To be sure, McHale is one of the world’s most renowned baler manufacturers.
With its headquarters in Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland, a second manufacturing base in Hungary and exports reaching more than 50 countries, McHale has a truly global presence.
Brendan Lee, PFG’s national sales manager for grass machinery, had the opportunity in 2022 to visit the Ballinrobe facility.
What were the main reasons for PFG’s visit?
“Due to COVID I hadn’t had a chance to get over to see McHale. First off, I visited Kverneland in Italy and then headed across to Ireland. Face-to-face contact is so important. We do so much work with these people via email and video calls but meet personally enables you to establish a much stronger bond and understanding.”
Who did you interact with?
“I spent time with McHale’s marketing team, production, sales and the R&D department, who do a lot of work behind the scenes across all product lines. That includes new product development, as well as refining existing models.
“The first walk-around was conducted by Martin McHale, one of the two brothers who founded the company, Padraic being the other. Having Martin give two to three hours of his time for the full factory tour was a really informative experience.”
What did you make of their factory facilities?
“It was fascinating; they start you at one end of the factory, where the raw steel comes in, and take you through the CNC machines, robot bending machines, automatic robot welders and paint booth, where components are treated, dipped and baked. Everything is fully automated – the steel is unloaded at one and a McHale baler comes out at the other.
“There are still human roles, I might add! Their design team is outstanding, and in the factory you see how skilled the programmers and assemblers are. It was impressive, getting up close and inspecting how these machines are put together.”
Did you get an opportunity to test any machines yourself?
“Surprisingly, and happily, yes. Their R&D team, who are all engineers, took me outside of Ballinrobe with a Fusion baler they’ve been refining and we put it through its paces in a paddock. I witnessed first-hand the attention to detail and the lengths they go to in order to make sure each design is 100 per cent right.”
Overall impression of the visit?
“The experience was valuable. When you’re invested as we are, and you love it as we do, it’s exciting.”
You can view the McHale Australia range here