Why Are Hay Dogs Important to Good Bale-Tying?
The hay dog springs, clips, and shaft may be small parts on your baler, but they play a critical role in the proper operation of a square baler. A hay dog, when operating as designed, serves to hold the hay in place when the plunger returns to the front of the baler. It's a key element in making tight bales. Dollar for dollar, replacing your hay dog assembly is the most efficient improvement you can make to improve your bales.
Without the hay dog, the hay would push the twine out of the way of the twine fingers or tucker fingers, when the needles deliver the twine to the knotters, causing a mis-tied bale. If the hay dogs do not hold the end of the bale in place, the hay will push your twine forward and the tucker finger will miss laying it on the hay needle.
Without a fully functional hay dog assembly, the hay could be pushed forward in the bale chamber – interfering with the next load of hay being fed, resulting in crooked bales.
And here's what a worn hay dog spring looks like next to a new spring:
The brackets holding the hay dog shaft are narrow, and over time, can cause a groove to form on the shaft. A groove will diminish the effectiveness of the spring because it brings the shaft forward, loosening the tension the spring creates. A simple fix is to weld bushings onto the outside of the brackets (don't weld them onto the shaft itself) to widen the surface area the shaft rests on.
So, check out your hay dogs (right underneath your knotters and feeder fork) and if they need replacement, click here. Our Hay Dog Update Kit also includes weld-on bushings (we also carry Update kits for 24T/224T., 346, 347, 348 )