Fixed Chamber Round Balers

F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

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Technical Data

McHale F5500 Heavy Duty Fixed Chamber Round Baler with a 15 Knife Chopper Unit and Drop Floor Unblocking System

As with all McHale machines the McHale F5500 fixed chamber round baler has been designed with the demands of today’s farmer and contractors in mind. This common sense approach to design ensures that machine operation is kept simple and user friendly.


Features like progressive greasing and oiling and drop floor unblocking system, when combined with high specification components ensure long life, reliability and a machine that is rugged enough to handle the toughest of crop and ground conditions.


Standard Features on the F5500 Round Baler include:

  • 2.1 Metre Pick Up
  • Drop Floor Unblocking System
  • 15 Knife Chopper System
  • Heavy Duty Rollers with a Specifically Designed Sealing System
  • High Quality Chains and Bearings
  • Progressive Greasing and Oiling
  • User Friendly Electronics

The F5500 Round Baler delivers a machine which is loaded with features and rugged enough to handle the toughest of crop and ground conditions.


On the McHale F5500 Heavy Duty Round Baler, the left hand side of the gearbox drives the rollers in the bale chamber, while the pick up and chopper unit are driven from the right hand side of the machine. This system ensures direct short transfer paths and optimal power distribution.


The McHale F5500 heavy duty round baler is equipped with a 2.1 metre galvanised pick up that lifts even the shortest of crop. Accurate height control can be achieved through a spring balanced hydraulic lifting system. The machine comes standard with pneumatic guide wheels, which contact the ground on exactly the same line as the tines and guide the pick up perfectly over uneven ground.

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The pick up on the F5500 fixed chamber round baler is fitted with lateral feed augers that smoothly guide the crop into the chopping unit. The pick up features:

  • five rows of tines
  • double raced cam bearings
  • slip clutch protection
  • cam side inspection port for checking/ changing pick up bearings

A crop compression roller is also available as an optional extra on the McHale F5500 round baler. This roller evens out lumps in the swarth and minimises the risk of blockages when working in heavy swarths.


The McHale F5500 round baler is equipped with a 15 knife chopper unit. As crop enters the spiral rotor, pairs of rotating tines feed the crop through the chopping unit. The double tines on the rotor ensure high output while the spiral layout reduces the load peaks as the machine works in heavy swarths. The rotor design encourages a uniform crop flow, which reduces the risk of blockages, thus maximising output.

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With all 15 knives engaged, a theoretical chop length of 65mm is delivered. Knives can be engaged and disengaged from the tractor cab.


The McHale F5500 round baler is designed to achieve maximum output, however as baling conditions are not always ideal, uneven swarths can occur, which can lead to blockages. The main drive chain on the F5500 fixed chamber round baler is protected by a slip clutch on the PTO.

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  1. Should a blockage occur, the sound of the slip clutch alerts the operator who can hydraulically lower the floor from the tractor cab.
  2. This widens the feed channel, on re-engaging the PTO the blockage will be fed through.
  3. The floor can then be reset and baling can resume.

The bale chamber on the McHale F5500 round baler produces a 1.23 X 1.25 metre round bale. The bale chamber on the F5500 round baler is comprised of 18 heavy duty rollers.

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The 18 rollers in the bale chamber of the F5500 round baler are made from high-grade tubular steel for maximum strength, while the roller design ensures maximum traction.

The roller ends are fitted with heavy-duty 50mm shafts on the drive and non-drive side. The roller ends are fitted with a McHale-designed reverse thread sealing system. This system protects the bearings; when the roller moves in one direction the thread on the seal moves in the opposite direction. This ensures that any material which tries to get into the back of the bearings is automatically threaded out.


The rollers on the McHale F5500 round baler are fitted with 50mm bearings on the drive and non-drive side. Drive side rollers, which experience the most load, are fitted with double raced bearings.

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The McHale F5500 round baler is fitted with heavy-duty drive chains and sprockets, which ensure long life and minimum down time.

  • Drive side chains are1-1/4 inch (20B)
  • Rotor chain is 1 inch (16B-2)
  • Pick up chains are 3/4 inch (60H)

A progressive greasing system supports the bearings.

  • Each time a bale is ejected from the machine, grease passes through the respective progressive blocks.


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The blocks measure and regulate the amount of grease going to the bearings. This ensures that the machine consistently delivers the correct amount of grease depending on the load the bearings are under.

  •  The chamber rollers, rotor bearings and pick up gears automatically receive a measured amount of pressurised grease.
  •  The chamber chains, rotor chain, pick up chains and pick up cam track is oiled continuously from the oil pump, which is driven off the gearbox.
  •  After a pre-set number of bales a lube alarm will sound reminding the operator to top up the lubrication system.

