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Removable Truck-Mounted Round Bale Hauler
Matt Abbas, Latimer, Iowa, couldn’t justify the cost of a pull-type bale hauler to haul round corn stalk bales for use on his cow-calf operation. He already had an old Ford F-600 2-ton truck equipped with a hoist and grain box, so he built a bolt-on, bale-holding frame that replaces the grain box and can haul 6 bales at a time.
  “It’s less expensive than a side dump hay trailer and lets me go down the road at highway speeds. It was relatively easy to build,” says Abba. “I use a loader tractor to load bales onto the truck, but I don’t need a tractor to unload them. I just go down the road, back up to the stack, and slide the bales off the back end of the truck. I use a loader tractor with pallet forks to both install and remove the frame. The same loader tractor is used to remove the frame and re-install the grain box. It requires removing just 4 bolts.”
  The frame measures 16 ft. long and is made from 2 by 6 channel iron, with 2 cradle-shaped beds on each side. It bolts onto metal brackets beside the truck’s stake pockets.
  The frame extends a couple feet out the back end of the truck. “The truck bed is 14 ft. long, but with 5-ft. bales we had to build a longer frame in order to make room for 6 bales,” says Abbas. “An 18-ft. truck bed would probably work even better, because you could build a 20-ft. frame that would hold 8 bales. One problem with my 16-ft. frame is that the bales fall some distance to the ground, and if I don’t unload them just right they can flip over. That wouldn’t happen with a 20-ft. frame because the bales would be a little closer to the ground.”
  He built the bale hauler last fall right after he was done combining corn and spent about $1,200 for the metal and welding work. “You could probably save money by building the frame out of pipe instead of channel iron,” says Abbas, who notes that old used straight trucks can often be purchased at farm sales at low cost.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matt Abbas, 635 130th St., Latimer, Iowa 50452 (ph 515 290-6123; massey1100@yahoo.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1