2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tub Grinder Loads ItselfThanks to a bale cradle he installed on his tub grinder, Ardmore, Alta., farmer Andy Wakaruk has a profitable sideline business, tailored specifically to smaller farms.
Wakaruk does custom grinding for area cattlemen with a 1982 Haybuster 1000 mounted on a 400 hp International 9300 series truck. He says a large number of operations in his region have 50 to 70-cow herds, and get by with smaller-size tractors that couldn't reach high enough to dump bales into the grinder.
Wakaruk solved the problem with a hinged steel cradle that hydraulically lifts 2,200-lb. bales into the grinder. It attaches to a subframe bolted to the frame of the truck.
He hired Bill Loza of Bonnyville to build the 500 to 600-lb. cradle system using drill stem pipe, but now says he wishes he had used structural steel for strength. The cradle pivots on a hinge point made from a greasable 3 1/2-in. solid shaft with one side welded to the cradle. The shaft turns inside a 4-in. pipe. The other side is welded to the uprights.
The cradle offers excellent visibility for the tractor operator and allows him to go for another bale before the first bale he loaded onto the cradle has even been dumped into the tub. Since Wakaruk charges by the hour, farmers appreciate the ability to load more efficiently.
He needed a special gearbox to operate the grinder at 1,000 rpm's with 400 hp. He found one hefty enough for his needs at a military parts dealer.
"On average, we can put through 30 bales an hour but my record is 45 bales in one hour," he says. "I spent about $5,000 to build the cradle. My customer list is growing steadily and about 95 per cent of them become repeat customers. I travel a maximum of 100 to 150 miles from home. If it weren't for the cradle, I'd only have about five customers and be out of business instead of the 30 steady customers I'm serving now."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andy Wakaruk, Box 121, Ardmore, Alberta, Canada, T0A 0B0 (ph. 780 826-7971).
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