|Posted on September 13, 2018 at 7:45 PM|
After you have baled your hay, you have another task at hand, how to get the hay home. Every person you talk to will have different advice, and different ideas. Some people like to use a tractor with a front and rear spear and do two at a time while others will use a tractor trailer with a flat bed and do 40 at a shot. Depending on your location, budget, land and distance from field to storage area you will have to decide what's best for you.
One of the simplest ways to haul bales home is with a spear on the loader and a spear on the 3 point hitch. You generally never have to leave the tractor and don’t have to worry about more equipment to buy or take care of. This is a time consuming process and unless your putting the bales on the edge of the field, it isn't very practical.
The most common way to haul round bales is with a round bale wagon, or a flatbed wagon (some people convert old square bale wagons to use for round bales). If your fields are within a couple miles you can easily use the same tractor to load, haul and unload, which is very common for people who do it by themselves. This is a good option if you have a good loader tractor that can travel at decent speeds on the road. You can find wagons that will fit anywhere from 6-40 bales at a time, and if you have a large enough tractor you can hook two together to make half as many trips. Some people will also use a tractor or skid steer to load and another one to load, then use their pickups to haul the wagons, which can be much quicker on the road. You can also find wagons that are self-unloading.
Another option is a round bale accumulator. These can be expensive and are not practical for smaller producers. They are self loading and unloading eliminating the need for a loader. They are very efficient and some of them even stack the bales if you are stacking in a barn. They generally require a larger tractor (120hp+). If you are moving a lot of round bales they are definitely worth looking into as they can be big labor savers.
Some people prefer to use gooseneck or bumper pull trailers pulled by their pickup and load/unload them with loader tractors and skid steers. This is a good way to haul from those farther away fields. They are quick on the roads but can be a pain in wet fields. They also have to be strapped down which takes time,and if the fields are close can be not time efficient. Another thing to remember is that a gooseneck trailer can be used for many other purposes than just round bales,like buying another tractor.
Every farm is different and depending on your fields, roads and time you will have to decide which option is best for you. Many times people will try different methods till they find the one that suits them best. Sometimes you can also work with your neighbors to share equipment which can be a smart move for both of you, but be sure to know who your dealing with before getting involved in this.