1984 - Volume #8, Issue #5, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Self-Propelled Bale Machine
The cylindrically-shaped, self-propelled "Bale Machine" travels at speeds of up to 20 mph through fields, picking up bales no matter what angle they're sitting at in the field. The bales are pulled into the machine and tucked away in bale-hauling compartments positioned around the 21-ft. long cylinder-shaped body of the machine. There are 12 bale storage compartments or chambers in the outer ring of the machine and four on the inside. The cylinder rotates automatically, bringing up empty compartments as needed.
"We've picked up as many as 533 bales in an hour, including unloading time," says Cawrse, noting that under average conditions he picks up 400 bales per hour, or 3,200 bales over an 8-hr. period. "That's about four times faster than almost any other conventional method of retrieving bales from the field."
In operation, bales are passed from the pickup head to a wide, endless conveyor belt that carries bales into the bottom of the Bale Machine. As the belt fills up with bales, the operator simply pushes a button which rotates the machine to the next chamber.
To unload the machine, the belt is simply reversed and the bales unloaded out the front pickup. Cawrse says he usually unloads the machine, which holds an average of 100 bales, in about 5 min. "It takes four good stackers who know what they're doing to keep up with it," he told FARM SHOW.
Cawrse, his brother George and his father Frank, Sr., built their first self-propelled Bale Machine in 1972 and have since built five more. They currently have three machines in operation and occasionally use all three at once. They recently used all the machines to pick up 9,200 bales for a farmer over an 8-hr. period when weather threatened.
The 21-ft. long machine is powered by a 360-hp. Chrysler propane-fired engine and has an automatic, 4-speed transmission with a 2-speed axle. Everything else on the machine is hydraulically driven. It's rigged for road travel at speeds of 45 to 50 mph when loaded.
Cawrse is looking for a manufacturer for the machine, which he figures would sell for about $50,000.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Cawrse Jr., 35930 Providence School Road, Lebanon, Oregon 97355 (ph 503 451-2508).
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