1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Truck-Mounted Round Bale Loader
Vorce reversed the direction of the rear drive axle so he can drive the truck "backwards".
"It works six times faster than the Inter-national H tractor and front-end loader that I had been using and it doesn't use much more fuel per hour. Also the cab is worth its weight in gold," says Vorce, who runs a cow-calf operation and does some custom bale loading for neighbors. He tows the truck behind his 3/4-ton pickup to farms several miles away.
Vorce stripped the truck down to the frame and 6 ft. off the rear end. He welded a 10-ft. long, 4-in. wide steel H-beam (salvaged from an old chisel plow) on each side of the truck frame, then welded three more H-beams across them to keep the frame from twisting while operating the loader. He removed the original 345 cu. in. engine and replaced it with a 383 cu. in. gas engine removed from a Dodge car and installed the car's push button automatic transmission. He used sheet metal to build a hood over the engine. He installed the cab in the middle of the frame and bolted the Great Bend 900 Hi-Master loader onto the rear end.
"It weighs 7,500 lbs. so it has lots of traction and the engine is big enough that it gets the job done without having to work too hard. I replaced the original engine because I couldn't find an automatic transmission to match it. The original 5-speed manual transmission was hard to shift and would've burned up the clutch doing loader work. The push button automatic transmission shifts smooth and lets me take off nice and easy so I won't get stuck.
"The Great Bend loader fit the truck frame perfectly and lifts bales 16 ft. high so I can easily load bales into tub grinders and round bale feeders. I can replace the bale fork with a small hay fork fitted with a plywood scaffold for working on buildings."
To reverse direction of the rear axle, he constructed an add-on gearbox out of old tractor pto parts and mounted it between the transmission and axle. "The gearbox can be placed in neutral so when I tow the truck I can lock the transmission in park to keep it from turning," notes Vorce.
He removed the steering gearbox from the front of the truck and mounted it at the rear.
A 5-ft. wide, 2-ft. high Farmhand blade is permanently mounted on the loader arms. The bale fork bolts to the blade and is made up of three spears, one 4 1/2 ft. long and the other two are 2 ft. long. A dash removed from a 1966 Dodge pickup shows speedometer and engine gauges.
Vorce spent about 2 months building the truck. It cost approximately $6,000. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Vorce, 32350 Co. Rd., Akron, Colo. 80720 (ph 303 345-6703).
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