Australian beef farmer invested in a Hustler bale unroller and won’t ever look back
Bob Ethel of Beeac, Victoria in Australia had a very old feeder before getting a Hustler Unrolla TE205 trailed bale feeder.
He did his due diligence and checked a number of different brands. “A lot of the machines are very similar, but Hustler is not,” he says. For instance, with the Hustler “the whole operation is controlled by me and the bale stays on the machine until I say so… but with the other brands, it just bashes straight into the feeder itself, whereas the Hustler lowers it into it.”
He’s a big fan of his new Hustler and says “I’m very impressed with the way the machine is operating and I don’t think you’d ever look back.” Watch his testimonial to find out more!
Bob Ethel runs a beef cattle operation in Beeac, a small town in the Western District of the state of Victoria, Australia.
In the region, the climate is mild to warm and generally humid to sub-humid. Summer temperatures are warm and winter is never too cold with frequent and reliable rainfall. The region has been marked by severe droughts in recent years. This year again, the summer was particularly dry.
Bob has always between 80 and 100 head of cattle, depending on how the season goes. “With the drier conditions in summer, I’m feeding at least once a day,” Bob told us, and “as we move further into the wintertime, it will be at least two rolls a day.” Bob feeds out dry hay, “which is a mixture of cereal crops that I grow myself and pasture hay into the paddocks,” he explained.
On the farm, the cattle are fed with a bale feeder instead of hay rings. Bob uses a bale feeder “so that it spreads evenly out in the paddock, which then allows the younger stock as well as the oldest stock to get to that feed,” he explained “and it also stops some of the bullier type cows from dominating, which they will do in a hay ring whereas when I feed it out in the paddock, everyone gets a go at it.”
When it came time to renew his feeding equipment last year, Bob did a lot of research to find the right bale feeder for him. In October 2021, he decided to buy a Hustler trailed Unrolla TE205 double bale feeder from Rhys Evans Farm Machinery in Colac. “A lot of the machines are very similar, but Hustler is not. And the reason that Hustler is different are those features that they have and that’s what made me buy the Hustler feeder,” Bob said.
“It’s got a lot of safety features that I liked about the machine”
One of Bob’s favourite features about his Hustler Unrolla TE205 is the self-loading system. Located at the rear end of the machine, the Hustler ‘Total Control Loading‘ system consists of a bale fork controlled by a single hydraulic cylinder. The way it works is very simple: just back up the bale feeder and pick up the bale with the fork. The mechanism, which is entirely controlled by the operator, takes care of loading the bale into the cradle.
“When it picks up the bale, it’s got no mechanical things that could cause it to come down when it’s not necessary to. The whole operation is controlled by me and the bale stays on the machine until I say so,” Bob detailed.
Having full control of the loading process is more practical and safer. “When I let it down into the cradle above the actual feeder, I can pause the machine which means that it’s sitting above the machine, and I’m able to either cut string or net wrap depending on which pile I’m feeding,” Bob continued.
“When you lift the forks up to back into your bale, they’re pretty well parallel to the bale as you lift it up. It doesn’t tend to tilt back. And that’s why I went for Hustler hay feeder and not something else,” Bob concluded.
“With the other brands, it just bashes straight into the feeder itself, whereas the Hustler, it lowers it into it”
A clever gas strut resets the loader to its initial position. Unlike other systems, the operator can also reverse the bale if necessary, even once the bale is positioned low over the cradle for unwrapping.
If you want to find out more about the Hustler ‘Total Control Loading’ system, watch this 1-minute episode of 60 Seconds of MiNT. Like any other Hustler feedout gear, the machine is 100%-hydraulically driven and doesn’t require a PTO.
Simplicity and low maintenance is also the reason why Bob likes his Hustler Unrolla TE205. “I can see the benefits of it because there’s no maintenance, all the greasing points are easy to get to,” Bob said, and “it’s very simple in its operation.”
Apart from the many benefits of the machine itself, Bob appreciated the ‘Hustler Promise‘ which gave him peace of mind in his purchase. “I had a 30-day trial and if I wasn’t completely happy with it, the machine would be returned with no questions asked,” Bob said.
But he didn’t need to use this option as Bob decided to keep the machine! “Overall I’m just really happy with this machine,” Bob concluded.
“I’m very impressed with the way the machine is operating and I don’t think you’d ever look back”
Do you want to know more about Hustler bale feeder range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!