Powered Bale Fork Squeezes 21-Bale Bundles

“My home-built, loader-mounted bale squeeze is designed with hydraulic arms that squeeze 21-bale bundles of small square bales, which makes it work great for stacking in pickups and on flatbed or semi trailers. It eliminates a lot of labor and works fast – we can load a 53-ft. trailer in only about one hour,” says Loy Sasser, Mack, Colo.

    Sasser used scrap iron and parts from an old land leveler and a Case disk plow to build his “powered” bale fork. It consists of a pair of squeeze arms attached to a long rectangular steel backstop, which quick-attaches to the extend-a-boom forklift on Sasser’s Cat loader. A pair of hydraulic cylinders move the squeeze arms inward to grasp the bale in a tight hug.

    “It’s a simple, cost efficient way to move bales,” says Sasser, who grows premium grass hay that he and his wife sell to local horse owners. “We use a Bale Band-It to make the bundles (www.balebandit.com). It stacks 3 bales on edge and 7 bales deep, tying the 21-bale pack with 2 steel straps. The bundles measure 3 1/2 ft. wide by 4 1/2 ft. tall by 8 ft. long, which is about the size of a 4 by 8-ft. bale.

    “The Bale Band-It sets the bundles on the ground in the field, and then I use our New Holland stack wagon to haul and the squeeze to stack the bundles on it and haul them into our barn. Commercial bale squeezes sell for $10,000 to $11,000, which is more than I paid for the Cat loader.”
     Sasser says he came up with the idea because he couldn’t find anyone to load bales onto pickups or semi trucks. “We had been using a bale handler that could pick up 16 bales at a time and set them on a truck, but then someone on the truck had to restack the bales by hand for transport and tie them down. I’m getting too old to do that anymore.”

    He says local horse owners often drive their pickups to his ranch, where he loads the bundles onto them. “They’re mostly women horse owners who love not having to touch the bales until they get home to unload. Some bring flatbed trailers so they can pick up more than one bundle,” says Sasser.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Loy Sasser, 625 R Rd., Mack, Colo. 81525 (ph 970 234-7323; sackett1983@reagan.com).