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How to Adjust the Bale Size on a 430 International Square Baler

By John Gregory ; Updated September 21, 2017
Square bales of hay are ideal for small farm operations.

The act of baling hay is the final step in a process that includes cutting, drying and raking. A baler will compact the hay into bundles, making transport and storing of the forage more efficient. Balers are designed according to the size and shape of the bales desired by farmers. Large livestock operations might prefer round bales that are ordinarily -- but not necessarily -- larger than bales of other shapes. A smaller farm or nursery can work optimally with smaller square or rectangular bales. For this latter constituency, the International Harvester Corporation introduced its model 430 square baler in the 1970s. The bale size can be modestly affected by adjusting the length.

Turn off the tractor and baler, detaching the implement from the tractor power takeoff. Empty the bale chamber of any residual contents.

Locate the metering wheel, usually found between the bale chute and feed auger. This component rotates as the bale is formed within the chamber. Upon contact with the bale contents by means of a projected trip arm, the knotting device is triggered to begin tying off the bale. The knotting cam then resets the trip arm when the bale is tied and ejected.

Release the knotter mechanism manually, rotating the metering wheel so the trip rod is moved to a position closest to the rear of the chamber.

Loosen the bolts for the right and left brackets that hold the knotter assembly in place. Move the brackets in accordance with your desired bale length. Tighten the bolts, while ensuring that the meter wheel shaft is perpendicular to the bale chamber.

Re-engage the knotter trigger if it is out of position.



  • A hay baler has many sharp and moving parts. Procure a copy of the safety instructions for the IH 430 and follow them to the letter.
  • Always disengage the implement from the tractor before making any adjustments.

About the Author


John Gregory has worked in the publishing and financial industries for over 20 years. He began writing for newsletters and marketing campaigns in 2003 and has since collaborated on pieces for Mortgage News and Mortgage Originator. He holds a bachelor's degree in geography from the William Paterson University of New Jersey.