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Bale loader built from old combine
"It frees up a tractor and cost less than $2,000 to build," says John Keeler, Barnard, Kan., who mounted a used Farmhand F11 loader and bale fork on an old 1958 Gleaner 50A combine to come up with a bale loader that can pick up and stack 10 small square bales at a time.
Keeler pulls a Hoelscher bale accumulator behind his baler which lays flat 10-bale stacks on the ground. He uses the loader and bale fork to load the stacks onto wagons in the field and also to unload them into his shed.
"It works great even in mud," says Keeler, who runs a cow calf operation and is also a commercial hay producer. "I had been using the bale fork on a front-end loader. I copied the design for my loader from a local man who custom builds combine-loaders for farmers in our area. I use it for a lot of different jobs. I can remove the bale fork and mount a bucket on it for moving loose hay, feed bunks, etc. It doesn't work well for loading manure because it's too light in the back end. It still has the combine's original belt-driven 3-speed transmission.
"I bought the 1958 Gleaner A and an-other nearly identical 1959 model that had a bad engine for a total of $300.1 use the extra combine for spare parts. I paid $750 total to build the loader."
Keeler lowered the engine's frame by 2 ft. and moved the operator platform back 12 in. He replaced the existing manual linkage steering system with a hydrostatic power steering unit off a used Gleaner M combine in order to make room for the loader. A 15 gpm hydraulic pump mounted on the end of the crankshaft is used to operate the power steering unit as well as the loader.
He welded an 8-in. wide length of angle iron along each side of the frame and bolted the loader onto it. A Farmhand control box mounts next to the seat and is connected by cable to a 3-spool valve on the loader. "I can use one lever to raise or lower the loader and to tilt the bale fork up or down," noses Keeler, who mounted a chunk of concrete on back to counterbalance the weight of the loader.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, John Keeler, Rt: 1, Barnard, Kan. 67418 (ph 913 792-6238).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #1