Canadian firm Marcrest Manufacturing is best known in Britain through Bale Baron UK, the importer of the trailed 4000 Series, which packages nine, 18 or 21 small rectangular bales in a single bundle. Popular for hay and alfalfa destined for horse owners, over 60 of the approx. 700 machines delivered so far worldwide work in the UK. Self-propelled machines are popular in Canada and North America, and the Ontario-based company has developed just such a version of the Bale Baron. Called the 6240SP, the Stage III 6.8l 6cyl 173hp engine comes from John Deere, and the front-mounted pick-up eliminates operator head-turning. On the road, the 6240SP hits a top speed of nearly 50km/hr.

Experience with the dozen machines already at work in North America and Australia confirms an in-field pick-up speed of around 20km/hr. Packaging around 1200 x 20-25kg bales/hr, the company says the hydrostatically-driven machine can keep up with three balers.Will the nearly 10m-long and 9t-heavy machine ever be brought to the UK? The company says it has no immediate plans to homologate this model for Europe, but these plans could change in a couple years.