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Heavy-Built Bale Carriers
To meet the needs of farmers in his area, Jeff Frederick of Frederick Welding in Marcus, Iowa, makes simple, strong bale carriers that can handle even the heaviest round bales.
“I built my first bale carrier around 15 or 20 years ago,” he says. “I saw one a local guy built and then decided I could improve on the idea.”
Frederick uses thick-wall oil well pipe to construct the bed that the bales rest on during transport. He reinforces the sides with channel iron.
“Today’s bales can get to over 2,000 lbs.,” Frederick notes. “We use 5 1/2-in. pipe with a 3/8-in. wall for the runners, and then we use 2 7/8-in. across, with 5/8-in. channel on the outside.
“Ten years ago, most hay bales made in this area weighed around 1,200 lbs.,” he says. “Of course, if you’re making cornstalk bales, they’re much lighter.”
His bale carriers are 10 ft. wide. Some companies build 30-ft. trailers, but Frederick says if you get over 24 ft., then the runners underneath have to be spread out farther.
“It’s tough to get something that long in and out of fields,” he says. “If you have a narrow driveway, you’ll have problems with the wheels bouncing in the ditch, which can lead to bales falling off or even the unit tipping over into the ditch.”
His biggest units can hold as many as 14 round bales. Most people bring in their own running gear, but they must meet Frederick’s specifications. They have to be able to support 12 tons or more and have 14-in. wheel centers.
If a farmer doesn’t have a running gear of their own, Frederick Welding and Sales offers Westendorf, Meyer, and Demco running gears.
“We’ll stretch the gear out if they want a 20-ft. carrier or a 24-ft. carrier,” Frederick says. “Whatever they want.”
But don’t bring in gear with tires in bad condition or too small for the machinery. “Truck tires or cement-truck tires mean you can haul a lot more weight,” he says.
Some running gears may have to be stretched out to 13 to 14 ft. If the center tube is bent or broken, Frederick will have to replace it. They’ll make sure the running gear is in good condition because a bale carrier that won’t go down the road isn’t worth much.
The bale carrier itself costs about $2,500 and it will cost somewhere between $800 to $1,000 to get it mounted, depending upon the condition and size of the running gear. “You’re looking at about $3,200 going down the road,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Frederick, 4795 C Avenue, Marcus, Iowa 51035 (ph 712 376-4543; www.frederickwelding.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3