The Round Baler
The History of the Round Baler
For hundreds of years farmers used pitch forks to make piles of hay by hand and put on a wagon to bring to the barn. Then came along large buck rakes pulled by horses to speed up the process. Eventually large stationary square balers were used to make the hay more manageable. By the 1940's these balers were mobilized,and pulled behind a tractor, to make the bales right from the windrow and loaded by hand to take home to the barn. Although many farmers continued to stack the hay loose with buck rakes to minimize hand labor.
Meanwhile in 1910 a man by the name of Ummo F. Luebben patented a machine that rolled hay from a windrow into a large round bale, wrapped it with string and ejected it. The Allis-Chalmers Corporation decided in 1940 that round bales were the answer to the farmers labor problems, and decided to purchase the Luebben's patent which led to the development of the famed Roto-Baler. The Roto-Baler made a small round bale not much bigger than a small square bale, but could shed water better. Over 75,000 Roto-Balers were built, before 1960 when Allis-Chalmers seized production due to safety concerns.
But Round Balers didn't stop there because in the 1970's Gary Vermeer, in another attempt to solve Farmers labor issues, developed a large baler, with belts that made an one ton Round Bale. This was the beginning of what led to the modern round baler.