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Homemade Square Bale Loader Made From Dodge Pickup
Craig Cooper, Adair, Old., started his own custom bale hauling business using a 1976 „-ton Dodge 4-WD pickup that he converted, with a little help and supervision from his dad Terry, into a square bale loader and hauler.
Craig bought the pickup, which was in rough shape, for $175. Once he got the engine running, he stripped the truck of its cab and body, leaving just the frame and engine. Two feet over the frame he mounted an angle iron framework and put on a 23-ft. long flat bed that extends from the front bumper to 3-ft. beyond the back bumper. A hole cut in the bed provides access to the engine.
He moved all controlsłincluding the steering wheel, brake, clutch and gas pedals, gear shift, and gaugesłand the driver's seat to the very front left-hand corner of the flat bed.
A 12-ft. hydraulically-powered boom with a bale-grabbing paddle on the end is mounted on the front right hand corner of the rig. It picks up bales as Craig drives through the field. A bale chain carries bales up the boom to a double chain which carries them to the back end of the bed. A 4-in. tall raised frame around the chain allows bales to be stacked over the chain and across the entire flatbed.
Craig can load up to 75 bales with the help of assistants who stack them on the flatbed.
Back at the barn, he can unload right into an elevator by reversing chain direction and feeding bales off the wagon, out the boom and into the farmer's elevator.
Terry notes that although the modified pickup can't carry as large of a load as some other rigs, it's maneuverable and handy to drive in and around buildings.
Craig rigged up an engine-driven hydraulic pump in front to run the chains, boom and the fan that cools off the truck's radiator. He also stiffened the truck's front suspension and put overload springs on the back. Overall, he has about $3,000 in the bale hauling machine.
Contact: FARM SHOW Follow up, Craig Cooper, P.O. Box 211 Adair, Old. 74330 (ph 918 785-2283).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #4