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Bale Wagon vs. Accumulator/Grapple


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16 replies to this topic

#1 wbstofer

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:08 AM

Am thinking about getting back in the small square business to sell to some local horse people. As I am short of labor in my area, I need some automated assistance. What is the wisdom about a pull type bale wagon or some type of accumulator with a grapple. No one that I know in the area is using either type.

What number bale wagon is best? Where do they wear/break/weld?

What about accumulators? Mechanical like Kuhns? Or hydraulic? Where do they have problems?

Thanks in advance for the help?

-Bill

#2 Rodney R

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 01:25 PM

Many of the guys here will give you advice about accumulators, I have no experience. Are you looking at hauling any of the hay? If you have to load it on the truck, then go with some type of accumulator, vs a pt balewagon, you'll have to pick all the packs of bales, but you can do it all with a machine, even loading on the truck.

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#3 hay hauler

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 03:00 PM

As far as balewagons go it all depends on what you want to do. Their is lots of different types. A lot of it depends on the type of bale you are going to make. Weight, size, and length....

Then to brake or were on the tables where they hinge on the frame.
Frames and leaf springs can be issues on different models.
Also the when the pick up drive chain motor starts to leak it is on the back side of its useful life.

I don't think these are a place to save money, you will be much happier if you buy a nice one. And there are good used ones out their.

#4 chief-fan

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:26 PM

Bale wagons have their limitations. They want flat ground to start with as they will not load good on side hills. Then there is the unloading clearance they require. I used one for 3 years and now have an accumulator and grapple. If your trying to beat a rain the grapple will get the hay on the racks faster so you can shed them or cover them. You would need several hay racks to do that or at least one large hay trailer and racks. I try to run about 450 bales a day and get them off the ground and out of the field by night fall. Hire one guy to drive the tractor on the racks. Just my opinion.

#5 hay hauler

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:20 PM

Bill,

I think we can help give a better idea of the pros and cons of each system if you give us a little more info on what you are planing on doing... Travel time, storage, customer type, so on and so forth.

With my 1978 SP wagon i can have 400 bales under cover on the side of the field in a hour. But If i go down the road more than a mile or two the #'s per hour will drop of very fast.

When we had a pull type a few years ago 68 bale loads, I could make a turn every 15 min.

Both systems have their + and -, Just depends on what you want to do.

#6 wbstofer

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:28 PM

Think I want to take pick-up trucks or a small trailer to a local hay sale once per week. Not trying to make real heavy bales as I have an old baler. Would like to upgrade balers in the future. Right now, I am making 95% 4x4 round bales to haul to the sale, but if I had an easy way to work with small squares, they always seem to bring $50-100 more per ton. I just am short of help. Probably no more than 2 miles round trip to the barn. Have a 27' gooseneck trailer, a 18' bobcat trailer, and a couple of hay racks. Ground is mostly flat, but not pancake flat. Lots of room in the pole barn. How much maintaince is there with a bale wagon? Hydraulic or mechanical accumulator?

Thanks again for the help!!
-Bill

#7 Rodney R

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 06:35 PM

If I were you, I'd get myself a hydraulic accumulator (probably a steffen) that makes 10 bale packs, and you would be able to load them right onto your gooseneck from the seat of your skidloader. The initial investment is more expensive than a mechanical accumulator, but I think the fact that you can do 100% of the loading by machine is the important part to remember, and you can find somebody to run a tractor/truck/skidloader much easier than somebody to throw haybales by hand.

Rodney

#8 mduchrow

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:06 PM

I had a Kuhns Accumulator and they took it back after getting through second cutting. It looks great in the videos but I had nothing but problems. Main issue was getting the bales to the barn without shifting. I used flat rakes and a 25ft flatbed trailer. Buy the time the bales were back to the barn they shifted enough to make it impossible to pick off the trailer with the grabber.

Other issue was leaving the bales on the ground. Here in Michigan rain seems to always be an issue. It is a necessity to have a tractor baling and another loading to get them out of the field ASAP. I have gone back to kicker wagons.

Since I had my accumultor, Kuhns has come out with an optional tying mechanism on the grabber to create a tighter pack of bales in each grab. I dont think I was the only one to have problems with the grabber

#9 hay hauler

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:01 AM

It sounds like an Accumulator would work well for you. With the amount of trailers you have moving the hay to the barn would work well. I think you are going to need at least one person to help you move the hay with any speed at all. Where a balewagon is a one man show of sorts. I see their being a learning curve for both of them though if you are going to be stacking hay 7 bales or higher.

We empty the barn with a grapple and it takes some time to become efficient with it.

Both a pull type wagon and an accumulator system seem to need a second tractor to get the hay off the feed within any time at all. They can be done with one tractor but keeping the hay moving off the field with the bailer running is nice. But... this does take a second person.... so...

I do agree that it is much easier to find someone to work a machine than work by hand….

