2006 - Volume #30, Issue #1, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Self-Propelled Bale Retriever Built Out Of Uni-Harvester
The self-propelled rig is equipped with a hydraulic-operated trailer that has a loading arm on front and a steering axle on back. A chain conveyor on the loading arm is used to deliver bales onto the trailer, which is also equipped with a chain conveyor. Bales are delivered one at a time onto the trailer until it's full. To unload, the operator lowers the loading arm to the ground, then runs both chains backward while backing up.
"I use it in our cow calf operation to haul bales to stack yards scattered out at different locations," says Davis, who built the machine last year. "I like it better than commercial pull-type bale retrievers because it frees up a tractor. Also, it cost far less to build. Commercial pull-type bale retrievers sell for about $15,000, whereas I spent only about $4,000."
Davis already had the New Idea 708 Uni-Harvester, which is equipped with a 6-cyl. Perkins diesel engine and a hydrostatic drive transmission. He removed the rear steering axle and wheels. Then he used 10-in. channel iron to build a 20-ft. long steel subframe that's welded to one side of the Uni-Harvester and extends all the way back to the trailer's steering axle on back. The trailer is welded to the machine's front drive axle and is held rigid by a series of steel beams that run crosswise on the subframe.
The loading arm is raised and lowered by a pair of hydraulic cylinders, and hydraulic motors are used to operate the conveyor chains on both the loading arm and trailer.
"Everyone thought I was crazy to build it, but it worked out just fine," says Davis. "I did spend a few sleepless nights trying to figure things out. I already had the Uni-Harvester and the trailer frame, which came off an old stack mover. I had been using the Uni-Harvester to sweep loose stacks of hay into a stacking machine. When we switched over to round bales I decided to find a new use for the machine.
"I made the trailer's steering axle by cutting the steering axle and wheels off an old semi tractor. The axle still has the semi tractor's heavy duty springs so it rides well on the road. It can handle up to a 12,000-lb. load with no problem.
"I welded a steel plate onto one side of the Uni-Harvester, in order to keep twine on the bales from catching on any screws or bolts that stick out of the machine's body."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Davis, HC 37, Box 42, Valentine, Neb. 69201 (ph 402 376-4850; email@example.com).
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