Simon Chiles is a farmer and agricultural contractor based between Edenbridge and Oxted on the Kent/Surrey border in the South East of England. He studied Agricultural Engineering in college and started his own Agricultural Contracting business in 1984. Soon after, he saw the opportunity to supply the equestrian market with hay and straw which predominantly required conventional bales. He started with a Welger 53 baler and sledge, and soon realized that the system required a lot of casual labor to handle the bales.
Sourcing labor became more difficult in the early 2000s and that pushed him to look into bale handling systems. He bought his first Arcusin A14 bale packer in 2004, the first model that the company launched in the market.
“I chose the Arcusin because I wanted to be able to operate in small fields and on steep banks, something I felt the alternative brands wouldn’t be as proficient at.” He initially started following other farmer’s balers, up to 11 a year, but soon realized that the bundler’s performance and ease of operation was dependent on the quality of the bales being produced.
With the addition of his son Jacob to the family business, they now produce their own hay and straw with a Welger 730 baler, while providing contractor services to a couple major producers that make between 30-50,000 bales a year.
In 2011 the A14 was upgraded to the B14 model, and according to Simon, this machine together with a Welger 730 can bale and pack up to 6,000 bales a day off 28 acres. One of his bigger
customers has a team of three people (one tractor loading trailers, another carting them back to the barn, and a telescopic loader stacking the bundles into the shed), and they are able to clear and store 1,000 bales an hour.
Simon says both models have been very reliable, cost very little in maintenance and have low depreciation. One of the things he likes the most is the size of the packs, as they are long enough to fit exactly across the width of his farm trailers and trucks. They handle their bundles with Quickie TS Quadrogrips and can move two packs at a time. The Quadrogrip allows them to stack up to 6 packs high with a tractor and loader.
“For smaller deliveries going into small horse yards down narrow lanes, the packs are flipped onto their sides so that two packs fit exactly the width of our Ifor William trailer. This allows 8 packs to be fitted onto a 16 ft. long trailer and with 25 kg conventional bales ensures it is within the maximum weight limit that can be towed behind a 4x4”.
Simon has been working with Arcusin machines for almost 20 years now. He claims to be very impressed with the two models he has worked with, and he is very grateful for the transformation they have brought to his hay and straw business.