Chilean farmer unrolls up to 35 bales a day with his Hustler trailed Unrolla bale feeder
Carlos Benavides, farm manager in Puerto Varas, Chile is using a Hustler Unrolla TE205 trailed double bale unroller for three years and is delighted with the machine. With more than 750 cows to feed each day, they have to unroll 35 bales a day during peak season, so the Hustler has been a real life-saver for the farm. Watch his story to see why Carlos “recommends it one hundred percent!”
Carlos Benavides has been farm manager of Agrícola Bahía Rincones for the last 20 years and really enjoys it. The farm is located near Puerto Varas in Los Lagos Region (meaning Region of the Lakes in English) and is one of Chile’s 16 regions. Los Lagos Region economy is dominated by the service sector but based on fishing, salmon aquaculture, forestry and cattle farming. The farm benefits from an oceanic climate with an average annual precipitation of 1,762 mm (69 in). Summers are mild and winters are rainy and somewhat chilly.
Agrícola Bahía Rincones comprises 546 hectares, home of about 750 beef cows, their calves and the breeding bulls.
For many years, the farm has been using trench silage for his cows, but it was time-consuming to feed out. Carlos told us that a lot of labour because the silage was loaded in a trailer and fed out with a pitchfork. He decided to move away from bulk silage and switched to silage bales instead.
But the first year with silage bales was complicated for Carlos and his team. “One year we were feeding out bales – before we had this machine – we tried to put the bale into the paddocks. We tried to spread or tease them a little, with a pitchfork, but it took 10 times longer,” Carlos explained.
That’s how Carlos knew he needed to change and he decided to purchase a Hustler Unrolla TE205 trailed bale feeder and he is “delighted with the machine.”
“Honestly, we’re delighted with the machine”
Carlos’ Hustler bale feeder is in its third season on the farm “and it’s been working perfectly,” told Carlos. “We haven’t had any failures, it’s super easy to operate.
Some people asked Carlos why he would not just simply drop the bales in the paddock or even put them in a hay ring/feeder. The farm manager answered that if the bales aren’t unrolled, it creates too much waste as the cattle are trampling on it and most of the hay ends up buried in the mud. The hay rings aren’t the right solution neither because the old cows and the young calves never get to eat or get the leftover.
“I have to say, with this bale feeding system we work better, the feed is better used, there is less trampling, it is easier for the animals to eat it, and, at the same time, more cows can eat from
the same bale, at the same time,” Carlos described.
“With this bale feeding system we work better, the feed is better used, there is less trampling, it is easier for the animals to eat it”
The whole process is quite efficient for Carlos and his team of farmworkers. For them, it “takes around 6 hours to feed out all the paddocks,” Carlos told us. In the peak season, they feed out an impressive amount of about 35 bales a day.
For Carlos, labour is not all about costs. According to him, the main issue for big operations like Agrícola Bahía Rincones is to find competent and skilled staff. When he finds reliable staff, he wants to retain them, but good workers aren’t cheap. “Many farms should consider it because this is a method that doesn’t need a lot of workers and today the workers are scarce, and not cheap. It’s just hard to find good workers to work on the farm,” Carlos clarified.
“We’re really pleased with the machine. I really recommend it”
Carlos is very satisfied of his new feeding out strategy. The Hustler Unrolla TE205 trailed bale feeder works well for him and he “recommends it one hundred percent,” Carlos concluded. “We’re happy, we’re really pleased with the machine. I think it was a good purchase, and I really recommend it.”
Suitable for feeding out the widest variety of round bales, baleage, silage, hay or straw. A unique chassis design protects the vital components, patented Total Control self-loading system, and the toughest chain/floor set up on the market. Designed for medium to large operations feeding out thousands of bales each year, The Trailed Bale Unrollers have covered driveshafts to eliminate wrapping and a stronger rear loading system design that is built extremely tough to go the distance.
- Easy to use. The double bale feeder has single-level feed control, making it very easy to use and ideal for share milkers.
- Tough chains. 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.
- Polyethylene floor. Non-corrosive, impervious to UV, slippery, easily repairable and very shock resistant. Fully enclosed – no wastage of expensive feed. The long bed can take 5’ long bales
- Low maintenance. Instead of bushes we use longer-lasting block bearings, mounted outboard, to keep them clean and free of damage.
- Fully enclosed chassis design. The chassis prevents rust by stopping water from getting in. We’ve built the Unroller Trailed Round Bale Feeder with plenty of ground clearance to minimise bellying out and to avoid damage to chains and feed bars when it does touch the ground, we’ve made the underside of the chassis smooth, so it slides until the wheels gain traction again. Impressive strength to weight ratio has been achieved by constructing the Unroller Trailed Round Bale Feeder from high tensile steel, which is 50% stronger than mild steel. Bolted construction eliminates stress cracking common with some conventional Bale Feeders.
- Total Control Loading. The self-loading system has revolutionised bale handling since it was introduced eight years ago. With just one hydraulic cylinder to complete the entire loading operation and a new gas strut to help reset the loader, the TCL2 is the fastest loading system out there. With only one ram it’s safer and less demanding on your tractor’s hydraulics. Unlike other systems, the operator can reverse the bale if necessary, even once the bale is positioned low over the cradle for unwrapping.