Friday, October 1, 2010
Farm Equipment Friday: Bale spear
Last we left Farm Equipment Friday, the hay was cut, tedded, raked, and baled. And we learned about some seed signs. But we had left the hay bales out in the field! That’s one of my husband’s pet peeves, and we do not do that around this farm. We pick them all up and carry them inside. (And by “we,” I mean he does it and I take pictures.)
Lana @ Walking the Off-Beaten Path posted about this a while ago, so check her out too. She drives the truck and trailer. I just take pictures.
The fields that I showed you in the previous posts were around our home, so all we needed to do was pick the bales up with the tractor and haul them up the driveway. This summer, we also baled a hay field that was a few miles away from our home, so we needed to load these on a truck to go the distance.
First, we use the bale spear on the front of the tractor to pick up the round bale. See that really long prong? That’s the bale spear.
And there’s two smaller prongs mounted above the big prong. These help with stability.
Once the bale spear is stuck in the bale, you pick up the arm, and tilt it backwards. This helps the bale stay in place during transport.
This tractor has sort of a fork on the back.
We use this to pick up a second bale from the bottom, so we can carry two bales out of the field to the truck at the same time.
This cracks me up. Every time.
So the bales get gently loaded onto a trailer, and slowly driven down the road back to our barn. This particular trailer can haul 8 bales at once.
Once the hay is back at the house, it gets unloaded. Basically the same process as picking it up off the ground, just starting at a slightly higher elevation.
Then into the barn…
And onto the stack!
From here, as the cows need it, John takes a bale at a time out to the pasture for the cows. It’s getting to that time of year when our pasture is not so good anymore, so they are starting to go through hay more quickly now!
Step 1 - Mower/conditioner
Step 2 - Tedder
Step 3 - Rake
Step 4 - Baler
Step 5 - Bale Spear