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Farmer Restores Vintage Horse-Drawn Hay Loader
Eli Herschberger is a Minnesota farmer who knows a good deal when he sees it, especially when it comes to vintage farm equipment. While he and his carpentry crew were roofing a farm shed in 2018, Hershberger noticed an old-fashioned loose hay loader sitting nearby. He asked the farmer if it was for sale, and the fellow said absolutely.
    Hershberger bought the old loader for $50 and began restoring it. With help from family members, he removed the hitch, wheels, gears, metal pickup and bearings that drove the wood rails because they were all rusted and in tough condition. He says it was a lot of work dismantling the loader, but they got everything apart without breaking it and were able to get the parts working again. The wood rails were dried and cracked so Hershberger made new ones and attached new tines.
    Hershberger painted all the metal parts, lubricated the bearings, installed the new rails above the hay platform, and says the rebuilt loader looks brand new. He put about $1,000 into the restoration along with many hours of labor, but says the loader is now in perfect condition, just right for his farm. He’ll pull the loader with two horses to pick up loose hay, using the machine like it was originally intended when it was built.
    Hershberger says he was fortunate to get the loader for a real good price because sometimes they can go for $500 or more at an auction if more than one person is bidding, and the restoration cost on top of that can make it quite an expensive piece of machinery.
    Hershberger says the man he purchased it from remembers riding behind the loader on a hay rack when he was a youngster as it was pulled by a tractor driven by his grandfather.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eli Hershberger, Canton, Minn. 55922.

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3