I would say just realize that small bales will take a lot more work than large ones..... They are slower to deal with. This why the get a better price...
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#10 Mike120

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:29 AM

I had a stacker wagon (real old NH-1000) and finally went to an accumulator/grapple (Hoelscher). I've been very happy with the Hoelscher and wouldn't go back to a stacker wagon. I load the bales on a trailer in the field and unload/stack in the shed with no problems. The grapple does have a small learning curve but it's sure easier than the old stacker wagon....I think learned something new everytime I used it in it's later years! I haven't had any problems with bales shifting on the trailer, but I'm not going very far with them or stacking very high on the trailer. Like the stacker wagon, the Hoelscher likes tight, uniform bales.....it's just not as picky.

#11 sedurbin

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:29 AM

The first year I had the accumulator and grapple, I was ready to quit haying. I couldn't stack without having lots of problems. Lost a couple of loads falling off the trailers and then the stacks would fall over in the barn. Turned out it was me being the problem. Once I learned the tricks, it works great. I use a drag type accumulator after baling and would like to try a Hoelscher, hooked behind the baler. seems like it would be faster.

Never used a bale wagon but from what I read there is also a learning with them too.

#12 hay hauler

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:31 AM

If you by a grapple i would recomend the 90 degree turn. Seems faster to me. You never need to hit a stack straight and i tend to use this to my advantage to see two sides of the pile...

#13 NVLong4n1

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 02:58 PM

It's Nelson at W. R. Long Inc. in North Carolina. We developed an accumulator and grapple all in one attachment last year. We call it the Grapalator. There are videos of this unit in the video section of our website. www.wrlonginc.com. The grapalator list for $4,500. If you have any questions please e-mail or call. We now have these units from Georgia to Washington State.

Nelson Long
nlong@wrlonginc.com
252-823-4570

Edited by NVLong4n1, 13 April 2010 - 03:57 PM.


#14 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

Mike bless you but that NH 1000 is really dark ages. Not saying it is not useful but saying a NH 1000 or NH 1010 is not satisfactory is like saying a bike on training wheels is not a Harley. (Not being critical just using a humorous metaphor.)

hay hauler, will one of those self propelled machines handle 35 inch long two tie small bales? The market here is for 55 lb bales and for a 55 lb bale to firm it really needs to be only 34 to 36 inches long.

My hay barn was tookeded out by a twister and we are putting in a new one with enough height that a self propelled will work in it.


Aside I understand the top of the line self propelled has a magic computer run tie tier system that the stacks can stand upright , & not need a bulkhead to lean against. Not only that but these tiers work with a Grab to load trucks with, eliminating all hand work for the truckers. Interesting but a little rich for my blood.

Another aside, HERE our market wants small sq bales that are wire tied.

#15 Mike120

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:53 AM

Mike bless you but that NH 1000 is really dark ages. Not saying it is not useful but saying a NH 1000 or NH 1010 is not satisfactory is like saying a bike on training wheels is not a Harley. (Not being critical just using a humorous metaphor.)

Another aside, HERE our market wants small sq bales that are wire tied.


I know it, but the poor old thing served me well for a lot of years although I did cuss it a lot. The guy that bought it will give it a good home and as he said "it's better than nothing".

I grew up with wire tied bales and could fix just about anything with baling wire, a pair of pliers, and a screwdriver. With all the computers on things nowdays those days are long past. I just don't want the stuff around my place and I'm the same way about plastic twine. Somehow it takes on a life of it's own and wraps around my rotating equipment. Plastic twine is bad enough to get off, but wire is worse!

#16 hay hauler

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:13 PM

My wagon was made in 1978 and it ties. You don't need a computer to tie the stack. I was in the same situation as you a few years ago. Just can't pay for a new wagon. But these old ones will move the hay and a computer do not always work from my experiences and others that I have run....

With regard to the bale size I like to keep them around 36" long and most three wide wagons will only stack 2 strings that i know of.... Never seen one for three strings so I think you are good there. The problem is the weight. On a 14X16 I would not want them much under 55 pounds. They become to loose to pick up and the stacks don't want to stay standing. But I would see it difficult to make much of any stack in any way will less than a 55 or so pound bale...

With regard to stacking I have not found anyone that can make a 3 wide stand a full load with out dumping it... They need to stack against something. Just how it is I think.

With regard to just loading on a trailer... Depends on how you want to load the trailer I guess... Only two 36'' bales will not fill a trailer, I usually end up with one long ways on each row.

A two wide will make a stack that can go right on the trailer and free stand a stack... But the bales I think are around 4 feet long.....

Also I don't know where you are but they do not do well on soft ground at all!!!!!!! Because of the weight (at least mine) with a motor over the front axel it can even have trouble climbing some dirt hills empty.... It’s not a horrible problem but it is something to think about....

Hope this helps some, Keep the questions coming!

#17 OkhayBallr

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:36 PM

Posted ImageI have this hoelscher I would like to sell.:o




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