Bale hook and trolley? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 01/21/12, 08:07 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Central Missouri
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Bale hook and trolley?

Sorry about the quality of this picture. It was dark and about 30' away. Just managed to see it as we were looking at this old barn.
I am real interested in this device and am hoping someone can tell me a little more about it.
I can see that it is a hook on a trolley, with a series of pulleys and ropes. I have never seen one before.



<a href="http://s1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg616/lcfallan/?action=view&amp;current=DSC04081.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg616/lcfallan/DSC04081.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Allan

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  #2  
Old 01/21/12, 08:19 PM
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We used to put hay into the loft with a thing like that. Dad would part the load in front of the barn below the large window. DS was stationed inthe back on a tractor with a very large, long road attached to her bumper. The rest of us kids were in the loft. Dad would stack six bales together and pull the fork to the end of a rail that came out of the window. The ropes lowered the fork as my sister in the back backed up slowly. Dad would open the fork as it came down and push it into the bales on the bottom of his ready stack. Then, we'd relay the message to go forward to the sister and she's slowly pull the stack into the barn. Once the fork came back up to the rail and clicked in place- it would slide along the rail very quickly the back of the barn. We had to watch close and tell DS when to stop. Dad would pull on a rope that would trip the hook, dumping the load. Pull again and the fork came together and was pulled to the front again for another load. Over and over - load after load. Ah the memory!

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  #3  
Old 01/21/12, 08:26 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Illinois
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Yes, that's the way we did it too. It's very efficient, I felt sorry for the guys up in the hayloft what with it usually being 103 degrees up in there. But we always had lemonade & ice tea for them to take breaks as needed. My Aunt was the one who did the tractor backing up in the back of the barn only she not only had to not run over the rope, but also avoid the big mud/manure patch that could suck in whole tractors at a time. (sorry,,, that was when I was ten and they wanted me to drive that tractor, which was the only job I flat out REFUSED to do) I liked it when Dad switched to running the bales up into the loft using a corn dump. Seemed easier to me. Still hot for the guys stacking though.
jd

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Old 01/21/12, 10:13 PM
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We called it a "grab fork" and was used for loose hay. Bought new in 1950. Four grabs would take care of the whole wagon load. Not the easiest thing to set as those arms weren't light.

Martin

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  #5  
Old 01/22/12, 01:07 AM
 
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Most of the parts to the system can be bought on ebay...trolley, forks, spears, etc.

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  #6  
Old 01/22/12, 02:24 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
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Dime a dozen here in the midwest, don't know of a big old dairy barn that _wouldn't_ have one in it????

As pictured, picked up loose hay as mentioned.

As balers got populare for small squares, the hook was replaced with a set of 8 hooks - 4 on each side - that would be stepped into 8 bales on the hayrack, then you picked up 8 bales at a time to dump in the hay mow. Careful stacking and you could pick up 10 bales, 2 down the center.

Spent a lot of years with that, but now adays round balers, large square balers, haylege in bags, or for the few small squares still made bale baskets or bale thrower racks have taken over.

Those trollies and such are worth scrap iron price, and generally just bulldozed down with the barn for rubble any more.

--->Paul

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  #7  
Old 01/22/12, 04:35 AM
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I have used one just for old times sake, use to put loose hay up with the horses for our horse farming days we use to do. I have a large collection of hay forks used for putting up loose hay and baled hay, and have a couple hay loaders also. I`m sure I have a couple dozen like the one pictured here, use to be able to buy them on farm auctions for .50 most of the time. If you want to work hard try putting up loose hay, I don`t know of anything harder to do than load loose hay in front of a hay loader. Man have we come a long way in hay making, I have a hay loader sitting next to my round baler in the shed right now. > Thanks Marc

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  #8  
Old 01/22/12, 04:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Central Missouri
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Thanks for the info guys. Was interested when I saw it hanging up in the loft.
We are thinking about buying this old barn. Too bad it comes with such a small house and all but 6 acres have been sold off.
Often wish these old tools could tell stories.

A

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  #9  
Old 01/22/12, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rope View Post
Thanks for the info guys. Was interested when I saw it hanging up in the loft.
We are thinking about buying this old barn. Too bad it comes with such a small house and all but 6 acres have been sold off.
Often wish these old tools could tell stories.

A
They do tell stories, you just have to listen very close. hehe. Good luck on buying your place, save another old barn. > Thanks Marc
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  #10  
Old 01/22/12, 07:56 AM
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Hay trolleys, or unloaders are getting more collectable. Some of the older ones were ornate cast iron. I saw one re-purposed as a hanging lamp, and it got my wheels turning. I'd like to find a pretty one, clean it, paint it, wire it up, and get the wheels free. Then I'd hang it from a section of track, using it as a movable pendant light. I get strange ideas sometimes....

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  #11  
Old 01/22/12, 10:59 AM
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As Spring Valley said, it wasn't easy loading it since that was more than just pulling it away from the loader. It had to be stacked on the wagon just right so that the hay fork would be able to pick up the maximum. Longer the hay, the better to weave it together. With the old straight 2-prong fork, a good strong man could almost pick up as much with a pitch fork. Load had to be fussed with after each lift to again get a full lift. Had to be careful with the depicted grab fork or it would dig into the wagon as well. Luckily I was young enough so I just led the horses on the pull rope one year and then Ford tractor after that.

Martin

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  #12  
Old 01/22/12, 12:52 PM
 
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If you want to learn loads about them, and haying loose in general, Get Lynn Millers, Haying with horses.

