IOWA-based manufacturer Vermeer Corporation has bobbed up again in the ag market, unveiling the world’s first self-propelled round baler.
The ceremony at the annual Husker Harvest Days, in Nebraska, in the United States, revealed a prototype ZR5 self-propelled baler with patent-pending suspension technology, for ultimate operator comfort.
With a nod to the lawn care industry, Vermeer also has applied zero-radius turning to the steering system in the ZR5 for a zippier operation.
According to the company, the zero-radius turning can eliminate skipping a windrow to make the turn, or swinging out wide to get into the next windrow.
While still a prototype, automating the baling process, as well as providing the ability to automatically make real-time adjustments based on paddock, crop and operator inputs, are just a couple of the goals Vermeer has for the ZR5.
Integrated quarter-turn technology is part of the ZR5 baling automation process.
During the tie-cycle, the machine can automatically rotate to the left or right, positioning the bale parallel to the windrow on ejection.
Vermeer says when placing bales parallel to the windrow, the picking up process can be completed up to 35 per cent faster.
Keeping machine maintenance simple is another objective Vermeer is striving to achieve.
The bale chamber can be removed for maintenance in a matter of minutes.
“Farmers and ranchers are facing one of the same challenges they did in 1971 when Gary Vermeer introduced the round baler, and that is labour,” Vermeer executive vice president, Mark Core said.
“As access to labour in rural areas becomes more limited, we believe the type of innovation needed to design the ZR5 will need to continue to pave the way for more efficiency, productivity and an eventual reduction in labour needed to produce the same amount of feed.
“I’m happy to say Vermeer is proud to be making this investment in innovation and dedicated to leading the way.”
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