Watch the all-new Hustler Combi RX218 set a bale feeding world-record!
On Thursday 29 April 2021, Hustler Equipment set the world record for the highest number of bales fed by a single machine in 8 hours non-stop in real-life grass-fed farming conditions. Watch this video to find out the final score!
Spring Valley, the ideal farm to break a world record
Working on the 1400-hectare Spring Valley dairy farm near Taupo, central New Zealand, the new Combi RX218 wagon and a team of motivated individuals set a world record.
“We really wanted to set up this challenge on a typical hilly-country New Zealand dairy farm, traveling between paddocks, opening gates and… feeding cows!” explained Brent Currie, CEO of Hustler Equipment. “We felt it wouldn’t be much of a challenge to just spin them out in a feedlot situation, as we wanted to prove for ourselves that the Combi RX218 is the most efficient feedout wagon on the market today.”
Spring Valley was the ideal farm for this event. The farm converted from pit silage to bales a few years ago and is now feeding between 7,000 and 10,000 bales each year. According to Spring Valley, switching to bales help them achieve a 95%+ feed utilization rate and now they have their bale system down to a fine art!
The beautifully wrapped lucerne bales used for the challenge were a real treat for the herds, even though choosing this material was an added challenge, the Combi RX218 did great with feeding out long-stemmed forage without destroying the leaves.
Marcus Deadman, owner of Spring Valley Farm and Jaiden Drought, machinery expert and dairy farmer in the Taranaki region alternated operating the Combi RX218 towed by a Valtra T174 tractor – which did not disappoint – while a team of farm workers loaded the wagon using a Caterpillar 312B excavator equipped with a Hustler Softhands LM100 bale grab.
A measurement methodology set by independent quantity surveyors
Two independent quantity surveyors from Stead Construction, Ryan and Cameron, were on-site to supervise the day. The surveyors dutifully measured each bale and recorded the weight of every load, and even oversaw the unrolling process, measuring every single bale core that wasn’t teased apart utterly.
The goal was to ground feed every single bale into long windrows – a great technique for avoiding trampling and wastage, and to feed out directly onto the ground even in muddy conditions – until their very dense core was unrolled completely.
Hustler wanted to set the bar high and try to tease apart each bale to a maximum allowable core diameter of no more than 234mm, and to then count up which bales met that standard to provide full transparency to the farmers and ranchers who would be interested in such detailed results (see details at the end of this article).
The surveyors created a measurement methodology and even measurement tools based on the diameter of the bales loaded versus the bale core remaining and followed along the feed-out path to measure every core fed out.
Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
The day went by at a steady pace, which did not dampen the good mood of the challenge team. At one point, the Combi RX218 used had to undergo a 25-minute repair following a collision with a fence post.
As far as we can tell, this was the largest number of bales unrolled mechanically by a single machine in an 8-hour continuous period – which started at 8:30 am and finished at 4:30 pm on the dot. Watch the video to find out how many bales were unrolled that day!
“About ten more bales could have been unrolled without this incident, but it’s part of the challenge,” said Gary Low, from Hustler’s R&D team. Richard Currie (also from Hustler’s R&D team) agreed with a nod.
Overall, the Hustler tridem-axle Combi RX218 demonstrated its value on any large-scale farm operation, proving itself the most efficient feedout wagon – and is now awaiting a challenger!
If you want to know more about Hustler Combi RX range or any other of our products, contact our friendly team today!
Definitions and rules of the challenge
For this challenge, Hustler created a set of rules and criteria for consistency and transparency, the details of which are below:
- The record for hay/balage bales unrolled by a single bale feeder/feedout wagon machine in eight hours by a team of unlimited size.
- The record is measured by the total number of bales unrolled in the timeframe.
- Hay is considered grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored in a bale format for use as animal fodder. Silage, haylage, lucerne and grass hay may also be used for the attempt, but straw may not.
- A round bale is defined as a cylindrical-shaped compaction made of hay stems.
- A bale feeder/feedout wagon is defined as any type of commercially available farming equipment used to mechanically unroll hay bales from their original form.
- In order to be as close as possible to real farming conditions, Hustler followed a pre-defined set of rules which have been assessed and verified on the day of the attempts by two independent quantity surveyors. We also invited four independent witnesses who were able to watch the process, and verify the surveyors were consistent and diligent.
- We used one of our commercially available feedout wagons. The Combi RX218 we used hasn’t been modified for the challenge. Details and specs of the machine used are available online on our website.
- We used standard, wrapped round bales of lucerne/alfalfa/vetch harvested in spring and stored in haystack outdoor. To be loaded, the size of the hay bales must have a minimum diameter of 1 m (3.28 ft) and width of 1 m (3.28 ft) and a minimum weight of 500 kg (1100 lb) and a maximum weight of 1000 kg (2204 lb).
- Only one bale was unrolled at a time and every single bale was verified by at least one quantity surveyor and at least one independent witness. Of course, once loaded into the wagon the unrolling process was achieved by the feedout wagon alone with no assistance from any additional human or external contact.
- The remaining core of each bale was measured so as to ensure the efficiency of the feedout wagon. ALL the hay was fed with the direct and honest intention of providing sustenance to an actual herd in order to avoid any wastage. All cores were measured by an independent quantity surveyor in the presence of at least one independent witness, and the number of cores exceeding 20% of the total original diameter were recorded by the same surveyor under the oversight of an independent witness.
- The measurement methodology for counting the bales and measuring the width of each bale core by the measuring experts was developed especially for the challenge in order to ensure the various ground conditions (i.e. grass on hard ground vs soft terrain) would have no meaningful effect on the actual measurement. Click here to access the complete measurement methodology disclosure.
- A logbook was kept, recording the size/weight of each bale and the unbaled measurement results.
- For the occasion, Spring Valley Farm opened its gates to anyone wishing to attend the record or part of it. We got several visitors and neighbours coming around during the day. Health and safety rules of the farm were followed at all times.
- The record was a continuous event, meaning that the clock did not stop. Eight hours means a complete 8-hour cycle including rest breaks or maintenance of the wagon. We used a loud and easily identifiable sound (foghorn) to clearly and unmistakably begin and end the event.
- Two surveyors and two independent witnesses were present at all times. The independent, professional quantity surveyors were solely responsible for determining the final record total.