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Bale Unroller Built From Combine Final Drive
A Nebraska farmer says he's come up with an inexpensive way to make his own round bale unrollers. He uses junked final drives salvaged from old combines.
"They work just as good as commercial bale unrollers and cost much less," says Roland Hemmann, Amherst, Neb., who so far has built 15 of the 3-pt. mounted bale unrollers for farmers in his area.
Hemmann cuts off a final drive from one side of the axle leaving a 5-in. long stub and then welds the assembly to a frame that lets him mount the unroller on a 3-pt. hitch. He then bolts a hydraulic motor onto the 3-pt. frame and couples it to the splined final drive stub shaft that previously connected up to the combine's transmission. The hydraulic motor is powered by the tractor's remote outlets. He bolts a 42-in. long spear onto the hub of the final drive where the wheel originally mounted, using the same wheel rim bolt holes. He uses a hydraulic lever in the tractor cab to operate the motor and unroll bales on-the-go.
"They work great. I've had very few complaints," says Hemmann. "I sell them for $350 to $400 whereas similar commercial bale unrollers cost up to $1,200. I buy the final drives from dealers for about $50. I salvage the hydraulic motors from old center pivot irrigation systems to help keep the cost down. Another advantage is that my bale unrollers don't have any chains or sprockets where hay can get tangled up. The bale can be unrolled in either direction by simply reversing direction of the hydraulic lever.
"I built it after a friend needed a bale unroller and asked me if I could build one cheap. I saw a junked out final drive from an old combine and figured that if it was strong enough to handle the weight of a combine, it would be strong enough to unroll a bale. Most of the final drives I use are from International 101 and 303 combines or from Deere 45, 55, and 95 models. However, final drives from even the smallest combines will work. Final drives from newer model combines may be too heavy for the 3-pt. hitch. I make most of my unrollers for Cat. II 3-pt. hitches, but I can also make them for quick hitches. By unbolting the base of the spear and bolting on a wheel rim equipped with an adapter, the bale unroller can be converted to a wire unroller. A car wheel rim works fine for unrolling or rolling up electric fence wire while a combine wheel rim works good on bigger wire."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roland Hemmann, Rt. 1, Amherst, Neb. 68812 (ph 308 826-2581).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2