“Don’t muck around. Go straight to Hustler,” said an uncompromising New Zealand dairy farmer after using the Softhands LX200 bale handlers

Published 19th October 2023
New Zealand

Handling thousands of bales annually, whether produced on his own farm or purchased, Southland dairy farmer Dwayne McVeigh switched to a set of Hustler Softhands Contractor’s bale handlers LX200 three years ago and has not looked back. Watch Dwayne video testimonial to find out why the Hustler Softhands LX200 have become an essential tool in handling the high volume of bales on the farm.

Spanning over 2300 acres of self-contained farmland, Dwayne’s dairy farm is located in the Southland region of New Zealand. Handling thousands of bales annually, whether produced on his own farm or purchased, finding the right equipment has been a journey of trial and error for Dwayne. “These Hustler clamps seem to be a lot stronger. The other clamps we’ve had – we’ve had three different brands, and they all seem to crack over time, just with handling lots of bales,” Dwayne said.

But when he discovered Hustler Equipment’s Softhands LX200 bale grabs, he knew he had found the solution to his bale handling needs.

💡 Did you know? Our international readers may be interested in knowing that Southland is New Zealand’s southernmost region. Weather conditions in Southland are cooler than the other regions of New Zealand due to its distance from the Equator. The agriculture industry includes both sheep and dairy farming which both account for a significant proportion of the region’s revenue and export receipts. Southland also has the world’s largest raw milk-processing plant at the town of Edendale which was established by Fonterra. In the 2019-20 season, there were 591,600 milking cows in Southland, 12.0% of the country’s total herd. The cows produced 247,230 tonnes of milk solids, worth NZD $1,780 million at the national average farmgate price (NZD $7.20 per kg).

Dwayne’s journey with the Hustler Softhands LX200 began three years ago when he made the switch to this set of bale handler. His decision to acquire it through his local Hustler accredited dealer FarmChief in Invercargill based on their advice proved to be a wise one. The set of Softhands aligns perfectly with the superior standards that Dwayne expected from a bale handler. 

Dwayne emphasizes the critical need for a bale handler that doesn’t damage the bales or cause disruptions. He notes that the Hustler Softhands LX200 excels in this aspect. Unlike previous bale handlers that occasionally dropped bales or damaged them, the Hustler Softhands LX200 demonstrates a level of precision and performance that has won Dwayne’s trust.


“Hustler Sofhtands bale handlers seem to work a lot better than the competitors”


Dwayne’s experience with bale handlers hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Over the years, he has worked with three different brands, each showing signs of wear and tear over time. All of them shared a common issue: they cracked under the pressure of handling numerous bales. Dwayne points out that a reinforcing plate could extend their lifespan, but it was never a permanent solution.

It was this recurring issue that led Dwayne to explore other options, ultimately leading him to the Hustler Softhands LX200. “Hustler Sofhtands bale handlers seem to work a lot better than the competitors. It has quality stuff,” Dwayne said.

What makes this particular bale handler stand out is its exceptional strength and durability. Dwayne’s observation is that it handles the rigourous task of moving thousands of bales a year with ease. Unlike his previous bale handlers, the Hustler Softhands LX200 shows no signs of strain. 

In Dwayne’s experience, the Hustler Softhands LX200 bale handler stands as the superior choice. He recommends opting for the Contractor’s model (LX200) for those handling a higher volume of bales, offering robust reinforcement that extends their lifespan considerably. “The Contractor’s ones just seem to be the better ones to go for. They’re only a little bit dearer, not much, but they’re a lot more reinforced,” Dwayne explained.

Dwayne’s endorsement of Softhands is not without reason. He emphasizes that this set of bale handlers are built to last. They display strength and resilience in bale handling, a critical requirement when every bale weighs an average of 800 kilos. These clamps provide unwavering support, ensuring that the bales remain firmly secured without tearing the plastic or causing disruptions.


“There are only four grease points and they’re in good spots, so they’re easy to grease”


Dwayne highlights another advantage of the Hustler Softhands LX200 – ease of maintenance. This bale handler have only four grease points, all conveniently located for simple maintenance. The design is well-thought-out, ensuring that greasing is a hassle-free process.

Additionally, Dwayne notes the accessibility of the hydraulic hoses, a crucial consideration for any piece of machinery. The hoses on the Hustler Softhands LX200 are easy to access, simplifying the process of replacing hoses if necessary.

“The hoses are easy to get to if you do blow a hose – they’re not enclosed. Whereas other clamps have been enclosed and they seem a bit tricky to get the hoses out and put them back in. I mean, we haven’t blown a hose yet, but it will happen, especially if you drag them or your hoses blow and they seem to be easy to get at,”  Dwayne detailed. This thoughtful design ensures that downtime is minimised, a significant advantage when dealing with the high volume of bales that Dwayne handles.


“They seem to be built better. Bales don’t slip out of the clamps”


Every bale that passes through Dwayne’s hands is handled two, sometimes three, even four times, depending on its destination. “They’re doing thousands of bales a year and these Hustler Contractor’s clamps just seem to last a lot longer. We haven’t had any issues with them. They’re a lot stronger,” Dwayne said.

The Hustler Softhands LX200 has demonstrated unrivaled performance, providing seamless handling that reduces the potential for mishaps. With an average bale weight of 800 kilograms, bales remain secure in the hands, thanks to their gentle yet robust grip. “They seem to be built better. Bales don’t slip out of the clamps” he said.


“Don’t muck around. Go straight to Hustler.”


“Gotta have gear that can handle the bales without ripping them or dropping them all the time. Because these ones just don’t seem to drop the bales, like the other ones have in the past. They are – just seemed to be better designed. Ah yeah, don’t muck around. Go straight to Hustler.” Dwayne concluded.


 Specifications | Hustler Softhands Contractor’s bale handlers LX200

Bale Size Round: All Sizes
Bale Size Square: Will clamp 0.9 m (2.9 ft) up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Max Opening/ Max Closing 2.3 m/0.4 m | 7.5 ft/1.3 ft
Bale Weight Up to 2 tonne (2.2 US ton) total
Unit Weight 220Kg | 485 lb
Hydraulics Required 1x double-acting, 12-60 litres/min (3-15.8 gallons/min), 2250-3000 psi


Dwayne’s experience with the Hustler Softhands LX200 reinforces the importance of choosing quality equipment that can handle the rigours of the task at hand.


Do you want to know more about Hustler product range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!


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