1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3, Page #26[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Bale Handler Built From Old Combine
"It works much better than the tractor I had been using and cost less than $300 to build," says Bourbeau, who runs a cow calf operation. "I had been using the front-end loader to pick up bales and the tractor's front wheels to push the bale along and unroll it. However, if the bale wasn't perfectly round it was hard to unroll. In cold weather the diesel engine was hard to start, and the hydraulics worked so slow that I could hardly operate the front-end loader. I didn't want to mount a bale unroller on back of my half-ton pickup because I was worried about damaging it. The combine's hydraulic pump has plenty of power to handle even the heaviest bales for unrolling or to drop into bale feeders.
"I usually back up to unroll bales. However, if I pick up a bale from the opposite direction that it was rolled, it unrolls easier if I drive forward. The combine is equipped with a 3-speed transmission. I plan to shorten the combine frame by 2 ft. so I can turn shorter."
Bourbeau removed the combine's header and lowered the engine's frame by 2 ft. He replaced the existing steering box with a larger one off a 1969 Chevrolet school bus because the old one was not responsive enough for the bale handler. To handle bales, he welded a 6-ft. length of 3-in. sq. steel tubing across the feederhouse and mounted a pair of hinged aims on it that he built from 3-in. sq. steel tubing. The header lift cylinder is used to raise and lower the arms while a 2-in. dia. cylinder is used to open and close them.
The combine was junked out when Bourbeau decided to salvage it. The engine had seized up, but he solved the problem by loosening it up with automatic transmission fluid. The header was raised and lowered by a one-way cylinder. Bourbeau added a hydraulic line to convert it to a two-way cylinder. He uses controls from an old Farmhand loader to raise and lower the bale unroller as well as to open and close the arms.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hubert Bourbeau, Box 56, Fort Kent, Alberta, Canada T0A 1H0 (ph 403 826-5587).
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