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Thread: Loading hay

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,202
    We can get Bermuda and Orchard grass hay around here for a few dollars a bale, but it doesn't keep weight on the horses. Also, I have to go get it, and handle it. If we feed Timothy and Alfalfa, it keeps the horses in good shape without having to feed grain to amount to anything. We're down to only feeding 80 to 100 bales a year, so my time is better spent making money than handling hay.

    I could get the same hay a lot cheaper by the bale, by driving an hour one way, and all the handling, but I talked a local guy into offering this service of putting it in the barn, and he stays busy. I also told him what to charge, so I can't complain. He uses a hay elevator to get it up a story. I used to use a front end loader, when I did it.

    We have a hay drop in the middle of the barn that holds 8 bales, so we don't have to go up in the loft that often.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    47,699
    That is definitely a "fit for purpose" attachment! Looks like it helps with keeping the stacks level and even, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #18
    Those grapples are real common in yards that sell a lot of straw for mulch. I saw one once that skid on the forks of a large forklift and would pick one layer 1/2 the length of a tractor trailer at a time. Definitely faster than by hand. Almost no one around here other than some for horse folk put up square bales anymore.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Found a bunch of youtube videos of hay elevators. The bales we get weigh probably 75 pounds, so probably something over double of the ones in this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV6M-lXkYKI
    Last edited by Tom M King; 01-29-2019 at 10:06 AM.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    7,278
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    I'm not sure, but I think we could have once loaded that hay wagon faster by hand than the guy on that tractor.
    Now, I'd rather use the tractor.
    My bet is on the tractor, even one as slow as the one in the video.

    The first layer or two are easy by hand. When you are 5 and 6 high it gets to be a chore and needs at least one other person or you are climbing a lot. Of course if you have several people it goes faster. But one guy can load the trailer himself with the grapple.

    It's a lot quicker to load if you take the trailer to the hay rather than the way they did it in the video with a lot of time wasted driving. Of course you need another vehicle and driver that way - the guys in the video probably used the tractor to pull the hay wagon to the field. When we buy hay out of the field sometimes several customers with trailers are lined up waiting.

    The accumulator my friend uses is quite different than the one in the video. It is sloped at a steep angle and the bales slide down the slope into chutes, turned as needed. When they hit the ground the square is much tighter and a quicker to pick up since the driver doesn't have to square it up first.

    And for even faster loading, one hay guy I know uses a cherry picker kind of like this one.
    cherry_picker.jpg
    The boom extends so can load from stacks in his barn at maybe 10-12 high. Man is that fast, and far more maneuverable than a tractor. His grapple can move sideways and rotate so he doesn't waste any time lining up the square on the trailer.

    JKJ

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,262
    Squeeze trucks: Info I found say they can load 56-65 bales at a time. Or pick up lose hay. Many of them the forks do not fold up on the highway.
    Bill D.

    https://www.pinterest.com/blakebrasi...ueeze/?lp=true

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1xKO-6Jd9s

  7. #22
    I still make hay, although with my current respiratory problems may have to quite. I made about 1,100 bales last year, which is nothing by most measures. But for two goats, a few sheep and 5 cattle, I don't need much. I find the exercise of just getting out every day to do the lifting and feeding helps a great deal with staying in shape. The only time I drink alcohol/beer is hot summer nights after stacking bales. Sit out on the font porch, listen to the crickets and night birds and just chill. Heard of those automated bale stackers. I would have to make a lot of hay to make one worth while. My barn is barely large enough to drive the tractor straight through, turning in there to stack bales would be hopeless. Of course the ads, always show straight neat bales and uniform stacks. Never saw a baler put out such uniform bales. Maybe my 1960's New Holland is also over the hill. Last summer about every 6 th bale was only 24 inches long. most were about 40 inches. When I first bought my place, there was an old timer down the road that still used wire. I just could not imagine that. I looked into a machine that pulled behind a tractor and converted the hay into compressed cubes about 2 inches by 2 inches. You pulled a hopper along side and stored the hay cubes in bulk. You can move them or load them with a front end loader. Move them into a bin with a hay or grain elevator. It still makes more sense to me, but required a big tractor ( min 120 hp.)