The cab-mounted wizard plus control box is the operator’s link to this efficient machine.

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Its features include;

  • Floor Position
  • Knife Pressure
  • Knife Position
  • Tailgate Position
  • Net Feed Indicator
  • Voltage Supply Display

A new high performance netter has been designed and developed for the F5000 range.

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The net tension can be simply adjusted on a variable pulley on the right hand side of the machine and a decal displays the various settings that can be achieved using the system, depending on the net quality being used. This netter is very reliable and features:

  • Endless adjustment of tension to ensure optimum net usage and bale shape.
  • Capacity to take rolls of net wrap up to 1300mm.
  • 180-degree wrap around on the rubber feed roller, eliminating any net slippage while feeding.

Net loading has been optimised on the F5000 baler range by the simple yet very effective rock and roll net loading system. The operator simply releases the straps on the spare roll of net on the machine platform and rocks the net roll from its storage position over the lip in the platform and rolls it into the net box. Storage for an extra roll of net is provided on the baler platform.



F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler Videos

The Customer Experience

James Mulhall farms in the centre of Ireland with a mixed enterprise of dairy, beef and tillage. We spoke to him about his decision to buy a McHale F5500 and how it suits his farm.

Technical Data

Width 2.55/2.58m*
Length 4.05m
Weight 3500kg
Height 2.45m

Working Width 2100mm
Pick Up Guide Wheels Standard
Pick Up Lift Hydraulic
Crop Roller Optional
Short Crop Guard Standard
Tine spacing 70mm
Tine Bars 5

Unblocking System Drop Floor
Knife Deactivation Hydraulic from Cab
Knife Protection Hydraulic
Theoretical Chop Length 65mm
Number of Knives 15

Width (m) 1.23
Diameter (m) 1.25
Greasing Automatic Progressive
Bearings 50mm**
Number of Rollers 18
Bale Chamber Feed Baler Rotor

Net Adjustment Manual on Baler
Net System Vario Stretch
Net Roll Capacity 1 + 1 Storage
Control Manual or Automatic

Chain Lubrication Continuous
Pick Up Protection Slip Clutch
Main Drive Protection Cam Clutch
Gearbox Split Drive

Density Adjustment On Baler Valve
Operation Semi
Control System Wizard Plus

Axle 8 stud
Road Lights Standard
Bale kicker Indicator Not Available
Tyres Optional 500/50 – 22.5
Tyres Standard 500/50 – 17

Hydraulics 2 Double acting spools
Minimum Power Requirement 67kW (90hp)
*Width will depend on tyre selection **Bearings are double raced on the main load points

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Barry & Declan Wilson F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Barry and Declan Wilson operate a successful contracting business based in Ballybrittas, Co Laois where they produce up to 8,000 bales per year using two McHale F5500 balers and an Orbital Round Bale Wrapper. In addition, the Wilsons also run a tillage and suckler beef enterprise with brothers Colm, Paddy and their father, Tommy.

Mar 26th, 2021|

Cormick Bourke F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Cormick Bourke is an agricultural contractor from Killala, Co. Mayo who provides baling, slurry and some tillage & reseeding services to customers in the surrounding area. He makes between 15,000 – 18,000 bales per year, 98% of which is silage and some hay when the weather allows.

Mar 15th, 2021|

Ger Darcy F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Ger Darcy is a beef farmer and contractor in Dungarvan…

Jul 20th, 2018|

Ger & Kevin Griffin F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Ger and Kevin Griffin run a farming and contracting business…

Jul 11th, 2018|

Martin Hanley – Tara Haylage F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Martin Hanley owns and runs a fodder merchant business called Tara Haylage in County Meath

Feb 1st, 2018|

Pat Furlong F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Pat Furlong runs a 200 acre arable farm and also operates a contracting business in New Ross, Co. Wexford.

Feb 1st, 2018|

Edward Gardner F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Edward Gardner runs a 400 acre mixed arable and beef farm in Preston while also providing a round baling contracting service in the area.

Dec 7th, 2017|

David & Luke Powell F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

David and Luke Powell have a beef and sheep farm in South Wales. During the summer months, they also run a contracting business which does 6,000 bales per year. They do mainly silage with a small amount of hay and straw.

Mar 30th, 2016|

Peter Oliver Loughran F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Peter Oliver Loughran runs a beef farm and contracting business…

Mar 30th, 2016|

Paul Meehan F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

Paul Meehan started contracting 20 years ago at the age of 17. Paul runs two McHale balers, he runs a Fusion 3, which would normally do over half of his work, and he also runs a McHale F5500.

Mar 30th, 2016|

George & Roy Ebbit F5500 – 15 Knife Chopper Baler

George Ebbitt started a contracting business 40 years ago. In…

Mar 29th, 2016|
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