Quality Material Handling Inc. Logo

Call QMH Inc. Today (800) 404-RACK

Over 30 Years of Material Handling Excellence

Contractor License #731100 (B, D34)

Posted by Stephanie on May 15, 2023

If you manage an industrial facility or warehouse, maintaining effective waste management is highly recommended if you want to reduce costs and do your part to protect the environment. While there are numerous solutions you can use to perform waste management, among the most advantageous of them involves industrial balers.

These pieces of equipment are capable of saving companies a considerable amount of space, money, and time. If you’re interested in outfitting your facility with an industrial baler, keep in mind that not all balers are the same. The different types of balers at your disposal include everything from horizontal balers to double-ram balers.

While balers were once solely used for pressing hay, modern balers use powerful compacting equipment to effectively compress substantial amounts of waste into a much more manageable form. Once you’ve implemented this solution, you won’t need as much space to store the facility’s waste. In this guide, you’ll learn about how industrial balers are revolutionizing recycling and waste management across many industries.

What are Industrial Balers?

Baler machines are compacting devices that are equipped with a ram that’s capable of compressing materials into large rectangular bales that are able to be stored and shipped for additional processing. These bales can also be recycled on the premises. Balers are meant to take all types of waste and shape them into something that’s easy to organize and handle. Once waste is put through an industrial baler, your facility will be able to maximize space.

In the agricultural industry, waste and products are baled in order to maintain their value and make sure that they can be used as raw material or effectively removed. Industrial balers enhance the entire material handling process by making these materials denser, heavier, and smaller. They also become easy to stack. Keep in mind that baled products improve throughput rates, which leads to lower operating costs.

Types of Industrial Balers

The four basic types of industrial balers include:

  • Vertical balers
  • Horizontal balers
  • Two-ram balers
  • Semi-automatic balers

A vertical baler is able to compress materials with a downward, vertical force. These balers are oftentimes used to compress plastics, metals, foam, and cardboard. The compression that occurs during this process is delivered with a ram, which is actuated by an electric motor or hydraulics. After the compression chamber is effectively filled, the ram will move downward to crush the materials.

These balers don’t take up as much space as horizontal balers, which means that they can be used in retail stores, supermarkets, and other small-scale applications. Because of their relatively compact construction, they are less expensive than other solutions. Keep in mind that the force applied with a vertical baler can be inconsistent, which means that the density and sizes of the compressed bales are also inconsistent. These issues can be mitigated somewhat by purchasing a heavy-duty vertical baler that uses high-power reciprocating pumps.

Horizontal balers are designed to compress materials with horizontal force. While materials are loaded into the chamber when using a vertical baler, horizontal balers work by collecting materials and placing them on top of the ram. Sorting, shredding, or conveyor systems are then used to load the materials and perform the compression process. To maintain efficiency with a horizontal baler, it’s important to keep clogging or jamming from taking place.

In most cases, horizontal balers are considerably larger than their vertical counterparts, which means that they can more effectively process high volumes of materials. The size of a horizontal baler allows you to produce denser bales that may weight as much as half a ton. All bales are uniform to allow for easy transport.

Two-ram balers are machines that can compress materials with a single ram. At the same time, an additional ram is used as the control mechanism. These balers can be horizontal or vertical in placement. The ram that doesn’t compress the materials will remove them from the machine.

A two-ram baler is capable of compressing high-rebound materials, the primary of which is rubber. They can also handle high-density materials. While some systems are unable to compress high-rebound materials, the position of the second ram allows for most of the force from the rebound effect to be contained.

You could also choose to configure a two-ram baler in an L-shape, which means that the material will be compressed along one axis. Once this compression takes place, the materials will be compressed along the other axis. Another clear advantage of using a two-ram baler is that you won’t need to use as much wire. Since the bales are denser, less wire is required to secure the material’s shape.

As for semi-automatic balers, they are large baling machines that are capable of being continuously fed materials via an automatic conveyor or through manual operation. These baling presses are always placed in a horizontal position. Since they can be continuously fed, their output ranges from 1-15 tons every hour. The compressing force of a semi-automatic baler extends from 5-120 tons, which means that you can use them to compress nearly any material.

a stack of cardboard

Benefits of Using Industrial Balers

There are many benefits associated with using an industrial baler in your facility, the primary of which include:

  • A positive environmental impact
  • Ample cost savings
  • Better waste handling efficiency
  • Reduces the total waste volume
  • Increased revenue generation when selling baled materials

Using an industrial baler in your facility allows you to more effectively recycle waste materials. Instead of leaving waste in a bin for pickup, it may be best to break it down into its base components. The type of baler you use determines the exact benefits you obtain.

