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Bale Truck Loads, Unloads Fast
Dan Rosman doesn't need a lot of extra labor when it comes to hauling big round bales. The Wilbur, Wash., farmer modified a 1991 Volvo FE 6 cab-over truck to load and carry 14, 5-ft. bales. Once loaded, he can zip down the road at 60 mph.
  "I can load bales on-the-go, filling up in as little as 10 minutes," says Rosman. "I had been using 3 trucks and 2 tractors to load and stack bales. I looked at bale haulers designed to be pulled behind pickups or tractors, but I needed to go down the highway at highway speeds. I used this rig to put up about 700 tons of hay last summer and 150 tons of straw for my cowcalf operation. "
  Rosman bought the truck used for $4,500 and estimates he has about $15,000 in the truck and loader, including labor. "I saved a lot of money because commercial bale-loading trucks sell for up to $150,000," he says. "I chose a cab-over truck with a really long frame because it has a really tight turning radius, and the long frame can haul a lot of bales.
  "I designed it to haul 14, 4 by 5-ft. bales or 12, 5 by 5-ft. bales. My neighbor has used it to haul 6-ft. tall bales with no problems."
  He tackled the project with help from his neighbor Mike, great nephew Josh, and hired man Lane. They removed the truck's bed, which was in bad shape, and built a new one. They strengthened the bed's frame by adding another frame onto it.
  They made the lift arm out of various sizes of tubing supported by 1-in. steel plate. It mounts direct to the truck frame. The main bed is made out of rectangular tubing.
  The pickup arm picks up the bale, which rolls across the bed. The second bale pushes the first bale against a stop on the passenger side. Once the second bale is loaded in place, a pusher plate behind the cab moves the bales down the bed, making room for the next two bales.
  Once the bed is full, Rosman hauls the bales out of the field to a storage location and raises the truck's hoist. He then activates the pusher plate to push the load of bales off the bed. The pusher plate pushes the truck forward as the bales are pushed off, leaving the bales in rows two wide.
  "Everything is run off the transmission pto and is controlled by a series of solenoid valves activated from the cab with electrical switches," says Rosman.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Rosman, D&D Rosman Cattle Co., 10100 Magee Rd. E., Wilbur, Wash. 99185 (ph 509 647-2153).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3