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Does it matter which direction the belts run on your round hay baler?
Yes, in most cases, the direction of travel is important to the life and performance of a baler belt. Baler belts are often marked with a direction of travel arrow on the bottom cover near one end of the belt. What determines the direction of travel depends on a few different factors.
For many baler belts, the type of lace (mechanical fasteners) and how the belt ends are prepared are why you would run belts in a certain direction. In other cases, the construction of the belt itself is the deciding factor.
Clipper® Wire Hook
Clipper® Wire Hook fasteners are installed with fewer hooks on the trailing end of the belt. Having these hooks further away from the belt edges and inside the outermost hooks on the leading end helps prevent the hooks from being stripped off the belt end and compromising the splice.
Alligator® Rivet and Mato High Performance Fasteners
Alligator® Rivet and Mato lace are installed slightly off the longitudinal center with matching offsets. This means that the joined fasteners are centered on the longitudinal line and that the fasteners do not dictate a direction of travel. However, how the belt ends have been prepared will indicate which way the belts will run based on which end has chamfered corners.
Trailing End Chamfers
Belts using mechanical fasteners will have the corners of the trailing end chamfered (also called notched or dog-eared). Their purpose is to prevent the belt end corners from catching on guides and damaging the belt, the fasteners, or both. The chamfered end will become the trailing end of the belt, with the leading end maintaining square corners to further protect the splice from migrating into an obstruction.
AG Belt™ Spliceless™ Baler Belts
The patented Spliceless™ baler belt is truly endless, so there are no belt ends or mechanical fasteners to consider. However, a direction of travel is still recommended for these belts. Part of the unique design of the Spliceless baler belt that makes them so durable and long-lasting is the longitudinal cords within the belt carcass that wind outward from the belt’s centerline and terminate at the outside belt edges in the same direction. The edges of the belt carcass are protected with molded rubber, but should that protection be compromised, the correct direction of travel will prevent those longitudinal cords from catching on obstructions and possibly further damaging the belt. AG Belt™ Spliceless™ baler belts are marked with arrows on the bottom covers to easily identify the correct direction of travel.
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