292 Te Ngae Road,
They are there 24/7 if we need them
Three new CLAAS balers are helping mid-Canterbury contractor Andrew Quigley boost the efficiency of his straw and silage harvesting operation.
Based near Mayfield, Andrew Quigley Contracting Ltd runs two forage harvesters, ten balers and a fleet of truck and trailer units. The business services the region between the Rangitata and Rakaia rivers, “from the hills to the sea”. A large proportion of Andrew’s clients are dairy farmers, and the rising demand for supplement in the region has seen his business grow significantly since he first started contracting eight years ago. He now employs about 20 staff throughout the year, but during the peak of the harvest season - between November and February - this increases to up to 55.
Reliable, high performance equipment is crucial to the success of the operation and it’s the constant drive to improve efficiency that led Andrew to the CLAAS QUADRANT balers. The densely packed 1.00m by 1.2m bales produced by the QUADRANT perfectly suit the needs of many of his clients. And the baler’s ability to create solid well-packed bales means his operation can harvest large quantities of straw and baleage much more efficiently. “Our three QUADRANTS are probably doing the work of five of our older large square balers,” says Andrew. “The advantage of the high density baler is that it puts more weight into the bale. It also makes transporting more efficient because we can get more tonnes of product onto a transport unit.”
He says the QUADRANT comfortably produces 70-80 bales per hour, achieving outputs of up to 120-130 bales in good going. He believes the QUADRANT is ideally suited to Canterbury’s flat terrain and large paddocks. “The feed intake on the QUADRANT 3400 is like nothing else I’ve seen. It’s got an incredible throughput.” He estimates the baler will pack in 700-1000kg of grass silage into a bale, depending on the dry matter content, and up to 600kg in straw. “We trade on weight, so the more product in a bale, the better the value.”
The QUADRANT 3400 has an impressive 2.35metre pickup and utilises CLAAS’s revolutionary Roto-Cut system for the aggressive chopping of baleage and positive crop flow. Andrew says he doesn’t use the knives that often in grass silage crops because most are at the short leafy stage “but we do use them in cereal silage and they do a very good job”.
The QUADRANT 3400 incorporates the latest technology to ensure fast field clearance, smooth operation and consistent bale length and density. The CLAAS Communicator system, for example, makes it easy to manage baling operations from the tractor while providing a wide range of information back to the operator.
Though QUADRANT balers are designed to be extremely user-friendly, Andrew says he wouldn’t entrust the baling job to a novice. “I liken the QUADRANT to a high performance car. To get the best out of it you need to have an experienced driver in the driver’s seat.” He expects each of his QUADRANT balers to do 30,000-40,000 bales per season. “They are very well designed and solidly built balers and from what I’ve seen so far I’m confident they will be around for many more years to come.”
Andrew Quigley Contracting runs a lot of CLAAS gear, including four CLAAS LINER swathers, a CLAAS DISCO 9100 triple mower unit and a CLAAS JAGUAR 850 forage harvester. Andrew has always been impressed with the reliability of CLAAS gear and, in particular, the backup service that comes with it. “We’ve been dealing with the CLAAS Harvest Centre Ashburton for years and their backup is unreal. They understand contractors and they really know the gear. They’ve also got an excellent parts service and it’s good to know that they are there 24/7 if we need them.”