Among the more tangible benefits of an industrial baler is that it will save you a significant amount of space. When waste remain loose, it takes up more space. However, industrial balers compress this waste into a rectangular cube that’s easy to ship or store. These cubes can also be stacked on top of one another, which should provide you with additional space savings.

You’ll be able to reduce your labor and overhead costs as well. Anything in your facility that calls for material handling will come with high labor costs. In order to store or dispose of waste, several workers must remove it from its current location or place it in a storage facility. You can avoid these labor costs by using an industrial baler to reduce waste and eliminate the need for more than one handler.

Overhead costs include some of the expenses that occur when running a business. Even though it’s difficult to alter these fixed costs, one aspect of overhead expenses involves handling waste. By more effectively managing waste with a baler, you should be able to reduce overhead costs.

Today, many businesses are taking steps to make their operations more Eco-friendly, which helps with preserving the environment and improving sustainability. Modern customers are more likely to take their business to companies that indicate they take environmental concerns seriously. Recycling waste materials effectively demonstrates that you’re running an environmentally friendly business.

Keep in mind that using an industrial baler should also save time. In traditional operations, waste materials are collected during the day by dock workers and cleaning staff, which is a time-consuming process. By placing an industrial baler nearby the area where waste collects, you should be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to handle this waste.

Choosing the Right Industrial Baler

When you’re shopping around for the right industrial baler, the numerous factors that you should consider include:

When identifying the types of materials that you need to manage, your main goal will be to dispose of these materials in a safe and orderly manner. If your facility doesn’t produce a large amount of waste, consider a relatively affordable vertical baler. In the event that your facility produces a considerable sum of waste on a daily basis, consider obtaining a powerful baler that’s capable of crushing high-density materials like metal.

If budget is a primary concern of yours, a vertical baler is likely the best option. When you want to be certain that your employees remain safe while operating a baler, an automatic baler can be controlled with the push of a button. Any baler you purchase should be simple to operate. Regardless, it’s important that you train your staff on what it takes to properly and safely use the baling equipment. Make sure to create health and safety policies that workers must comply with while using the balers.

Maintenance and Safety Considerations

If you purchase one or more industrial balers for your facility, it’s highly recommended that you maintain them regularly to improve efficiency and keep costly damage at bay. Along with making sure that the unit functions properly at all times, you should also check oil clarity and levels weekly. Add oil whenever necessary. If the oil smells or appears discolored, it should be changed immediately.

Modern balers are outfitted with safety features that should minimize the amount of accidents that occur. Some tips on keeping injuries from happening include:

  • Keep equipment guards in their correct positions while operating the equipment
  • Never disable or bypass control switches
  • Always follow OSHA guidelines when clearing jammed materials from the baler

The OSHA guidelines for clearing jammed materials state that you should:

  • Disconnect the machine’s power
  • Isolate power by locking the system disconnect
  • Tag this disconnect to make sure that other personnel know that power needs to be kept off
  • Block any ram that could move while you’re accessing the chamber
  • Test all of the equipment to make sure that power isn’t being fed to the baler
  • Locate every coworker before you reactivate the power

You should also provide your employees with training on how to safely use these machines. A helpful training guide is available at this link.


Industrial balers are highly effective machines that allow you to substantially reduce the amount of space that the waste in your facility takes up. This waste will be compressed into much smaller bales that are easy to transport and dispose of.

Since there are numerous types of balers available to purchase, you can select one that meets your needs and budget. Before you or any of your personnel use an industrial baler, training is highly recommended. You should also implement safety guidelines and post them beside the machine.

More from QMH


QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies
with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs.

What material handling solution can we help you create?

Contact Us (855) SEL-RAMP

About Us

With over 32 years of experience in material handling, QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs. From permit approval management to full-service execution from the ground up, QMH delivers unique solutions providing distinct value in record time.