Saturday, July 5, 2014

IH Hay Press and Truck

Pictured above is an International Harvester (IH) hay press manufactured from 1929 to 1939. It is not called a bailer because the bales are hand tied after the machine compresses the hay. Wooden blocks are put into the hopper to separate bales. These blocks have groves in them allowing the insertion of wire used to tie the bales. It takes a crew of six workers or more to operate the machine. Two people fork hay onto a platform where a third person feeds hay and wooden blocks into the hopper to be compressed. Two more people stand on each side of the hay press to insert the tying wires, and the sixth person carries the finished bales to be stacked. I have worked with a John Deere Dain Hay Press tying bales for as much as thirty minutes at a time. We might have made 10 or 12 bales, perhaps half a ton of hay per hour. A modern baler can process 25 tons per hour with a single operator.

International Harvester made some fine looking trucks. This is a five ton flatbed truck used to carry loads of  machinery, hay, grain, live stock, or anything else the farmer needed to haul. 


  1. These machines are impressive. Saw one at work at the Fair this past fall. How did they do that?

  2. How did they press hay? Or how did they get six guys to work in the dust and dirt?

  3. I am tired just looking at this machine. It bears a certain resemblance to something designed by Rube Goldberg.

  4. Begs the question, how did hay get bailed before these mechanisms? Or did it just get pilled?

    1. Before hay presses there were no hay bales. Hay was stacked into large piles. The top of the pile acted as a roof to protect the hay below from weather. Or it was stacked loose in a barn's hay loft so it could be thrown down to animals below with a pitch fork.