Nevada - The first successfull weeks with Dan Smith!

Hi Followers,

two really busy weeks in Nevada are behind me. We did nearly every day at least one demonstration, I had to do the 100 hour service at the JCB, and we had a lot of travel in between. The first week I stayed in Yerington in a hotel without Internet, and at the moment I’m at the Super 8 Motel at Lake Topaz – and also here the Internet connection is so slow, that it is hard to upload pictures. So, I’m sorry that I can’t show you so much today.

But step by step: Last week Saturday we moved the Tractor and the baler over the Sierras – see the last post – and I went back to Reno. I had to do some things at the office on Monday morning, so that I came back to Smith Valley Monday afternoon. At the evening we baled at the first customer in Yerington – we started at 11pm and baled till 3 am. The customer who already owned two older Krone BiG Pack HDP balers was very interested to see the ‘new’ 2010 HDP in the field. He is looking forward to buy his third Krone BiG Pack HDP – but he prefers the XC (X-Cut) machine with cutter bar. Another machine he liked very much is the JCB tractor. The full suspension makes the ride in the field very smooth, and so it is possible to speed up when the windrows getting lighter. He liked the easy handling, the huge cabin with AC, radio and air suspension seat. When we had to move to the next field he asked me, if he is allowed to drive the tractor. It was no problem to me, and so he did. At the first possibility he passed his other tractor – a John Deere 7820 – and then he speeded up. When we arrived at the other field, he jumped out of the cabin and told me, that he had the whole way a smile on his face. Driving a tractor with 44 miles down the road was just incredible for him.

The next morning, Tuesday, we started at 9:30 am again, but we were only able to bale one hour before the hay became too dry. During the day I prepared the baler, and I helped our dealer Dan Smith to fix another Krone BiG Pack HDP. The next morning - Wednesday - we went to another customer also in Mason Valley to show him our baler. It was really dry when we came out there – we had only 6% moisture at the beginning and 3% moisture at the end – but we were able to bale heavy bales with 1790 – 1830 lbs (7,5 ft long). We did 64 bales before we stopped. The Customer who owns Freeman balers and older tractors was really impressed – on one hand because of the nice and smooth riding JCB tractor but also because of the performance of the Krone baler. The huge flywheel with 1600 lbs helps to make the baler running very smooth, and the tractor isn’t running like an old steam train in the field like you can see at other brands with smaller flywheels. Also the steered tandem axle helps to have a nice ride also on rough terrain or while crossing borders.

Wednesday afternoon I got some help from one of Dan Smith guys, and we did the 100 hour inspection at the JCB. Changing all the oil in the axles, the hubs, the engine and changing all the filters took us at least three hours, and so we finished that work at 6:30 pm. After we were done, I hade to prepare the baler, grease the drivelines and I filled up the twine boxes. Then I attached some new stickers on the side cover, so that everybody knows now, that we do a ‘BiG Pack Road Show’. I was done with everything at 9 pm - and the next demo was planned for 2 am the next morning. Time to sleep!

At 2 am we went out to another customer in Mason Valley to show him our baler. The first field was very good – nice windrows, and we made some really nice bales. But the second field was a mass. Small windrows with interesting hay, that didn’t spread on the pickup made it hard to make some nice looking bales. I couldn’t fill the bale chamber very well, and the bales looked like bananas. The only good thing was that the customer had the same problem with his Hesston baler. We had also suddenly some problems with our outside knotters, but Dan helped me very well to repair it very quick. The problem was that the knife arm was not able to remove the knot from the bill hook. But after some ‘adjustment work’ with a hammer and a wrench the knotters worked well again. We went to the next field, and the windrows were a little bit bigger again. That field was perfect. I could bale faster than the Hesston, and the bales were nearly the same weight like the Hesston. (The customer asked for 1600 lbs, and we did a little bit more) When we were nearly done with that field, George Kilbride, Brent Raines (both Krone Reno) and Rusty Fowler (President and Chief Executive Officer of Krone NA, Memphis) arrived at the field to see the baler in action. Luckily we had another field, and so we moved over to that place. The windrows were a little bit lighter again, but the hay speeded on the pickup and I was able to fill the bale chamber very well. Also George and Rusty tried to make their first bales with the BiG Pack HDP, and they did a really good job.

When I came back to the shop at 2 pm my first 12 hours of the day were over. I started to clean the baler again, and because of the parade at the Carson Valley Days on Saturday I decided to clean the baler with the pressure washer. I was not tired and I had time to do it. Later that afternoon we moved the baler to Wellington, Smith Valley, because the next demo was lined up for the next morning at 6 am in Smith.

When I left the Hotel in Yerington at 5 am I couldn’t trust my own eyes – it was RAINING!

The normally have no rain in the desert at this time of the year – a sentence, I heard so often the last few weeks. I moved to Wellington, and the weather at the field in Smith was better – it was dry, but in Wellington was rain again. We moved the baler to the field, and we were also able to bale – but the wet baler and the dust was not good for my clean baler and the Parade. When we were done in the field, the baler was completely dirty again. The demo was perfect again. The customer had his two Hesston balers in the field, and I made the first few windrows with nearly double speed. When I stopped to pick up the customer, he called me ‘Speedy Gonzales’. I explained him how to operate the baler and we changes seats. It took 2 more windrows, and he was also at 12 mph – double as fast as his Hesston balers. The customer liked 1600 lbs bales so I was running at only 55% plunger force and we made round about 35 flakes. When we weight some bales after the demo, we had a range from 1620 – 1760 lbs. The customer was also very impressed about the perfect bale shape and the heavy bales with nearly double speed. We made 53 bales in less than one hour with stopping in between.

When I was back at the shop, I cleaned the baler again – again with the pressure washer – and that evening I moved to Minden. I met Brent over there, and we went back to Wellington to get my PickUp Truck with the Trailer.

Saturday morning we waxed the baler before we went to the Parade in Carson Valley. Dan Smith deals also with Case and Kubota, but not with JCB, so I had to unhook the JCB. I pulled the baler with a Case Tractor at the parade, and it was really funny. It was the first time for me to drive a machine in a parade.

Sunday I had a day off, before I moved the tractor back to Wellington on Monday. We had no demonstration on Monday, but on Tuesday morning at 5 am was the next demo north of Wellington in Smith Valley. There was also a camera crew on Tuesday and Wednesday joining me to take some film shoots for a video about the Roadshow. They filmed Tuesday morning in the field and after that we made a lot of road scenes in the nearby Canyon between Smith Valley and Mason Valley. Later that day I went back to Reno because the next day we had some film shoots in the Office and the warehouse in Reno. Also the arch “Reno - the biggest little city in the World” was one place of filming. And we had some Rain and Ice-rain in the morning…..

Wednesday evening I moved back to Wellington, and we had the next demo on Thursday morning at the pivots nearby Highway 208 between Wellington and Topaz. The first time pivots for me. It’s really cool to bale the whole time in circles.

Later that day I moved the baler back to Carson Valley because we had two demonstrations that evening – starting at 11 pm – nearby Minden. I was back at the hotel by 4 am on Friday morning. Later that day I moved the baler back to Wellington, and I prepared everything on Saturday. We decided to lift the bearing between the two drivelines between tractor and flywheel a little bit, because the angle of the drivelines was really hard and there are some vibrations in the driveline. So I changed that and I did the normal maintenance like filling up the twine boxes with Krone HDP twine, greasing the drivelines and cleaning the baler.

Next week we will go down to Fishlake Valley. I don’t think that I have Internet access over there. But of course I will tell you about Fishlake Valley at my next post.

Have a good one!


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