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Swather Converted To Forklift, Rock Picker
When Jim Seymour decided he needed some-thing more agile than the tractor loader he used to move bales around his farm, he came up with a forklift that turns on a dime and handles square bales with ease.
"It's got a 9-ft. turning radius so it maneuvers like a charm around the poles," says the Cavan, Ontario, dairy farmer. "It also stacks bales up to 15 ft. high."
He started with an International 201 swather equipped with a 42 hp C-135 engine, stripping it down to the frame and shortening the rear end 3 ft. to give it a 5-ft., 6-in. wheelbase.
The swather's single rear caster wheel was removed and replaced with a caster wheel on each side for better stability when loaded. One of the wheels was the original swather wheel, the other came off a New Holland swather.
Seymour fitted the swather with a heavy-duty mast off a junked forklift. It operates off a 4-in. dia. cylinder on front of the swather. He uses a single 25 gpm hydraulic pump out of an old dump truck to raise and lower the lift.
As a precaution to keep sparks from igniting hay or dust, the engine's exhaust pipe is diverted through a baffle around the fuel tank that's filled with water.
To lift bales up to 15 ft. high, Seymour built a quick-tach bale fork. It's fitted with four 27-in. long prongs made from 1 3/8 in. steel tubing.
"You'd only need three prongs to handle our 38-in. sq., 6-ft. long bales," he says, "but I believe in over-building things rather than under-building them."
Seymour used the forklift to handle 400 bales last year. He says it performed flawlessly, requiring only a few minor modifications for its second season.
He also uses the lift to pick rocks by mounting a commercial rock picker bucket on front.
Out-of-pocket expense was about $3,000 (Canadian).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Seymour, Idylwilde Farms Ltd., 1688 Stewart 12th Line, R.R. 3, Cavan, Ontario, Canada LOA 1CO (ph 705 742-4449; fax 8899).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #4