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Bale Chopper Mounts On Skid Steer
Brian Cope, Columbiana, Ohio, always thought the gasoline engine on his bale chopper was a fire hazard. After all, he used the Dynavent machine both to chop hay to feed his dairy cattle and to spread straw and recycled newspaper bedding in the freestall barn. Although shielded, the engine got pretty hot.
  The chopper originally mounted on a 4-wheel handcart, with swivel wheels on the back. It was a pretty good load to move around by hand.
  When he bought a Deere 240 skid steer loader last year, he decided to do away with the engine and make the chopper more mobile at the same time.
  "The loader has auxiliary hydraulic outlets and enough pump and reservoir capacity to run a hydraulic motor," he explains. "I had an old hydraulic motor we'd once used on a difficult auger, so we decided to use that to power the chopper."
  Cope started his conversion by removing the handles from the chopper cart and attaching a universal skid steer mounting plate, made from steel scrap he had around the shop. He left the wheels on so he can still move the cart around by hand if he needs to.
  Then he replaced the 11 hp Honda engine with the hydraulic motor. "I had to replace the pulley on the chopper shaft and put a different sized one on the hydraulic motor, too, in order to get the chopper and the rotating hopper on the top that feeds the bales in to both run at the right speeds," he says. "It took some experimenting to get them sized right, but that was probably the most difficult part of changing it over."
  He says the original engine had a 4-in. pulley on it, driving a similar sized pulley on the chopper. "I ended up with a 5-in. pulley on the hydraulic motor, driving a 3-in. pulley on the chopper," he says. "It had had double V-belts and I went with single pulleys and one belt. If I were doing it over, I might go back to two belts. I use a lot of newspaper and it can be hard to chop. The single belt slips a little once in awhile, but so far it hasn't caused any real problems."
  With the chopper mounted on the front of the skid loader, he can load in a bundle of paper or bale of straw and drive through the freestall barn, blowing bedding into the stalls as he goes. It's much faster and easier to use this way than when we had to move the chopper by hand," he says.
  Cope says the conversion was a weekend project. "It didn't take a lot of time to do. If I'd had to buy a used hydraulic motor for it, it might have cost $100 or so," he says. "Since we used scraps and parts we had on hand, it didn't really cost anything."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Cope, Spring Haven Jerseys, 2625 Camelot Drive, Columbiana, Ohio 44408 (ph 330 482-3143; E-mail: copesspringhaven@aol.com).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3