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Tied in knots

Written by Jonathan Coleclough
Regional Technical Manager for Tama UK
The Unsung Hero of the Baling Process

With a background in contracting, machinery manufacture and operation, 7 years’ experience with one of the larger baler manufacturers, and I tend to lean towards logic and reason when looking for answers. I joined the Tama UK team in 2018 genuinely believing that I had a good understanding of all aspects of the baling process, little did I know how much I had to learn. While I have spent many hours baling all types of crops in varying conditions using many different balers over the last couple of decades, I had never taken the time to look in detail at the crucial role that Twine plays in the baling process. It is the keystone that supports all the work done up to the point that the bale leaves the chamber. All the necessary handling, stacking, transporting that comes after can only happen if the twine continues to perform.

Overcoming Challenges in Baler Twine Selection

Historically, selecting the highest performance twine has not been easy, with consistency not traditionally being a word used when talking about baler twine. It was not unusual to have to change twine as the crop or conditions changed. This often meant sourcing a progressively thicker twine until the twine was so thick that it caused more problems than it solved, not tying, knots slipping, damaging knotters, etc. This trial and error method is less than ideal, causing a lot of frustration, downtime and damage during a time when the pressure is on and there is no time to study the problem. Once upon a time the number 7200 related to the number of feet in a pack, however, the manufacturing limitations that made this number relevant are a long, long way behind us. In fact, there are very few applications where a twine this short is even necessary. To confuse things even further, some products are sold by weight, kgs per pack, which is no indicator of length or performance.

A Performance Game-Changer

Modern manufacturing capabilities and higher grade raw materials have allowed much higher performing twines to be produced using less plastic while achieving much greater lengths. This means there is a choice between making the twine thicker or smarter. However, not all manufacturers have invested in the same technology and some twines are still made in a traditional way but because balers have increased in capability and tractors only get more powerful, they have had to continue making their twine thicker, getting shorter as a result, meaning more packs have to be bought. There was clearly a need for clarity in the twine market place as not all twine is created equal.

Experience shows that performance of the twine is the number one concern and there are several influencing factors.

Firstly, the capability of the baler (make/model) determines how hard the crop is compacted (stored energy). Secondly, the type of crop (forage/straw) determines how much it resists being compacted. Thirdly, the moisture level of the crop (conditions) determines the volume of crop needed to achieve the desired weight, less moisture means more crop is required to achieve the same weight, increasing the forces involved.

Ensuring Optimal Baling Performance

Understanding these three controlling factors and their influence, it is possible to create a scale of performance and in 2018, Tama released the International Baler Twine Segmentation. A comprehensive range of 5 twines that covers all balers, all crops and every condition. From Tama LSB Max 3200m when low density is required through to Tama HD Prime 2200m for maximum performance in extreme conditions. The range of Tama Twine is specifically designed and manufactured to allow all balers to perform at the highest level with unrivalled knot performance ensuring reliable, consistent baling with a higher output, better efficiency and less waste.
The working relationship that Tama has with the major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) means that all of these twines are fully validated, giving you certainty that the highest performance is guaranteed. To find the perfect match for your specific requirements Tama has worked with the OEMs to make recommendations for all balers in all crop types and conditions, guaranteeing the highest performance Twine is selected every time.

Empowering Baling Confidence

Using the Twine Selector tool on the Tama website, you can quickly and easily identify the recommended Twine and using the Twine Calculator, work out the quantity needed to cover all your baling needs for the season. All of Tamas products contain a guaranteed minimum of the stated length which means that you can be certain of your costs per bale before you start baling.

Confidence in your baler Twine is priceless, especially in these uncertain times. Tama has a team of highly knowledgeable, helpful and friendly crop baling solution specialists available to support you and your business all year round. We can be contacted directly through our details on the website or via any of our OEM partners and all good merchants.

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