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northern UT
    Posts
    668
    The last time I bought hay was about 15 years ago. I was buying 100 bales or so a year. I would buy a mix of about 90% grass and 10% alfalfa and always tried to get a first cutting. In Montana, there are only two cuttings and the second is just not as good as the first. I was paying about $190 per ton, or about $6.75 per bale. Every bale was hand loaded onto a trailer, then unloaded by hand into my barn. I fed about 25% of the time and my kids the rest. We had 2 - 3 horses at the time, none of them mine. Every year, almost every day, I asked myself how I got into that mess.

    Of course today, one of my kids now has a few cows they are raising, plus chickens and kids. Another one works on a dairy after getting her masters degree in animal genetics. I suppose I could say it was all part of their 'education'. Hand loading hay in 90 degree temps was always fun, but the real fun part was hand stacking the bales, up to six high, in the barn at 100 degrees was the real treat.
    I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love.... It seems to me that Montana is a great splash of grandeur....the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda. Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans. Montana has a spell on me. It is grandeur and warmth. Of all the states it is my favorite and my love.

    John Steinbeck


  9. I think Steinbeck wrote a love note about almost every state.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington, Vermont
    Posts
    815
    From Gary Snyder's poem "Hay for the Horses":

    “I’m sixty-eight” he said,
    “I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
    I thought, that day I started,
    I sure would hate to do this all my life.
    And dammit, that’s just what
    I’ve gone and done.”
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 01-29-2019 at 4:26 PM. Reason: spelling

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    186
    My wife has horses.

    I bucked hay one. I was young and in love.

    Since then, I am willing to pay the extra to have the hay delivered and stacked.

  12. #27
    Like Matt, I remember haying and handling bales in the summers of 1961-64 for 25 and later 35 cents an hour. Worst was putting the bales in the loft. Even with the conveyer it was sweaty itchy work and by day's end I was scratched up and more than ready for the creek.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    1,221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    We used to get up hay on a mid '60's half ton pickup. It would be piled even on top of the cab. Typically, we would count on getting 90 bales on that pickup
    Tom? How big was the fish that got away?
    I've never gotten that many on a hay rack.
    But I'll allow you the benefit of the doubt in the interest of kindness.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    425
    Pretty hard to even find small square bales around here. We get ours in 1800 lb round bales. Stand them on end near the yard and unroll them to feed by hand.

    But back in the day (we're talking 1960s now) we baled everything in small bales, stacked it by hand on a flat trailer (120 bales on a 16' long by 8' wide) behind the baler, unloaded it one at a time onto an elevator, and stacked it tight in the mow of a barn. Walking and stacking on the moving wagon was better weight and balance exercise than any you'd get in a gym, but ultimately pretty hard on the knees. Did the same with oat straw, and flax straw (that was unloaded at an Archer Daniels Midland storage site). Probably made 5000 bales a summer for ourselves and another 2000 or so custom work. Well oiled team of a couple of adults and 2 or 3 teens would do 800+ per day. Hay was pretty heavy, but the straw was maybe 30 lb bales, and the flax barely 20.

    Hard work on a 90 degree day, but very satisfying.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    7,278
    My hay guy always makes small square bales because the equine/goat/sheep/llama people all use them, probably because they can handle them without equipment. He sells all he can produce and sells out early, some directly to customers and some to resellers. (I reserved mine back in the summer.) A couple of years ago he made a bunch of round bales and couldn't sell them for enough to make it worth while. He rolled them out, teddered, and rebaled them square.

    I have bought the big square bales before, put them in my storage and pulled off flakes to feed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    Pretty hard to even find small square bales around here. We get ours in 1800 lb round bales. Stand them on end near the yard and unroll them to feed by hand.
    ...

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