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Home-Built Self-Unload Hay Basket
"I saved more than $3,000 by building it myself," says Ben Koch, Kersey, Penn., who along with his brother Edward, built his own self-loading - and unloading - gravity basket for small square bales.
  "I spent a total of only about $700 to build it," says Koch, who raises horses.
  The basket measures 9 ft. wide, 10 ft. high and 12 ft. long. It holds 90 to 100 50-lb. small square bales. When the basket is full, Koch simply pulls up to an elevator, trips a rope-operated lever, and the hinged back panel swings open allowing all the bales to fall out.
  He used 1 1/4-in. tubing to build the basket frame and 1-in. tubing for the slats. The basket bolts to the 5-ton running gear off an old hay wagon that he already had. Koch's baler is equipped with a bale thrower so there was no need for a self-loading chute on front.
  "It works fast. I can bale a load of hay and unload it inside the barn by myself in less than an hour," says Koch. "Commercial baskets are somewhat bigger but cost a lot more money. My hay basket is really just a downsized version without the self-loading chute. With the basket's narrow 9-ft. width I can easily tow it on the road. The basket can also be lifted off so I can use the running gear for other jobs.
  "I got the idea from a friend who had bought a commercial hay basket. I took a lot of measurements and then made mine a little smaller to fit my barns.
  "I had been using a conventional 16-ft. wooden hay wagon but loading and unloading it was a lot of work. When the wagon wore out I decided to build something better."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ben Koch, 6420 Boone Mountain Road, Kersey, Penn. 15846 (ph 814 885-6473).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2