The Forstack, does just that … stack four square bales and then deposits them at the edge of the field. The system has its advantages and disadvantages, as we found out in our season-long test.

Gathering up straw bales can be a time-consuming task at a busy time of year … and even more so if the bales are dotted across the field and not grouped for speedier clearance. Spanish machinery maker Arcusin’s answer to this is the Forstack FRS bale chaser, of which there are two versions: the FRS8 for 80cm wide bales and the FRS12 for 120cm packs.

Collecting power

The featured FRS12 machine was fitted with a K80 spoon but a ring hitch is also available as a no-cost option. Also, part of the standard Arcusin package is a pto-powered hydraulic pump that slips onto the stub. There is the option (€2,250) of a permanently installed slip-on pump. Utilising this power, the electrohydraulic valves are operated from an in-cab control box. Hydraulic functions include the pivoting drawbar, the bale grab and lifting system as well as the rear door that holds the bales in position during loading.

Simple sequence control

The Forstack is quick to change from road to field mode: engage the 540rpm pto to get the oil moving and pivot the drawbar so the stacker is offset. Loading is normally done in the same direction — so there is no need to drive across deep, rutted tramlines. Guide rails on the drawbar help to guide the bale into the correct position.

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