A ZR5-1200 Self-Propelled Baler Story: Toby Roscoe, Montana

In 2017, Vermeer invited a select group of customers who owned Vermeer round balers to attend a sneak-peek event for an upcoming new product. The first-of-its-kind machine was said to be a game changer in the hay and forage industry. And when the ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler drove over the hill, these producers quickly learned how it can forever change the way they put up hay.

“After seeing the ZR5-1200 for the first time, I was hoping someday I would get one,” said Toby Roscoe, part owner of Tash & Roscoe Hay Company, from Polaris, Montana.

A couple of hay seasons later, Roscoe had the opportunity he had hoped for. In June 2019, he drove a ZR5-1200 onto the operation. Each year Roscoe, his partner, Tom Tash, and Tom’s son Tyler put up 15,000-20,000 custom round bales for their customers and around 4,000 bales for their own operation. The ranch is also home to approximately 700 cow-calf pairs that get sold as yearlings after they spend the winter in their feed yard.

A home for yellow iron

Yellow iron is prevalent on the property: Roscoe has three R2800 twin basket rakes, a TE3300 tedder, a 605N baler, a Super M baler, a BPX9000 bale processor, a BPX9010 bale processor, and the newest addition — the ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler.

According to Roscoe, the decision to purchase a ZR5-1200 was “common sense” — they thought it would be able to replace two conventional balers and an operator.

“We have had the ZR5-1200 since June, and I put 7,000 bales on it from July to September,” Roscoe said.

Roscoe has been documenting the machine’s productivity with his trusty “bale book” – a notepad that accompanies him in the cab. Not only does he monitor the production of the ZR5-1200, he also tracks the number of bales produced in each field from both his ZR5-1200 and conventional balers.

“I’m definitely putting up more bales with the ZR5-1200 than one (conventional) baler,” he said. “And a lot of times I’m doing about double.”

"We have had the ZR5-1200 since June, and I put 7,000 bales on it from July to September."
In nine fields this past summer, Roscoe ran the ZR5-1200 alongside his two conventional balers. He averaged an astonishing 1.6 to 1.9 times more bales with the new machine than the average of his conventional balers, in the same amount of time.

Features with the operator in mind

The productivity of the ZR5-1200 certainly has helped the custom baling company. Roscoe also values and appreciates the machine’s operator comfort — especially after running a tractor-baler combination for most of his career.

The display in the cab of the two rearview cameras reduce his neck pain because he no longer has to turn around to monitor the haymaking process. Plus, with a cab built over the patent-pending suspension, Roscoe said he typically feels better at the end of the day.

“The things I like best about running the ZR5-1200 are the suspension and the cab — the comfort level is huge — and the automation,” Roscoe said. “It stops itself, wraps the bale, dumps it, then you push one button and away you go.”

Roscoe also appreciates the maintenance simplicity. With the ability to detach the bale chamber from the power unit in a matter of minutes for ease of cleaning and maintenance, he found the accessibility of the machine an added bonus.

After considering its dependability, durability, efficiency and operator comfort, adding the ZR5-1200 to Roscoe’s custom operation product lineup sounded like the logical choice.

“The ZR5-1200 has helped us and our customers’ satisfaction by being able to run faster and more efficiently,” Roscoe said. “I think for a custom producer, it makes a lot of sense when you’re using it month after month and you’re putting a lot more hay through it.”

That’s why Toby Roscoe added the ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler to his operation.

Information noted above was gathered from a third party who was advised his/her experience might be featured in marketing materials. This article contains third-party observations, advice or experiences that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Vermeer Corporation, its affiliates or its dealers. Individual results may vary based on care and operation of machine and crop and field conditions, which may adversely affect performance.

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