Saturday, April 03, 2004


The auction results are in. I am now the proud owner of a Ford 551 round baler. Now I just need to conjure the scratch to cover the rubber check I wrote to pay for it. I do believe that I got the bargain of the day. This baler is roughly twenty years old, but it was obviously shed-kept because the paint is not at all faded. I seriously doubt that it's ever been rained on. Not only that, I highly doubt it's had more than a few hundred bales ran through it, possibly not even that many. The paint is not even worn off the rollers or the pickup. For that matter, the chains still have paint on them. I was able to buy this contraption for the grand sum of $900. A new round baler can run anywhere from $9k to $20k+, depending on brand.

The reason I was able to buy this baler, which should have brought somewhere between $2500 and $3500 (because of condition) is because I am a smart boy (and a modest one too!). I knew something that most of the folks there didn't know. Very few people bid on this baler because it was a Ford. They were leery of buying something that they might not be able to find parts for. I knew that this baler was not built by Ford. Ford used to sub out their implements. They did not build anything but tractors. I knew that the baler was either a Gehl or a Vermeer. It was a Gehl as it turns out, a Gehl 1400 to be exact.

I'm feeling very pleased with my myself right now. For all intents and purposes I bought a brand new machine for less than a tenth of the price of a new one. Granted, it lacks the bells and whistles and electronic gizmo's of a new machine, but I don't like that crap anyway.

TC owns a ragged out Gehl 1400. It makes as good a roll as LA's John Deere 535 with a monitor. The only thing I don't like about this baler is the fact that it is a closed throat baler. That means the hay has to pass between two press rollers right behind the pickup. It can be hard to start a bale if the windrow isn't big enough. Most of the newer balers are open throat, which makes it a lot easier to start a bale.

I can learn to live with that. It's still easier than running a square baler.

We also acquired a bucket for the Ford loader and a bale spear for BC (maybe I can repossess mine now).

Other stuff of interest:
Massey Ferguson model 50 w/tricycle front end–$1000
Super M Farmall w/live hydraulics–$800/no sale
Ford 6610 Series II–$7900/no sale
Allis Chamlers 220 w/cab and air–$3100 Clean Tractor, 1000 rpm pto, painted with a brush
John Deere/Van Brunt grain drill–$180
Hesston 5530 round baler–$1600
Hesston 555 round baler–$3500 the other bargain of the day/late model with monitor
Gehl 1400 round baler–$800/no sale, needed belts
New Holland tedder–$2100
Massey Ferguson 255–$5900 Nice looking machine, good paint
Ford 4000–$1400 Dead battery or it would have brought more

There was a lot of stuff there, but I figured I'd better quit whilst I was ahead. The other major item I would have liked to have bought was a little Tuf-Bilt tractor with a whole pile of attachments (mower, cultivators and scrape blade). The Tuf-Bilts were made in Cumming Georgia in the late 70's and early 80's. They are very similar to an Allis G. I would love to have one to cultivate with. I'd probably do some serious corn growing then. It was the next-to-last item and my feet were killing me by then, so I decided to head for home.

I figure it's the full moon. I don't normally get this lucky.