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Bale Turner Saves Wet Bales
Getting rained-on small square bales to dry out used to be a labor intensive job on Bill Ellithorpe's Colorado farm - that is, until his employee, Les Shamburg, automated the job by building a bale turner.
  The sun dries the exposed three sides of the bales, but getting the bottom side dry was always a problem.
  "We used to get the grandkids and other people to walk through the fields and turn them 180 degrees to get the wet side up," Ellithorpe says. "It's much faster and easier now that we have this unit to pull behind the tractor. It turns the bales 180 degrees so they dry completely before we pick them up with our self-propelled New Holland bale wagon."
  Ellithorpe says the rig is offset like a baler so the operator can drive alongside the bales, rather than trying to straddle them. The chute is designed like the pickup of a bale wagon.
  A chain with hooks on it turns on pulleys, driven hydraulically. It grabs each bale, lifting it about 3 ft. off the ground. The bale glides along on ball bearing rollers and migrates back through the machine to another chute where it hits a roller bar that turns it a bit. As the bale gets off center, it starts falling to the ground and turns the rest of the way. Shields prevent it from tumbling more than 180 degrees before it hits the ground.
   Ellithorpe says the turner has two sets of hydraulic hoses. One lifts the pick-up portion up and down with a cylinder. The other drives the chain that pulls the bale up.
  "We bought the chain in the throat of the pickup portion of the unit, but the rest of it was made out of stuff that was laying out there in the scrap pile," Ellithorpe says. "The rollers came out of a piece of warehouse potato equipment, and two wheels were scavenged off another old piece of equipment. It works good - we're happy with it. If someone was interested, we could build one for them."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Ellithorpe, 58 Meadow Lane, Monte Vista, Colorado 81144 (ph 719 852-9304; cell 719 850-1790).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5