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Forklift Mounted on Skid Steer Loader Lifts Bales 21 Ft
An industrial forklift mast mounted on a Bobcat 825 skid steer loader stacks 8 bales at a time up to 21 ft. high on Mark Spielman's farm near Twin Valley, Minn.
Spielman, a commercial hay grower, removed the Bobcat's loader arms and replaced them with the 2-ton Allis Chalmers forklift mast which he bought from a local construction equipment company. He uses the forklift and a Farmhand bale fork, which is equipped with grab forks, to lift bales from wagons and stack them in sheds or on semi-trailers.
"It really reduces the labor involved in stacking hay. In fact, most of our bales are never touched by hand," says Spiel-man, who makes up to 25,000 bales a year. "I had been using a Deere 125 skid steer loader and a tractor front-end loader to stack bales, but they could only stack 10 ft. high. We had to stack the top layer by hand. The forklift mast lets me make better use of my sheds because I can stack bales 21 ft., or 16 bales, high. The inverted mast allows me to reach right up underneath building rafters. Even when the bale fork is loaded and the forklift mast fully extended, the Bobcat is surprisingly stable. It won't tip over be-cause the forklift mast lifts virtually straight up instead of out and up like conventional skid steer loader arms. I welded 600 lbs. of weights to the rear end of the loader to help counterbalance the forklift. The fork is slanted slightly backward to help keep the weight balanced equally between the front and rear axles."
He bolted extra grab hooks onto the front row of hooks of the Farmhand bale loader so each bale is secured by three hooks instead of two.
Spielman paid $1,700 for the forklift, $2,000 for the bale fork, and $9,000 for the skid steer loader.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Spielman, Rt. 1, Box 142, Twin Valley, Minn. 56584 (ph 218 567-8510).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #1