Spring is almost here, and that means hay baling season is just around the corner. For farmers, it’s an essential task that requires intensive preparations, from greasing up the tractors, mowers, and balers to prepping the entire field. Since baling involves working with heavy-duty farm equipment, it’s necessary to take a few extra precautions to prevent accidents.
How to Bale Hay Safely
1. Get a Head Start
Most farmers know the adage about making hay while the sun shines still rings true today. Check the weather forecast for clear skies and make sure to get the tractors up and running early. Even with many hands helping out, there’s only so much hay you can produce in a day. Try to begin at the earliest possible time so you can finish before night falls. It’s more difficult to stack up bales in the dark, and leftover hay on the field will get wet from the dew.
2. Stay Hydrated
Since the perfect time for hay baling is on a sunny day, things can quickly get hot. Take breaks to cool down and keep yourself hydrated by drinking water frequently. Make sure the people operating the tractors and balers are working in shifts so they don’t have to stay under the sun too long. Encourage everyone to wear light, comfortable clothes, preferably ones made with cotton.
3. Use the Right Equipment
Even if everyone’s working on the double, it’s sometimes not enough to finish hay baling on time. Invest in the right farm equipment, but decide first what type of bale you want to produced—round bales are perfect for feeding several animals while square ones are easier to store and handle. Once you’ve purchased the tractors and balers, read the manual for operating the equipment efficiently and safely.
4. Set the Right Height
When setting the baler pickup mechanism, ensure ample ground clearance by adjusting it to the right height. Keeping it short will result in the teeth digging into the ground, causing dirt and other debris to fly toward the operator. Check the manual for the ideal height, reviewing other safety procedures you can implement while on the field.
Before hay baling season begins, be sure your tractors are up for the task. For exceptional repairs and servicing, look no further than Gene & Matt Tractor Sales. Since 1978, they’ve provided high-quality heavy equipment, backhoes, riding mowers, and tractor parts to residents throughout Barrow County, GA. Call (770) 867-3179 today or request service online.