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He Built His Own Square Bale Grapple Fork
Chris Kornkven, Whitewater, Colo., couldn’t justify the expense of a commercial-built small square bale grapple for his Case 1816 skid loader so he built his own. It’s a self-leveling model equipped with 12 bale hooks.
  “It’s designed to pick up 4 bales if they’re laying in one direction, and 5 bales laying in the other direction. However, I don’t usually pick up more than 4 at a time,” says Kornkven. “I spent a little more than $400, but it was well worth it because I can get bales into my barn a lot faster. It works great not only for stacking bales onto wagons, but also for picking them up off the wagon and stacking them in the barn.
  “The bale lift is pinned to the grapple, which allows me to detach the lift from the grapple and use it to pick up other kinds of material,” says Kornkven.
  He got the idea for the bale grapple after moving from Wisconsin to western Colorado a few years ago, where haying is done much differently.
  “The hay fields here are irrigated, with many farmers using flood irrigation where water flows down a ditch or pipe and then flows out over the field in furrows created using a creaser. That makes for a bumpy ride when haying,” says Kornkven. “Baling small bales here usually means the bales are dropped on the ground, and many farmers use New Holland bale stackers to collect the bales.
  “However, I only put up about 700 bales a year so I couldn’t justify the expense of a bale stacker. Unfortunately, all the commercial bale grapple forks I found were designed for bigger skid loaders or for tractors.”
  He bought almost all the material he used at a local scrap yard, using 3-in. square tubing and oilfield sucker rod. “My biggest expenses were for the bale hooks, hydraulic cylinder, and a valve that I had to add to my skid loader to provide auxiliary hydraulics,” says Kornkven.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris Kornkven, 5462 Kannah Creek Rd., Whitewater, Colo. 81527 (ph 970 241-3371; ds_vet91@yahoo.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1