$100 Ideas: Extra Hand with Hay Bales

October 1, 2012 05:48 AM

p50 100 dollar ideas 1Stacking hay bales is a stop-and-go process, further held up when the bale gets stuck on the loader forks. In less than five hours, Lester Langeland and son Marlin of Marne, Mich., attached a hydraulic cylinder to their loader attachment to give the bales a push. Along with son Merle, they grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat, milk 500 cows and raise poultry.

When using a fork loader to stack large square bales, it’s common for the bales to get stuck on the forks when reaching for the top of the stack. With safety and speed in mind, we added a hydraulic pusher to our fork loader to give the bale that extra help off the forks. We mounted a hydraulic cylinder from an old manure wagon on the fork assembly with a flat round attachment on the end. The cylinder is connected to the tractor’s hydraulics with a set of quick couplers, and a joystick in the cab operates the contraption. The idea works so well that we installed a second on the tractor that’s used to load trucks in the field.

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  p50 100 dollar ideas 3Straight Back

Backing the semi and grain trailer into the shed is easier since installing two 45-watt lightbulbs on the back wall of the shed. The lights are mounted so they are visible on either side of the trailer. It’s always dark in the back of the shed, and when it’s sunny out the glare on the mirrors makes it hard to see the back wall. Now, the lights help guide the driver until the trailer is back far enough.

Steve Richarz
Canistota, S.D.


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Safety Latch

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Once while hauling our backhoe, the window flew open and broke. After that, I decided we needed a way to temporarily secure the windows shut. I slipped a J-bolt through the window frame and attached a spring on one side. I put nuts on both sides of the spring so the tension can be adjusted depending if the window is open or closed.

Jeff Bauman
Rochester, Ind.




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