 12,000lb roller chains and high-quality materials such as high-tensile sprockets. No compromises are made on quality, and Hustler machines are backed-up with a 4-year warranty.  “The baler I have makes a very dense solid centre, but even if they’re loaded the “wrong” way by mistake, the unroller is still faster than using the straw blower that it’s replacing,” Duncan points out.

One of the most popular features of the mounted models in the Unrolla range is their ability to unroll fodder on both sides, but also to be able to insert the headstock and tynes from the front or rear of the machine. This time-saver becomes very handy in confined areas such as dead-end barns where manoeuvrability is limited. 

 

Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder – 5 Key benefits in a nutshell

1. The Snaplox auto connect/disconnect hands-free loading system saves you time, saves you having to tug on a rope to disconnect, and saves you from twisting your back. It’s fail-safe, fast and operates naturally.

2. The toughest chains and floor bars on the market are bullet-proof and lasts the entire lifespan of the bale feeder. Super strong roller chains with a combined strength of 24,000lbs, with tough 40mm x 40mm zinc-plated bars. Bars are bolted to the chain, a stronger and more easily replaceable system.

3. Tough new thermoform fully enclosed polyethylene floor with covered drive shafts which eliminate wrapping. It’s non-corrosive, impervious to UV, slippery, easily repairable and very shock resistant. Fully enclosed – no wastage of expensive feed. A longer bed can take 5’ long bales.

4. Low maintenance. Just 4 grease nipples are all it takes to maintain the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, that’s because instead of bushes we use long-lasting, fully sealed block bearings, mounted outboard to keep them clean and free of damage from acidic silage juices. We’ve also added bearing covers that prevent debris from causing damage.

5. Flexible design. Do you operate in barns, outdoors, on steep country, with a loader or a telehandler, supplement with loose silage or fodder beet? With the flexible configuration of the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, your machine will suit all of the above. No other unroller allows this level of flexibility which gives you peace of mind, should you want to change the way you operate.

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