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Pickup-Mounted Scale for Big Round Bales
"It lets me weigh round bales in the field without getting out of my pickup," says hay broker Al Sherstan, Clyde, Alberta, who built his own pickup-mounted weigh scale using off-the-shelf components for less than $1,000.
The scale, supported by a framework built from 2 in. dia. pipe, mounts in the bed of Sherstan's 1976 Dodge 3/4-ton Club Cab pickup. A 3-in. stroke single-acting hydraulic cylinder serves as the load cell. One end of the cylinder is connected by cable to an 8,000-lb., battery-powered winch mounted at the front of the bed. The other end is attached to a 3-ft. high vertical lift arm that's connected to a pair of 4-ft. long bale forks spaced 3 ft. apart at the rear of the pickup. A remote switch in the cab activates the winch which raises the bale off the ground, exerting pressure on the "passive" hydraulic cylinder. A single 12-ft. long line runs from the cylinder to a standard pressure gauge in the cab where Sherstan reads the weight.
"As far as I know, this is the first pickup mounted weigh scale for round bales," says Sherstan. "It's really handy. Backing up to the bale, spearing and weighing it takes less than a minute and I can weigh bales any-where. For years I was guessing bale weight and losing money. Whenever I loaded bales on a scale, I found my guess weight was off by up to 200 lbs. I know this scale is accurate to within 50 lbs. or less."
Sherstan calibrated the gauge by stacking fertilizer bags on a fork pallet and reading the hydraulic pressure every 50 lbs. "The length of the arm and the leverage it exerts on the bale are big factors in how much strain is applied to the winch and the cylinder," notes Sherstan. "I had to experiment to get the right size cylinder and lift arm."
The self-contained bale scale slips easily on and off the bed of the pickup when not in use. Sherstan is considering developing the idea commercially.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Al Sherstan, Box 127, Clyde, Alberta, Canada TOG OPO (ph 403 348-5642).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #3