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Pickup Makes Great Bale Loader
"It handles bales just like a tractor loader but works faster and I get to ride in comfort," says Russell Morrison, Weatherby, Mo., about the pickup bale mover he built by cutting the box off a 1975 Dodge 4-WD and welding a front-end loader off an old tractor onto the frame.
He uses the loader to spear 5 by 6-ft. round bales and load them onto a 22-ft. gooseneck trailer.
"It gets a lot of attention wherever I go," says Morrison. "The loader operates just like it does on a tractor. I can reach all the way across my trailer and I can stack bales two high. I can go down the road at highway speeds. That's important because I buy bales from fields scattered up to 25 miles from my farm. I've also found that it works great for trimming trees, building fence, carrying fence posts or railroad ties, etc."
Morrison used an International 2001 front-end loader. The pickup is equipped with a 318 cu. in. gas engine and 4-speed trans-mission. After removing the box, he cut about 1 ft. off the back of the frame, just behind the spring shackles. He welded a length of 5-in. sq. steel tubing across the back of the pickup frame and a 46-in. length of angle iron across the front part of the pickup frame. The loader's rear axle mounting brackets attach to the angle iron.
A pair of electric-over-hydraulic pumps mount just behind the cab and operate off the pickup's electric system. One is a power-up, power-down pump that operates the bale fork's tilt cylinder, while the other is a power-up, gravity-down pump that raises or lowers the loader lift arms. Each pump is operated by a switch mounted on a lever inside the cab.
"I built it last spring and used it to haul about 250 bales this summer. It's surprisingly easy to use even though you're facing away from the loader in the pickup. It can lift a 2,000-lb. bale about 12 ft. high.
"When traveling across the field I keep the bale low to the ground to avoid stability problems and to reduce stress to the pickup. I haven't had any steering problems at all.
"I already had the loader and pickup so I didn't have to spend much money building it. My biggest expense was $300 for hydraulics."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Russell Morrison, Rt. 1, Box 162, Weatherby, Mo. 64497 (ph 816 749-5592).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6