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Nifty Square Bale Handling Trailer
A British farmer says he's come up with the most efficient system yet for handling small square bales.
Phillip Horn doesn't like big round bales. For one thing, there's no room in his barn to unroll a bale for feeding. For another, he thinks there's too much spoil-age and too much danger of fire from spontaneous combustion from bales stacked tightly in barns without enough room to breathe.
"All our hay and straw is baled in 3-ft. long bales, 18 by 14 in. We pull a sledge behind the baler which collects them and lets them out manually in rows across the field. They we go through by hand and set them up in stacks of either 17 or 21 bales, with 5 bales on their edges and 3 or 4 layers of 4 bales laid flat on top and all interlocking. Then we pick up the bale stacks with a home-built 3-pt. mounted bale carrier that squeezes the stacks from the sides. If we're close to the barns, we carry them back with the tractor. If we're a long distance away fromthe barns, we load them on our trailer to haul them back," says Horn, explaining that his home-built bale trailer is like no other trailer on the market.
"It's built low to the ground and the rear gate on the trailer acts as a ramp so I can drive up onto the bed of the trailer with loads of bales. It'll hold 6 stacks, or 126 bales, which I can load in 4 to 5 min. Once loaded, the hydraulically folded rear door squeezes them together and side rails keep them on. Back at the farm, they can be unloaded quickly by the tractor with-out having to touch the bales again by hand."
Horn says he looked for a commercial mechanized system for handling bales before building his own. "The only good commercial system on the market is a `flat 8' system that requires a special accummulator to group 8 bales together and a bale mover with grab hooks. We weren't interested because it's too slow and requires too much specialized equipment. It does eliminate the need to stack bales by hand in the field, but we've found that one man can set up stacks of 21 bales by hand faster and more reliably than a man with a flat 8 stacker, and we can interlock bales better. With my system, we can load my trailer with 126 bales, haul them 1 1/2 miles back to the farm to unload and be back to the field again in 30 min., and do it easily load after load."
Horn has patented his bale trailer and was working with the biggest trailer manufacturer in England to build it when the company went bankrupt. Now he's looking for another manufacturer. "One improvement I would make with the trailer is to have double axles with small wheels that'll fit under the trailer bed to reduce the overall width."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Philip Horn, North Dyke Farm, Great Salkeld, Penrith, England.

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #1