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Bale Bus Loads Itself
"It lets one man pick up bales in the field and stack them back at the farm without ever getting out of the cab," says Don Sheahan, Reedsville, Wis., who turned an old 66-passenger school bus into a round bale loader equipped with a pivoting loader boom. It'll handle up to 12 bales at a time and stack them two high or drop them into round bale feeders.
The 1978 International 66-passenger school bus is equipped with a diesel engine and 5-speed transmission. Sheahan cut off the body behind the driver's seat and made an enclosed cab by cutting off a 2-ft. section at the back of the bus and welding it to the back of the cab. He then bolted 4 by 4's across the bus frame to hold big bales.
The loader boom hinges in the middle and mounts on top of a heavy steel pedestal that bolts to the center of the bus frame. A big 6 by 18-in. cylinder raises and lowers the base of the loader arm, and a 31/2 by 24-in. cylinder controls the upper section. A 2 by 12-in. cylinder powers the bale clamp and a 2 by 8-in. cylinder swivels the clamps from side to side, allowing Sheahan to pick up the bale on either its flat side or round side. A hydraulic motor rotates the boom arm back and forth on the pedestal. Sheahan uses a 5-unit hydraulic valve, operated by electric solenoids, to control all functions from the cab.
"I load two rows of bales ahead of the boom and two rows behind it. I can add a single row of four bales on top. I removed the springs on the bus frame in order to keep the loader stable as it pivots and to eliminate the need for outriggers. Bales never get more than 9 ft. from the center of the floor so their weight isn't enough to lift the opposite side of the bus.
"I'm willing to custom build bus bale loaders for others and also to mount the loader arm on stripped-down trucks with long wheelbases."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Sheahan, 15807 San Rd., Reedsville, Wis. 54230 (ph 414 754-4434).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #5