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Low-Cost "Retriever" For Mid-Sized Square Bales
There are a number of big square bale handling rigs on the market that sell for $30,000 to $40,000 or more. So there was a lot of interest in this $10,500 bale "retriever" when it was introduced at the recent Mid-America Alfalfa Expo in Hastings, Neb.
  You can pull it with a heavy duty pickup or tractor. "It's a low-cost way for one person to get bales from the field to the yard where they're ready for stacking," says Larry Matlack, Stinger Ltd., Haven, Kan.
  Designed to handle mid-sized square bales (3 by 3 by 8 ft.), the hydraulic-operated, tandem axle rig consists of independent front and rear decks. The front deck tilts to the side to load bales and the back deck tilts backward to unload.
  Here's how it works: The front deck tilts sideways down to the ground, then a large hook (at the end of a hydraulic cylinder that extends across the front of the front deck) grabs the bale and pulls it on the deck. Once loaded, the front deck returns to level and a pair of forks recessed in the deck push the bale backward. A second bale is then loaded and the two bales are moved onto the back deck by the forks.
  The rear deck holds 8 bales, while the last two bales are stored on the front deck. Once both decks are fully loaded, the rear deck is tilted backward and the bales slide off in a row ready for stacking.   
  "It moves bales to the stack yard faster than a front-end loader and costs a lot less than commercial bale loading and stacking rigs, which sell for $30,000 to $130,000," says Matlack. "The 3 by 3 by 8-ft. bales weigh about 1,000 lbs. apiece. We purposely didn't design this as a stacking rig in order to keep the cost down. If you pull it behind a tractor, it runs off the tractor hydraulics. A self-contained hydraulic power pack is needed to use it behind your pickup. The trailer and hydraulic power pack sell for a total of about $14,500."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Stinger Ltd., 8905 Industrial Dr., Haven, Kan. 67543 (ph 800 530-5304 or 316 465-2683; fax 2684).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2