There are several types of baler belts, and each is used for a specific type of crop. From hay to straw and silage, there are baler belts that are specially designed for gripping the materials to make the baling process much easier for the farmer. Technology has spawned baler belts that are much different from the earliest, smooth rubber belt design originally found in the first baling machines. New textures, rubber types and tread designs make it easier for the baler to grab the raw materials, begin tumbling them into a round bale and packing them tight to form a well-bundled bale.
The round baler, or baling machine, uses a system of rubber belts to pickup the crop, start it rolling in a rotational manner and then packs more and more crop into a round bale suitable of providing long-term storage on the farm. In order for the machine to accomplish this feat, it must rely on very strong and specially designed rubber baler belts. Some baling machines use several belts strung over many pulleys to create the round bale. Some of these baler belts are directional and must be installed in the proper manner to take advantage of a tread design that is intended to increase the efficiency of the baling machine.
In the early years of baling machines, plain, smooth rubber belts were used in most baling machines. While these machines worked, they were occasionally difficult to start a bale or to pack the bale tight enough. With changeable belts, farmers can now use the same baler to successfully gather and bale hay and grass for feeding, straw and other materials, such as bean vines and corn stalks for bedding and green chopped corn to create a type of silage bale. Bound by twine, plastic netting or plastic wrap, the bales can be stored for long periods and still be used for nutritious food.
Present day baler belts are created with tread designs much like an automobile tire. The tread varies according to the intended use of the baler. The baler belts are designed to grab the raw material by the dimension, texture and slickness of the product and to adhere to the material hard enough to start the product tumbling. More and more material is grabbed by the belts and arranged in a manner that creates a smooth and evenly sized bale as it is packed tightly. This tightness results in a bale that will stay fresh for a longer period of time.