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Offline shortybreeder

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Flatbed bale beds
« on: March 24, 2020, 09:10:56 AM »
Wondering if anyone on here has recommendations for flatbeds or bale beds that they've used and liked or disliked? Features that I should look for or avoid? I'm on the fence if I want a bale bed with the spears or unrollers: or is the bale moving equipment is just a waste of time and money?
Thanks in advance!

Offline mark tenenbaum

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 10:24:18 AM »
I allways wanted a 4x4 with a flat dump and a gooseneck hookup-That way you can tie two bails to roll off one at a time-pull a cattle trailer-Have removable sides to haul materials O0

Offline Medium Rare

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 09:58:40 PM »
The cannonball beds seemed to be well liked in my area. I'm not sure if they are the same after the company change or not though.

You can feed a lot of cows with a $2000 truck and a $250 spear through. I tend to triple digits with an old junk $2k truck with R1s on the rear and a B&W EZ loader bale spike, but it's pushing the limits of being fun. The mud has been so bad the last two winters that I do wish I had a bale bed so I could just throw bales over the fences when it's too wet to even drive in the pastures. Being able to haul two bales at once would shave time also. I really don't like putting hours on the tractors just to feed cows.

If you feed much baleage you should really look at an engine driven bale bed. The electric over hydraulic just doesn't like to keep up if you're feeding a lot of bales or using it to chase bales to the wrapper. Even with a dual battery set up and an upgraded alternator you can burn through an alternator in a good hay season.

Offline shortybreeder

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2020, 12:15:18 PM »
I should probably add some details. I'm located in MN, so we deal with snow drifts for 2+ months and mud for another 2+ months on pretty decent sized hills. However, I don't anticipate growing to over 50 cows in the next 5 years; currently the goal is expand to 30 in the next 2 years. Consumption rate now is 2 bales per 3.5 days.

I'm getting a quote from a CM Dealer and it will be ~2650 for the bed and then they want another $3300 just for the bale spear kit.. where can I find one for that $250 range??

Offline Medium Rare

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 01:40:42 PM »
That's a lot of money just to feed a few cows.

Farm auctions occasionally have them around here that often just need new hoses, wiring, or cylinder seals put in. A lot of people threw them in the corners of the shed or in the fencerow when bale beds became popular. Might ask around some of the older crowd that recently retired or you can just build them or have the local FFA shop give a kid one for a project. They're just a switch, cylinder, pump, solenoid, tubing to get to the ball attachment and heavy angle iron for the rear and mount any old 3pt hay spear to it. Most look like this but covered in rust.



The B&W ez loader is just a better looking package that does the same job. I gave $600 for mine in an online auction a few years ago but I see they're advertised online for some crazy price. Heavy baleage bales will make these older style B&W bar type spikes bend often. I'm going to relplace mine with the better newer spears when I finally break one off.



For 20-30 cows you could even get by with a large pice of angle iron, and old spear, and a cheap 4 wheeler winch to tilt it back.


Offline shortybreeder

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 09:41:10 AM »
That's a lot of money just to feed a few cows.

Farm auctions occasionally have them around here that often just need new hoses, wiring, or cylinder seals put in. A lot of people threw them in the corners of the shed or in the fencerow when bale beds became popular. Might ask around some of the older crowd that recently retired or you can just build them or have the local FFA shop give a kid one for a project. They're just a switch, cylinder, pump, solenoid, tubing to get to the ball attachment and heavy angle iron for the rear and mount any old 3pt hay spear to it. Most look like this but covered in rust.



The B&W ez loader is just a better looking package that does the same job. I gave $600 for mine in an online auction a few years ago but I see they're advertised online for some crazy price. Heavy baleage bales will make these older style B&W bar type spikes bend often. I'm going to relplace mine with the better newer spears when I finally break one off.



For 20-30 cows you could even get by with a large pice of angle iron, and old spear, and a cheap 4 wheeler winch to tilt it back.


I don't think I've ever seen one on an auction up here, let alone on a truck.. but I really like that homemade spear idea! Does it come off the truck fairly easy, and would the design still work on a flatbed?
We have a bale loader attachment from an FFA chapter that doesn't fit my dad's new loader tractor, so maybe I can convince him to let me re-purpose it..
My thought process on all this is, that might be quite a bit of money for a few cows, but it's cheaper than the interest+depreciation on a loader tractor. Before the dairy cows went, my dad got a lease on the smallest tractor JD makes that has the capacity for what we need, and the sticker price was over $80k :o my goal is to figure out how to raise beef cattle without a tractor.. or at least in a manner where I may be able to rent a tractor for a day (call it a test drive??) And do the rest with my truck.
Depreciation is an expense that I probably despise more than most.

Offline Medium Rare

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 12:20:16 PM »
Depends on the flatbed, but some of them sit up higher than a regular truck bed and can cause geometry problems.

There's normally just a couple bolts securing the nose of the tubing to the gooseneck ball and 2 or 3 bolts on the rear of the angle iron holding them to the back of the bed. If you build one, make the angle iron on the rear of the bed go all the way across so you distribute the weight better. If you design it right, you can also just pull three pins to drop the spear, loosen the tube bolts and slide the neck of the tube back to reveal the gooseneck ball and still hook up to a gooseneck trailer. You just have to jack the trailer up more in order to get over the tube frame and cylinder when backing under.

If you go the winch route you could just mount it in the front of the bed so all you have to do is pull two pins and unhook the cable to drop the spear when needing to pull a gooseneck trailer.

Offline shortybreeder

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Re: Flatbed bale beds
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2020, 02:42:04 PM »
Depends on the flatbed, but some of them sit up higher than a regular truck bed and can cause geometry problems.

There's normally just a couple bolts securing the nose of the tubing to the gooseneck ball and 2 or 3 bolts on the rear of the angle iron holding them to the back of the bed. If you build one, make the angle iron on the rear of the bed go all the way across so you distribute the weight better. If you design it right, you can also just pull three pins to drop the spear, loosen the tube bolts and slide the neck of the tube back to reveal the gooseneck ball and still hook up to a gooseneck trailer. You just have to jack the trailer up more in order to get over the tube frame and cylinder when backing under.

If you go the winch route you could just mount it in the front of the bed so all you have to do is pull two pins and unhook the cable to drop the spear when needing to pull a gooseneck trailer.
I'm not very mechanically-minded so I appreciate the ideas! Thank you!

 

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