1. What volume of material should my company be handling to make purchasing a new two-ram baler cost-effective?
Generally speaking, higher volumes cost more to process manually. When labor investment erodes profit in processing your material, you should look into a baler that offers more automation. A customer who is making only a few bales a day may not see a substantial benefit from automation. However, if they have large or bulky material that has to be preprocessed or broken down by hand, that also can benefit from the larger feed openings that two-rams offer, even if the volume is low.
2. How do I correctly assess that a new baler, rather than a preowned one, is right for me?
The driving factor for most customers looking at preowned balers is usually initial cost. This has been greatly increased due to today’s economics of higher manufacturing expenses and extended delivery times for new equipment. Everyone is looking for a “deal,” however, buyers should be cautious when looking at used two-rams. Two-rams see heavy use in high-production and extreme-duty applications, resulting in a lot of wear and tear before they are placed on the secondary market. This can mean that what seems like a deal may actually be a hornet’s nest of problems. If cost is a major determining factor, a factory reconditioned unit could be considered as a more trustworthy alternative.
3. What warranty support or guarantees should I seek from a manufacturer?
Most manufacturers offer industry-standard warranties on equipment, usually a one-year period (2,000 hours) on components. Many also offer extended structural or major components extended coverage, which can extend out to three years (6,000 hours). Applicable coverage may vary and is dependent on the application and service history of the unit. Always understand what is covered ahead of your purchase so there are no surprises when/if the time comes that you need to request warranty coverage.
4. What role does a dealer play in supporting and serving a new two-ram baler?
In any operation, time is money. Downtime (for whatever reason) can become a major loss of income. If the manufacturer does not offer its own in-house service and support, having a regional dealer or service provider can help reduce that downtime. This is especially good as the machine ages and surpasses its factory warranty period, when parts are no longer covered. Some manufacturers and dealers also offer extended annual maintenance plans.
5. What is the most important maintenance measure I should take as a two-ram baler operator?
Outside of safety, the No. 1 maintenance measure will be preventive maintenance (PM). Ensuring that machines receive routine inspections and that any issues discovered are addressed as soon as possible are the keys to equipment longevity. The manufacturer should provide a recommended PM schedule for inspection and maintenance items and may even provide PM service. Too often, minor issues become major problems, resulting in downtime or, even worse, a potential safety issue.