Reviews

Review: KUHN RW 1810 wrapper

The benefits of the independent bale wrapper are still hard to bypass, with the KUHN RW 1810 wrapper offering impressive speed and capacity

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The KUHN RW 1810 model is particularly well suited to New Zealand conditions

With many combi wrappers getting pretty expensive in terms of investment, the standalone baler and wrapper option continues to offer many advantages, particularly for smaller contractors and farmers who want the flexibility to get their own baleage done in available weather windows.

Test time

Speaking of small weather windows, we managed to snag one of a few dry days amid fairly intensive rain patches to see the newest KUHN VB 7160 baler in action on the outskirts of Hamilton, working in tandem with the KUHN RW 1810 wrapper, a high-output round bale wrapper with the ability to keep up with the high-performing baler.

With KUHN representative Deane Hughes on hand to talk through the newest features and innovations, it was an opportunity to find out about the latest technologies equipped on this inline bale wrapper. 

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Maximum bale weights sit between 1200 and 1400kg

KUHN makes a range of bale wrappers, from single satellite linkage mounted to round/square bale combination machines or round inline tube machines. For me, the RW 1810 model is particularly well suited to New Zealand conditions.

Applying six layers of film (not 3D wrapped), the capacity sits at around 100 bales per hour. If you’re working a 10-hour day, that’s 1000 bales — not too shabby. The machine we spent time with on our test day had been colour-matched with a M7.172 producing around170 horsepower (un-boosted), this proved more than adequate for the job.

With the wrapper only requiring a low 30 to 45 litres per minute oil flow at 150 bar, and one single-acting hydraulic connection with free return or one double-acting set of hydraulics, most tractors should be capable of running it. With a weight range of around 1200-1300kg, it’s not an overly heavy machine and the large transport wheels make it easy to tow.

Maximum bale weights sit between 1200 and 1400kg, which is a pretty heavy bale. Despite this, the total weight of the bale and wrapper combined is still only a maximum weight of around 2.8 tonnes. Although we didn’t have hours’ worth of bales to wrap, what we did do definitely looked the part, with nice square sides, making them good for transport. Obviously, a fair amount of credit must go to the baler for making a tight, dense bale to start with.

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Additional storage for wrap

With both being high-capacity machines, the wrapper was not far behind the baler. If you operate independently like we were, at least you know the wrapper won’t have to work half the night once the baler is done to catch up. The capacity of the RW 1810 allows it to wrap 100 bales an hour, so even with two bales operating (each likely producing 60 bales per hour), this machine won’t be far behind them.  

Operation

The VT30 control box makes the operation of the wrapper simple. A 3.5-inch colour screen tells you what’s happening and what stage the wrapping process is at, etc. To switch from transport to field mode, all you need to do is press the button and it will auto-switch to the other function. Once in field mode, select auto pickup. With the bale size programmed into the monitors, the laser mounted underneath the hat at the centre point of the wrapper will activate the arm when it registers the bale, picking it up onto the wrapping table.

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Laser-mounted technology to activate the auto pick up arm

With no delay transferring the bale, once on the table, wrapping begins. Once the wrapping is complete, at the push of a button you can drop the bale in a suitable spot. In a flat paddock, you can dump on the move, creating a non-stop fully automated process. Without a bale turner, bales will be left on their sides. The bale turner leaves them on their ends ready for picking up. In the transport position, the bale kicker neatly folds onto the wrapping table.

Wrapping

One of the patents KUHN has on the RW 1810 wrapper is its INTELLIWRAP system. This controls the film overlap and the required number of layers of wrap to suit specific conditions. Although six layers of wrap is pretty standard, INTELLIWRAP offers the choice of odd as well as even numbers of wrap — useful if bales are going to be stored longer, are made of particularly stalky material (such as longer lucerne), or if you want to add an extra layer to ensure the quality of feed, etc.

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Applying six layers of film, the capacity sits at around 100 bales per hour

Many design elements of the wrapping table system are used throughout the range of KUHN wrappers. For example, using a four-belt bed provides a secure cradle for the bale, allowing maximum traction and even rotation for wrapping the bale.

Equally, the satellite arms and pre-stretchers are a proven design, made of aluminium to avoid tack build and film breakages. The centrally driven satellite arms each hold one pre-stretcher with a 750mm film roll. In the final stage of the process, the film is cut using a scissor-type cutting action, holding onto the wrap ready for the next bale.

The wrapper is also equipped with a high-speed double satellite, with a boost function that increases the speed to 40rpm when driving at five kilometres per hour or more. In turn, this helps achieve an output of around 100 bales an hour, when wrapping with six layers of wrap.

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The standalone baler and wrapper option offers many advantages for smaller contractors and farmers

An optional feature of the RW 1810 is 3D wrapping. This has been a feature and key point for KUHN balers for some time. 3D wrapping will wrap the barrel of the bale first, similar to what’s now possible with film-on-film binding balers, helping bales maintain their shape and removing more air that would otherwise affect the ensilaging process.

With a baler that can make bales between 100 and 160cm in diameter, the RW 1810 can wrap them up to a sizeable 1400kg, probably twice the weight of standard bales. Able to carry two rolls of wrap as standard, I think it’s well worthwhile optioning the additional storage to cater for another six rolls. These are conveniently mounted on the drawbar of the wrapper, handy to where you need them.

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With a weight range of around 1200-1300kg, it’s not an overly heavy machine

Still want a combi baler?

If you think you still need a Combi baler, the KUHN RW 1810 could still be the answer to this. KUHN make kits to fit almost any baler: McHale, Fendt, John Deere, Goweil, and Krone, for example, and KUHN. Requiring only one double-acting or one pair of single-acting hydraulic remotes, as well as extra wiring for lighting and electrical functions, it’s pretty straightforward and easily done.

Running in line with a baler, you will need the pressure sensor unit to tell the arm when to pick up the bale, as it’s too close for the laser system to function correctly. Running a system like this, you have the option of running baler and wrapper together on flat/easy country. If working on steeper ground, drag the wrapper to the job and disconnect the wrapper. Bale and then wrap, so the job can still be done with one tractor, or the rake tractor can drop the rake and start wrapping once done raking to speed the job up.

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Auto bale loading on the move

Summary

I found the KUHN RW 1810 wrapper simple to use, even for an operator new to the brand. Modern technology and automated processes make life easier for the operator while ensuring excellent work rates and a quality end product. And these days, this kind of capability and capacity ticks a lot of boxes.

Top features

  • Auto bale loading on the move
  • INTELLIWRAP with a choice of 4,5,6,7,8,9 layers
  • Optional 3D wrapping, unique to KUHN
  • Option to run in line with any round baler

 

KUHN RW 1810 Specifications

Bale dimensions

120 x 100–160cm

Max bale weight 1200–1400kg @ 180 & 200 bar
Machine L x W x H 504cm L x 279cm W x 308cm H
Loading system Inline loading arm connected to wrapper table
Wrapper system Dual satellite with 2x 750mm pre-stretchers
INTELLIWRAP Standard
Wrapping table 4 belts
Operation In-cab controller
Kit for ½ table speed Standard
Fully auto film cutter Standard
Film roll carrier 2 x standard, 8 x optional 
Pre-stretch ratio Standard 70% 60% Optional
Hydraulic requirements 1 single-acting with free return or 1 double-acting 
Oil flow required 30–45L/min at minimum 180 bar
Road lights Standard and marker boards
Weight min–max  1150–1300kg 

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