factoring in extra lifting capacity for round bales

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zammer

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
7
i'm looking to buy a skid loader to use occasionally for lifting round bales. Has anyone calculated what extra lifting capacity is required when your load is not in the bucket, but it's out beyond the tip of the bucket?. The bales that I left range from 1100 to 1700 pounds. they are typically 5 feet long. There must be a calculation done somewhere for how much extra capacity if needed depending on far out your load extends beyond the machine or beyond the bucket tip?
 

Gearclash

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Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
148
Don't under any circumstances use a spear that attaches to a bucket. The extra distance utterly kills the lift rating. Even with a QT spear, a 5' wide bale sticks out enough to trim a little off the rating. If your bales weigh up to 1700 lbs, I would find a loader rated for at least 1700 lbs. A 1700 lb bale will tip a machine sooner than a 1700lb SAE load would but the safety cushion built into the official rating will keep you in a functional zone. I handle 5x6 bales regularly with a machine rated for 1200 lbs, and that is an old rating, not the half of tipping rating that is used today. A 1200 lb 5x6 will have me on the front wheels only regularly. If you are a novice skid steer operator, don't be pushing the rating.
 
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zammer

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Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
7
Thank you so much for your insight! I totally agree I can't use one rated for under what I'm picking up but I'm feeling like I need to increase the rating by 40 to 50% for round bales as well! I watched a guy with a new Holland rated at 1250 be up on his front wheels on a bale that I would estimate was under 1000 pounds. He was using a spear.

As a potential buyer, I just don't even know how to evaluate that. One thought is that I drive one of my round bales to the sellers location and have them pick up a bale for me that I know weighs 1150 pounds!

Sometimes picking them up with a set of forks works a little better I think because of getting under the load a little more. I'm curious if people are finding different models and different lift styles make a difference as well. Thanks again.
 

Gearclash

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Nov 2, 2014
Messages
148
A Case 420 or 1845 are both rated for 1750 lbs if my memory serves right. Either would handle a 1700 lb 5x6 pretty well. Going a little bigger would get you farther away from that edge of instability.

Be very very careful if you ever use pallet forks to move round bales. It works, the loader seems to have a bit more lift that way, but people have been killed when the bale fell off the forks and crushed a bystander. I know a family that lost a 10 year old this way. Spears are considered much safer.
 
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zammer

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
7
A Case 420 or 1845 are both rated for 1750 lbs if my memory serves right. Either would handle a 1700 lb 5x6 pretty well. Going a little bigger would get you farther away from that edge of instability.

Be very very careful if you ever use pallet forks to move round bales. It works, the loader seems to have a bit more lift that way, but people have been killed when the bale fell off the forks and crushed a bystander. I know a family that lost a 10 year old this way. Spears are considered much safer.
omg. That is a sad story. My needs for a skid loader are 1) unloading round bales from a flatbed or a hay rack - so only a few at a time, and 2) scraping the feedlot, which is usually dry manure/dust/leftover hay. The one guy I've been using for the last few years has used pallet forks without incident. I wouldn't ever have bystanders, but I appreciate your advice, and the word of caution!
 

jambalini

Active member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
30
I use our 773 for moving bales like you are talking about, and using either a single spike on a frame or lifting them with our muck fork grab, you will never out balance the machine no matter how high or how quick you stop the machine etc. However, when I lift the big square bales of hay which that approx. 1/3 ton, you can still lift them to full height, but you need to take more care with acceleration and braking for definite.
 

wateka

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2022
Messages
109
For whatever machine you end up with, check the operators manual. My 853, rated for 1700 lbs, has the below graphic for pallet forks.
6C35DDA5-C5A3-4928-8E68-221396865A4F.jpeg
 
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