From their base at Roslea, outside Scotstown, Tom Tierney and Niall Boylan have a clear focus on providing the best service with the best-quality machinery, which naturally includes Ireland’s most renowned baling and wrapping manufacturer, McHale.

For Tom and Niall, the focus is on having the best machinery and maintaining it well so that once the baling season begins, everything moves forward in an efficient and professional way for their many customers.

They aim to provide a quality service and that’s supported by their choice of a range of McHale machinery, comprising of a McHale Fusion 3, two McHale F5500 balers and a McHale Orbital Round Bale Wrapper.

Fusion 3

Their McHale Fusion 3 is a camless pickup version that was bought from local McHale dealer Clarke Machinery in Cavan in 2019. Tom has been very impressed with the performance of the camless pickup and they have experienced effortless work, as the machine can cope easily with the 30ft swaths of grass that they put in front of it.

Tom Tierney does not provide the mowing service for his customers. He has a network of mower operators with a range of big and small machines that provide the mowing service on his call. Many of his customers are now opting to spread the grass in an attempt to get some level of wilting.

Tom and Niall both agree that spreading the fresh grass is a very effective job, particularly in short paddock material.

Tom Tierney (left) and his nephew Niall Boylan run a fleet of McHale equipment in their baled silage contracting business at Roslea, outside Scotstown, Co Monaghan.

Tom and Niall rake everything ahead of the McHale Fusion 3 integrated baler wrapper or the two McHale F5500 round balers followed by the McHale Orbital wrapper. All of the grass is raked into 30ft swaths so that the balers are loaded evenly and are not required to travel a forward speed that is too challenging to the machine or driver.

“By using the wide swath system, we limit the forward speed of the tractor and baler, while still achieving high baling output levels in the field,” said Tom.

“With this system, we have been able to pick up close to 80 acres of grass in a day with either the McHale Fusion 3 integrated baler wrapper or the two McHale F5500 balers working together in tandem with the Orbital wrapper,” he said.


And you can see the end result in the condition of the machines.

“Everything ran smoothly this past season because the machines have the appetite to take in large volumes of grass from 30ft swaths with ease, due to our approach to a slower forward speed,” said Tom.

The camless pickup has been a huge benefit in achieving these higher work-rates for Tom and Niall.

Their McHale baling fleet includes a Fusion 3 and two McHale F5500 round balers.

Knife sharpness

Baler knife sharpness is another important feature of Tom’s operating system.

“The chopping system on the McHale Fusion 3 and the F5500 balers is excellent. We like to keep the chopping system working well, so we sharpen our knives each evening after we finish in the field, because sharp knives make a huge difference in terms of machine throughput, field efficiency and also provides us with a noticeable diesel fuel saving,” said Tom, who has over 25 years of experience in providing a baled silage contractor service in the Scotstown region.

“As more farmers are reseeding to maximise their grass potential and given the fact that we are raking ahead of the balers, there is a higher likelihood that we will pick up stones and they can take their toll on knife sharpness,” he added.

“We take account of this by having the knives sharp to achieve the best chopping in the baler system while still achieving high baling output levels,” said Tom.

Plastic supply

As Tom Tierney supplies all of the wrapping plastic along with net wrap to his customers, it is very important that it is applied efficiently. The patented McHale Bale Transfer system on the McHale Fusion 3 integrated baler wrapper provides a smooth delivery of the bale to the wrapping table, while keeping the machine very stable, even on hilly ground.

The system means that the bale coming out of the bale chamber has a short distance to travel to align with the high-speed vertical wrapping ring that’s fitted with two 750mm dispensers. The wrapping system works at 40rpm and, in Tom’s case, allows him to apply six layers of plastic on the bale in just under 25 seconds.


The system gives correct application with an even overlap of the plastic at all times. The Fusion 3’s reliable bale film sensors indicate if there are any problems, while the reliable McHale cut and hold system gathers the film to one point to cut it evenly in all weather conditions.

Tom Tierney’s approach in having the McHale Fusion 3 and the Orbital wrapper with the two McHale F5500 balers gives some flexibility to the impressive service that he and Niall provide. The F5500 balers, with their 18-roller bale chambers, are easy to operate and totally reliable in the field.

The machines are fitted with the McHale continuous oiling system for ease of maintenance, while the McHale Wizard Plus control console in the cab allows for accurate monitoring of the machine’s performance.

Orbital remains the choice for 2020

Tom operates an Orbital wrapper behind his two F5500 round balers to achieve maximum field output.

For Tom and Niall, the choice of the McHale Orbital High Speed Round Bale Wrapper has been a good one, while they still keep an older 991b machine in the yard as a backup on the rare occasion when the workload gets excessive.

The McHale Orbital design provides for smooth delivery of the bale to the wrapping table while its low centre of gravity keeps the wrapper very stable even in hilly Monaghan ground conditions. The fact that the McHale Orbital wrapper travels in the same direction of the baler when operating means that there is no need to cross swaths when working side by side with the two McHale F5500 balers.

The machine has a high output level and can match the output of the two balers in most conditions, allowing them to bale and wrap upwards of 80 acres of grass in a day. The machine has the capacity to store eight rolls of plastic (two on the dispensers and six in storage).


“We have developed our own film roll transport kit for an additional 10 rolls of plastic in a unit that fits over the tractor’s three-point linkage. This gives a total capacity of 18 rolls of plastic; that’s enough to minimise downtime in the field, as loading the film is easy on the left-hand side of the Orbital wrapper,” said Niall Boylan.

“We have a new McHale Orbital wrapper on order for the 2020 season,” said Tom, which is part of his policy of changing machines every three years.

“The Orbital wrapper has performed very well for us behind our Massey Ferguson 6480 tractor.”

The tractor is just one of five very well maintained Massey Ferguson tractors in their fleet.

Tom Tierney’s choice of a new McHale Orbital wrapper for 2020 is based on his impressive experience with the machine to date, including its ease of use along with its fully automatic control system operated through a large in-cab control unit.


Tom and Niall’s policy is to maintain the machines well, work them hard and replace them on a regular basis to minimise downtime in the field once the baling season begins. At this time of the year, all of the machines are stored under cover and have been serviced at the end of the 2019 season in advance of storage. This approach allows Tom and Niall to provide a quality dedicated service, using balers and a wrapper from the proven McHale range, which Tom has worked with for almost all of the 25 years that he has provided an efficient and competitive round bale silage service in the north Monaghan region.

To see these machines in action, please visit