Things You'll Need
Hydraulic silage wagon
Many farmers switched from producing square bales to round bales in the '90s, because of the lower labor required. Nonetheless, there are customers -- such as horse owners -- that still need square bales. In order to reduce the amount of labor required in making square bales, they can be left in groups in the field, as opposed to laying where they are discharged out of the baler. To make his own square bale accumulator, a farmer can modify an old silage wagon.
Obtain a small hydraulic dump wagon, such as the ones commonly used for silage. The smaller the wagon, the better it will work. The weight of large wagons would put too much stress on the square baler, especially when turning or going down slopes.
Remove the front side of the hydraulic dump wagon. In some cases, pins located in the corners can be pulled so the front can be taken off easily. On other wagons, the front is welded into the rest of the frame. In this case, slowly cut the front of the wagon off with an acetylene torch, making the incision 6 inches from the corner of the wall. Leaving the corner intact provides more support for the remaining three sides.
Tap on the cut sides with a hammer, while the cut is still hot. This will prevent any sharp edges. Wear safety goggles, as shards of metal can enter your eyes.
Extend the hydraulic hoses of the wagon by attaching additional hoses to them, with the appropriate couplings. One end of the extension hoses has a female part to connect to the existing hoses, and the other end with a male part is inserted into the tractor. The hoses must be long enough to reach from the wagon to the tractor. Secure the hoses to some part of the square baler where they are out of the way, using duct tape.
Connect the wagon to square baler by putting a pin through its tongue, just as you would with a hay wagon. Dump the square bales when the wagon is full by raising its front with the hydraulics. The back of the wagon automatically opens. The bales are left behind as the tractor drives away.
If you want the square bales stacked, have a person ride inside the wagon and stack them as they are discharged, in the same way it is usually done in hay wagons.
- Rick Dennis; Dairy Farmer; Canaseraga, NY
- Purdue: Large Square Bale Accumalator
Clayton Yuetter has worked as a professional writer since 1999. His writing has appeared in many journals and websites such as The Milk House, The Country Folks, Progressive Dairyman and Three Times Daily. He received a Master of Arts in writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway.