“Cheap to run. Cheap maintenance. No problems!” says New Zealand dairy farmer about his Hustler Chainless bale feeder
New Zealand dairy farmer Colin Mathis purchased a Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder two years ago to feed out square bales to his herd. Really impressed with the built quality, Colin can’t see anything going wrong with this machine that has been a real game-changer for his operation. Watch the video below to find out more.
Colin Mathis farms in the South Waikato, just outside the town of Tokoroa, New Zealand. The farm is mainly a dairy operation, with three milking platforms for a total of about 1,100 milking cows.
An additional small support block is also dedicated to starting beef cattle of the Hereford breed.
The particular history of the region is quite interesting as the first settlers were primarily established here for its farming opportunity. Unfortunately, in the early 20th century, the land was found to be too poor for raising cattle or sheep due to its predominant pumice soils. However, agricultural science showed the land could actually be made to successfully support dairy cattle despite a cobalt deficiency quickly addressed making the region attractive and profitable for farmers for the last 80 years.
Colin purchased a Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder about two years ago from their local Hustler accredited dealer Giltrap AgriZone Cambridge when they switched to square bales to feed their herd.
“We were so impressed with it”
“Before we bought this one we had a look around but couldn’t go past the quality of the Hustler gear,” Colin said. “We were so impressed with it.”
Colin and the team feed out 1,500 square bales a year and the Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder has been designed to handle both round and square bales of all sizes. An optional platform extension allows the operator to load and feed out square bales over 6′-long. “Having the optional extension means that you’re holding all your bale while you’re going around” and they rest secured on the platform even on hilly terrain, Colin explained.
“The Hustler with the bale extension absolutely nails it”
The Hustler Chainless bale feeder range offers mounted models and trailed models. The mounted models can take up to 4′ round bales while the trailed models can take up to 5′ round bales. Colin likes his trailed machine “because it’s a lot wider so you can fit the square bales on more easily.”
The Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder embarks a clever self-loading system located at the back of the machine which allows the operator to safely and quickly load the bale. The machine can also carry two bales at a time (one in the feeding cradle and one on the tynes at the back) meaning fewer trips to the field! In addition, Colin uses the front loader of the tractor to carry additional bales.
“The ability to carry the bale on the back means we can carry four or five bales down to the paddock in one trip, making it quite economical,” Colin detailed.
“We can carry four or five bales down to the paddock in one trip, making it quite economical”
Plus, the Hustler Chainless TX205, unlike other classic loading systems, is equipped with ‘Total Control Loading‘ meaning that you can gently and accurately rest your bale on the platform rather than just dumping it and causing premature wear or breaking parts after removing the plastic wrap or the net, catching any loose feed.
The machine is fully “operatable from in the cab, and also you only need two hydraulic spools that can run on any of the tractors,” Colin continued. The Hustler Chainless system is 100%-hydraulically driven. Most PTO-driven bale feeding systems chew up a minimum of 50 horsepower to drive their chopping action, unlike Hustler Chainless’ low-speed teasing action that needs only 3-4 horsepower, meaning that it is compatible with smaller tractors, leading to more versatility, and to further savings in fuel consumption and equipment costs.
“Connecting it to the tractor is easy, probably takes 30 seconds, a couple of hoses and away you go,” Colin said.
The Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder has been developed with farmers and includes quite a few handy and smart features that cannot be found on any other machines. For instance, “the string box means you don’t have string all on your tractor cab which keeps it tidy,” Colin said.
The machine has been thoroughly thought-through in every detailed aspect, with a drawbar hose holder, big stub axles, a Loadial™ loading indicator, FeedGuide™ built-in platform height guide and more.
“One thing I particularly like about this is the build quality”
Colin “particularly likes the build quality” of the machine. “It’s well made. It’s heavy duty. Maintenance is easy,” he said.
The entire drive system is now located at the rear, which allows better maneuverability. Bigger outboard bearing blocks are easily greased (“all the grease nipples are marked,” Colin noticed), larger shafts and automatic drive tensioners require no adjustments and are designed to handle large 1.5-tonne bales (TX205).
“Cheap to run, cheap maintenance. No problems. Can’t go wrong,” Colin concluded.
Do you want to know more about Hustler bale feeder range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!