5 Things to Check When Buying a Used Bollegraaf Baler

John Rueckert - VDRSby John Rueckert

Like a used car, buyers need to be cautious when purchasing used balers and equipment. You could find the deal of a lifetime or a lifetime of complications. Here are five questions you should get answers to before buying a used baler.

1. When was the used baler last running?

One of the first questions to ask is, when was the baler last running in a MRF? If it has been recently moved, ask if it ever ran in that location. Even better, see the baler running for yourself. If you can’t confirm the most recent run date or see it operating, plan for there to be unknown electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical issues with your used baler.

2. Examine the baler’s paint job.

A Van Dyk factory-certified refurbished baler has had all existing components thoroughly inspected and any necessary structural, mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic components replaced as needed with OEM parts. Used Bollegraaf balers from other sources will not be restored to the same degree of quality and will claim to be rebuilt when all they had was a thorough paint job. If a “rebuilt” Bollegraaf baler has almost every component painted, be diligent and inspect the baler with more detail.

paint job on used baler
Even the paint job on the used baler might be telling you something.

3. Measure the frame for structural integrity.

One of the biggest indicators of a used baler’s condition is in the frame. Check these thicknesses to know if your baler has significant wear:

Component Original Thickness Critical Thickness
Needle Plate 40mm (1-5/8″) 15mm (5/8″)
Frame 30mm (1-3/16″) 15mm (5/8″)
Floor 15mm (5/8″) 5mm (3/16″)

4. Check for hydraulic leaks.

If the used baler hasn’t been running, seals may dry out and start leaking. Inspect the cylinders to see if there are any oil spots or dribbles on the floor or if oil is leaking down the piston. If there is no oil, the cylinders may have been recently cleaned. Ask to see the baler run to determine if the seals still have integrity. If they are busted, oil will start leaking from them while running and they will need to be rebuilt. All Van Dyk factory-certified refurbished balers have had their cylinders rebuilt, both flap and main ram ones. We take apart every single cylinder, replace all seals and rebuild the cylinder so it is like new.

5. Does the used baler have electrical damage?

If the baler has undergone a recent move, always check the electrical. Many times, inexperienced movers will damage electrical wiring when taking a baler out. Inspect the wiring and check to see if any cable sheathings are damaged. Also, older electrical components on used balers may no longer be serviced and would have to be upgraded if they are out of date. If you’re unsure whether we still carry the electrical components for the baler, call our service department to verify availability. Van Dyk factory-certified refurbished balers will have completely new wires and up to date electrical components so that unwanted electrical ‘gremlins’ don’t pop up and cause unforeseen downtime.


HBC 120 Bollegraaf baler disassembled
Disassembled HBC -120 in our Norwalk baler rebuild facility. This baler (left) had a worn frame so we are completely replacing it (right).

Only Van Dyk can guarantee that a refurbished baler is built to factory standards. At our Norwalk, CT facility, we have a dedicated baler rebuild shop to inspect, replace, and refurbish used balers that are salvageable. Our process is thorough and includes, but is not limited to:

  • Completely taking apart the baler
  • Replacing all wiring
  • Rebuilding all cylinders
  • Frame inspection
  • Floor inspection
  • Electrical inspection/upgrades
  • Ram wheel replacements
  • Pre-press flap inspection
  • Manifold inspection

When you purchase a Van Dyk factory-certified refurbished baler, you can be sure the baler has been fully inspected and is as close to new as possible. Rebuilt or used Bollegraaf balers from other companies do not undergo the same rigorous inspection and reconstruction. If you do choose to purchase a used Bollegraaf baler elsewhere, educate yourself with these tips to prevent headaches and expensive upgrades down the road.