Recently, Hustler Equipment headed to Lapland, the largest and northernmost region of Finland to put their all-new Chainless X2400 to the ultimate test – keeping Santa happy – by feeding frozen balage bales to Reindeer.
Lapland is located within the Arctic Circle, an imaginary line around the Earth that defines the boundary of the Arctic. It marks the start of the area where, for at least one day each year, the sun does not completely set (June 21) or rise (December 22). In the mid-winter months, the sun never rises and temperatures can easily reach lows of – 50º F. In the summer months (further south), 24 hours of sunlight a day melts the seas and topsoil and is the main cause of icebergs breaking off from the frozen north and floating south.
When the hay is harvested for baling it is often high in water content as they are unable to dry it due to the climate, particularly if they have a wet summer. The challenge is these bales are stored outside through the winter at temperatures down toward – 40°C, the result is a very frozen, solid bale. Being mostly balage bales in Lapland with a typical moisture level of around 40%, when compared to dry hay of around 15% moisture you can imagine just how much more frozen these bales are than the frozen bales they’ve experienced beforehand.
The Reindeer trade is a good business for the farmers and supplementary feeding is essential (particularly as they are trying to increase their number of livestock) for the survival of these animals due to the lack of available food during the harsh winters. Congestion and competition at feeding need to be reduced as much as possible, and with the preference to have long windrows of up to 1,000 yards long or to feed into piles where the reindeer can be separated.
The farmers have been looking for years for a tractor mounted bale feeder that can feed out these frozen bales. Thus far only large machines have been available to do this, that is somewhat clumsy, expensive and not practical to use in the forest areas. They need to be able to feed out down lane edges and in the forests, basically wherever needed.
“Demoing the Revolutionary new Chainless X2400 round and square bale feeder in these -40°C conditions was a pleasure, and it rose to the challenge and succeeded with flying colors. And at a third of the cost or less of the bigger machines. The Hustler Chainless X2400 is well capable of feeding out these frozen bales, with the correct amount just where they want it as they want – in lines or in piles or however they choose to feed out.”