What you got to understand is that that old barns roof isnt in the same shape as when they built it, OR even 50yrs ago. It might be VERY easy to pull the barn roof down trying to run 8 bales through it, tho I think that it would take a load from a 4 prong rigid hay fork loose ok. I have a 4 prong rigid, I have a 2 prong harpoon fork. I also have a 4 prong non rigid set of forks. I also have a carrier for a wood rail, and one for a T rail. You cqan buy T rail at some metal supply stores. You would have to weld the hangers onto it, and stops at both ends. Ive seen wooden blocks clamped to the end of T rails for a stop.
Some folks used to take a 10ft or so length of rope and tie it to 2 harpoon forks and run the middle through the pulley going to the carrier. Then they could stick one set on one side, and the other on the other, and as it started to rise up they would both press their loads against that in the middle to hold it.

When I was around 7 I ran the trip rope for my grandpa. He had to use the forks long after everybody else around had quit as when whoever had built the place, they had put a hog shed in front of the barn just giveing a hayrack around 3ft ea ch side to go in between the shed and barn. Well, I wanted to do a good job. Dad was inside. Grandpa was useing the horses, and his nephew, just back from Korea was setting the forks. I had kicked the roap away from my feet so as not to get tangled up in it and go up the barn upside down. I wrapped it tightly around my hands so I wouldnt get rope burns maybe and not be able to continue doing it. Well, The load went up, and right behind it, so did I. When I hit the rack Wilbur grabbed me and raised me enough to get the slack to trip the rope. That only happened once.
I have a NI hay loader that ive never used. I had a McDS loader that I had used with sudan grass. It felt like I was takeing 2 rows at once instead of one. For only one person, it was a horse killer.

For a 40ft barn, it would take 200ft of 2in rope. Thats alot of money

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  #13  
Old 01/22/12, 03:17 PM
 
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Location: Central Missouri
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The structure of this old barn is strong. I am sure that the tin has replace some wood roofing material many years back.

It was so dark, too dark for a decent picture but I will post a couple anyway. All the wood is oak, each rafter i believe was 4 2x8's attached together. I would love to see how they were able to get them all bent like they are. Look at the floor joist's in the cut out for the ladder. Six rough sawn 2x12 oak, they were spaced every 2'. The entire barn is just that strong. Building that barn was a major project, it wasnt built in a week like they are now.
Allan





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  #14  
Old 01/22/12, 04:02 PM
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After the floor is built, the curved rafters are laid out on the large floor with blocks nailed to the floor. Once all the boards are nailed (sometimes glued, too) together, it is set aside and the next one built.

That set of hay forks grabs the hay from a hay wagon. A horse is used to pull the rope. Once the hay reaches the top of the pulley, that releases the top trolley and the hay is brought into the barn. Then that bundle of hay is released, as the horse returns to its place, ready to lift another load of hay. Some places would lay a sling on the bottom of the hay wagon before it was loaded with hay. When it was full, brought to the barn, the sides of th sling were attached to the barn rope and lifted in a single huge bundle. Once lifted and carried by the trolley into the barn, one side of the sling was released, dumping to load.
Putting up loose hay takes a lot of labor and a lot of space.

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  #15  
Old 01/22/12, 05:15 PM
 
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That barn isnt as old as you might expect. It was likely built in the 40s/50s

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Old 01/22/12, 05:16 PM
 
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animals like loose hay better. You can prove it .

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  #17  
Old 01/22/12, 05:34 PM
 
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Location: Central Missouri
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Originally Posted by FarmBoyBill View Post
That barn isnt as old as you might expect. It was likely built in the 40s/50s
Bet our about right on that. The house is dated in the 30's.
Still undecided on buying this place. It has been on the market for a year now. Would not be heart broken if it was sold tomorrow.
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Old 01/22/12, 06:02 PM
 
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The roof in that barn has laminated (Glued together rafters) Sears and Roebuck used to sell barns like that out of their catalogs. They were shipped on rail cars with the parts all numbered. We lived on a rented farm that belonged to the Bunte Candy Company at the early part of the depression. That round roof was very strong. The metal roof was installed when they were erected. It took heavy floor joists to support the huge amount of hay that could be stored in the tall haymows.
My barn is put together with beams fastened together with wooden pins. The original barn burned down in 1939. The sawed the timbers to fram it instead of hand hueing them like most of the older barns were built. It was framed on the ground in sections. These were pulled upright with horses and gin poles. When you see old pictures of Amish barn raisings the barns were made this way. The man who laid out the frame on the ground was an expert in his field of carpentry. His little crew got the frame sections all pinned and ready to be stood upright before all the neighbors came in and put up a big barn before sundown.

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Old 01/22/12, 06:05 PM
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Could I ask where abouts in Missouri it is, we looked at farms down that way a few years ago, nice area where we looked. We had a neighbor that just tore down a nice old barn just like this one, people just can`t see putting money into a building they don`t use much or not at all. > Thanks Marc

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  #20  
Old 01/22/12, 06:17 PM
 
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The hay forks like the one pictured came in different sizes. The large one would pick up 12 bales. You better have a good hayrope when you lifted 12 bales straight up to the mow door. They were called Lantze forks. They were a modern piece of equipment in the 1930s. The older style two pronged hayforks were going out on the junk piles about then. The two pronged ones were better than a pitch fork to put hay in the mow but didn't take up very much at a time. When corn elevaters became common the Lantze forks seldom got moved on the track where the sparrows built their nests in the car at the top that it was carried in on the track.

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