Splitter Hitch Pulls Two Balers At Once
"It lets one man do the work of two," says Kyle Robinson who, along with his father Larry, built a hydraulic-powered splitter hitch to pull two Case/IH 8545 small square balers behind a Deere 4040. The hitch also serves as the hydraulic oil reservoir for the pump and motors used to drive the balers.
"Powering the balers hydraulically lets us turn shorter than we'd be able to turn with two pto driveshafts," explains Kyle of Robinson Farms, Amarillo, Texas. "Before we built this hitch, dad and I each pulled one of the balers, leaving no one to śmind the store.' This way, one of us can bale the same acreage in a day and the other can run the operation."
The hitch is 11 ft. wide. Each end is fitted with a 3-ft. long, hydraulically operated arm that the balers hitch to.
The body consists of three metal tanks made out of irrigation pipe. The top tank is an 8-in. dia. cylinder that runs across the width of the hitch. The bottom two tanks are 3 ft. long and 12 in. in dia.
The tanks are plumbed together with 1 1/2-in. dia. pipe and filled from a single cap on top. They hold 60 gal. of hydraulic fluid.
A 3,000 psi pump mounts in the center of the hitch, which attaches to the 4040's 3 pt., and a 50 hp motor mounts on each of the baler's tongues. The pump drives off the tractor's pto. Motors direct drive the balers' flywheels.
"We simply removed the pto driveshafts from the balers and put the motors in their place. No modification was necessary to power them hydraulically," says Kyle.
The hitch's arms, which are made out of 4-in. sq. metal tubing, are each fitted with a 20-in. dia. castor wheel to keep the hitch level over uneven terrain.
The hitch spaces the balers 16 ft. apart from center to center. They're equipped with 6-ft. pickup reels and produce about 200 3 by 3 ft. by-14 in. bales per hour. They pick up two 4-ft. windrows laid down by the Robinsons' Case/IH self-propelled 16-ft. swather.
For transport, the hitch raises up on the 3-pt. and the arms pull in so the balers come to within 1 ft. of each other for an overall transport width of 14 ft.
Since building it last winter, the Robinsons have made more than 100,000 bales with the patented hitch.
"It works better than we ever dreamed. What's more, the design will work for hooking three small square balers or two big round balers together as well," Kyle says. "We're building one that will look like a production unit. Case, Hesston and Vermeer are all looking at it."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robinson Farms, 8001 E. Farmers Ave., Amarillo, Texas 79118 (ph 806 373-9479).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #6