2010 - Volume #BFS, Issue #10, Page #33
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Fast New Bale Handling System For Both Round And Square Bales
After five years of testing and modifications, Wil-Be Equipments recently introduced their new-style trailers and bale forks designed to handle big square and round bales twice as fast as any other bale handling system.
"Key to success of our design is that it allows the operator to follow the baler to pick up bales, rather than having to drive across fields," says Gerry Carpentier of Wil-Be.
Forks are spaced about 12 in. wider than the bale to be picked up. The key to the speed of the forks is the simple design. The forks are static; however, a ridged rail hinged to them is activated when the loader touches the ground. When lowered over a bale, the rail rides loosely against the sides of the bale. On the ground, a lever activated by ground pressure keeps the rails over the forks and clear of the bale. When the loader is raised, the lever releases the rail, which bites into the bale. As the bale is lifted, the rail is held in place by the weight of the bale; no hydraulics are needed. Depending on the model and the tractor/loader combination, an operator can pick up 1 to 6 bales at a time.
Models range from two to three forks and include designs for only square bales, only round bales, or for both styles. They are also sized for 32, 48 and 60-in. bale widths.
Twin forks allow an operator to quickly pick up bales and stack them on top of each other and pick them up again, simply by raising and lowering the loader. With a triple fork arrangement, the operator picks up one, moves on, sets the first down beside the second and then picks up both. For additional bales, the operator simply lowers the forks with two bales with one bale centered over the third bale, stacking them. Once the loader has bottomed out on the ground, the process is repeated, this time picking up three bales at a time. If the loader and tractor are large enough, this process can be repeated until 6 bales are being moved down the field. To leave assembled bales in the field, the operator simply backs away from them with the loader on the ground.
For even faster bale removal, a second set of bale forks can be mounted on the rear of a tractor. With triple fork models in place, a large tractor can stack and remove 12 large square bales or four large round at a time, points out Carpentier.
Like the forks, Wil-Be trailers also follow a simple design, although hydraulics do play a role here. They come in five models and two widths. There's a 9-ft. wide, 35-ft. long single unit or a 24-ft. long, 13-ft. wide double unit. Depending on the model, a trailer can hold single or double rows of square bales stacked three high or round bales stacked two high.
Again speed was the goal. "We can pick up a load of bales directly from the ground or drop them and drive away in just three minutes," says Carpentier.
The trailer, which resembles a three-sided box on wheels, is backed over the stacked bales. Once in place, the trailer is lowered to the ground. Hydraulic-activated rails automatically press against the bales as the trailer is raised off the ground. Bales are held in place by a chain across the back or by an optional hydraulically operated rear gate.
"We can pick up 20 large bale as they are dropped by the baler, stack them and pick them up with the wagon in 16 minutes," says Carpentier. "Plus, it's a one-man job to load the bales on the trailer. With the optional gate, the operator doesn't even have to get off to secure the bales before leaving the field."
The trailers are equipped with heavy-duty disc brakes and semi trailers wheels and are designed to travel down the road at speeds up to 37 mph. "We installed 1 1/2-in. thick by 16-in. diameter, double disc brakes for safety," he says. "They can be activated electronically or hydraulically."
Bale forks retail from $3,500 to $5,000 (Can). Trailers are priced from $39,000 to $49,000 (Can).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wil-Be Equipments, Inc., 440, chemin Ville-Marie, Pintendre, Qu┌bec Canada G6C 1B5 (ph 418 833-2821 or 888 633-2821; wil-be@wil-be.qc.ca; www.wil-be.qc.ca).

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2010 - Volume #BFS, Issue #10