Vermeer 554xl Questions

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Feb 21, 2015
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Not sure I’m ready to go all in on a newer/new round baler yet, so considering something to test drive for a few years to see how it goes.

Found what appears to be a Vermeer 554xl for sale. Doesn’t look to bad, if anything the pickup tines need to be replaced. Chains and sprockets look good, probably the belts should be proactively changed if I bought it. Don’t know the bale count, but there is still plenty of yellow paint everywhere. It is electric twine tie and hydraulic pickup.

I have read a ton about these balers on this forum and others and I’m ready to ask a few questions.

1. I gather depending the age of the baler, it might have the newer M series pickup. How do you visually tell if it is newer or older? This pickup has no gathering wheels and has “DCF Wide Pickup” labeled on it.

2. The baler has hydraulic density and a gauge - I assume this is a good thing?

3. It has a bale ramp and what appears to be a kicker arm. I gather this is a plus?

4. The model says 554 with Accu-Tie. What does that mean?

5. How significant and different is the M series pickup from the original 554xl pickup and what’s its advantage?

6. Can this baler be set to make a 4x4 round bale?

I’ve read folks have a love/hate relationship with this baler, but also I’ve read with good belts, pickup tines and proper adjustment they can be a hay eating machine.

Any sage advice on the Vermeer 554xl round baler is much appreciated.



Well-known member
Aug 25, 2013
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Condition is everything on these balers. On the pickup I have and older "I" baler and a "M" baler and very little difference on the pickup I notice (one is 4 bar and the other is 5 bar, they both work good). Mine has gathering wheels and they have never been put on the ground, worthless IMO. On the hydraulic density and gauge, keep the gauge in the green part, bearings and everything will last longer. On the ramp and kicker it gets the bale out of the way to close the door and ready to go again. It makes a 5x4 bale, but the Accu-tie you can program to make 4x4 or smaller down to 30"s. Vermeer if you own their baler will give you free parts, operator, maintenance manuals, contact them at their Pell Iowa office and give Model/Serial #. Remember condition is everything. Bearings are fairly easy to put in as sooner or later all will need. Use penetrating oil on all bearings that are not greaseable daily.

From your reading the pickup tines/teeth are of some concern as that is what starts a bale and the angle adjustment of them helps starting a bale. I would figure in new teeth and take a good look at the belts, especially were they are joined together.
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