bale dolly

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bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:52 am

I think someone has touched on it before but cant find it. I'm building a single bale dolly with an old axle and a 3 point bale fork, I can pretty much come up with it as I go but just wondered if anyone had actual plans for one? I'm building the kind that you back fork under bale and winch up not the flipping over kind dont think those would work well where I need them. As of right now I'm thinking 3 inch square tube mounted on top of the axle with u bolts 6 to 8 inches of overhang of the back of the axle boxing the ends and drilling through the tube to just slide pins in for the fork would round pipe be better here? For the hitch I am thinking of just welding on a bulldog 2" ball hitch or a pin hitch from front of axle to hitch I'm thinking 6ft right now and a rest with a pin to hold bale in place once its winched up. I will be putting lights on and fenders since it will likely see highway time. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or advice.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Bigfoot » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:57 am

I will add one thing. A neighbor caught a roll on fire, when the bale was in contact with the tire. May want a fender.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:37 am

I did think about that found some cheap diamond plate fenders that will bolt right up and give me a place to mount my lights.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:39 am

j_20 wrote:I think someone has touched on it before but cant find it. I'm building a single bale dolly with an old axle and a 3 point bale fork, I can pretty much come up with it as I go but just wondered if anyone had actual plans for one? I'm building the kind that you back fork under bale and winch up not the flipping over kind dont think those would work well where I need them. As of right now I'm thinking 3 inch square tube mounted on top of the axle with u bolts 6 to 8 inches of overhang of the back of the axle boxing the ends and drilling through the tube to just slide pins in for the fork would round pipe be better here? For the hitch I am thinking of just welding on a bulldog 2" ball hitch or a pin hitch from front of axle to hitch I'm thinking 6ft right now and a rest with a pin to hold bale in place once its winched up. I will be putting lights on and fenders since it will likely see highway time. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or advice.


I'm not following exactly what you are doing but usually people use tubing since it is readily available. 2 3/8 works good or 2 7/8 If you want it a little more heavy duty. 2" or 2.5" in regular pipe.

You make a T with the axle and the tongue and one piece. Most people put braces at a 45 deg angle in each corner. #3500 spindles slide right in 2" and a 2" bulldog hitch also fits on 2" pipe. If you go 2 7/8 you just slide some 2" inside the 2 7/8 to bushing every thing down.

You also need a winch post and a post for the spear to rest against. We usually just cut a piece of pipe in half and drill holes through it to put a pin.

Then make your spear set up separately.

The weak link is always where your spears hinge on your axle. We like to use a good sch 80 3" pipe slid over a 2 7/8 axle, or 2.5 over 2.0. You weld your spear piece to that to make the hinge.

I have seen those egg out or break when people went cheap or made bad welds in that area. All the weight of the bale sits right there.

Definitely use a ball hitch, stainless cable, a good winch that can't back spin, and watch your hands. If that's handle slips when your letting it down it will break your hand. Never turn it loose and let it free wheel down.

You can usually find used ones a couple hundred dollars around here.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:35 am

Brute you are following me I'm just using a old 3 point bale fork instead of making that part. So I'm basically just making the trailer to mount the 3pt fork to. I know they are readily available in Texas I used to spend a lot of time around Bryan and saw them all over the place, actually the only place I have ever seen them. Up here in Nebraska though they don't seem to exist. If you want to haul me one up I wont mind haha.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Silver » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:31 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--TIGeFM_SI

I thought these looked slick, save on winching.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:41 pm

I agree its pretty slick but more work than I want to put into it. I am planning on using a electric winch though.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:44 pm

If I knew when I was going to ND I would bring you a few. Maybe there is market for them around there.

Silver wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--TIGeFM_SI

I thought these looked slick, save on winching.


None of the ones with brakes work well when it's wet. Plus you have to maintain trailer brakes.

I do like the spears rather than sliding under the bale. If I was to build another one that is how I would do it.

I hate having spears that go under a bale with the angles on the end pointed down. They get hung up and bent too easy. I cut them off and roll them 180 deg so the angle points down and skids across the ground.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:56 pm

I think if people saw them start moving around a lot of the smaller guys would be interested, kinda why I wanted to build one thought if somebody wants to buy it maybe I'll just sell it and build another. I agree on the ones with brakes a lot of where I'll be using it is sandy creek bottom and sandy river bottom dont think one that uses brakes would work out for me and I dont want to maintain them.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby M-5 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:03 pm

j_20 wrote:I think if people saw them start moving around a lot of the smaller guys would be interested, kinda why I wanted to build one thought if somebody wants to buy it maybe I'll just sell it and build another. I agree on the ones with brakes a lot of where I'll be using it is sandy creek bottom and sandy river bottom dont think one that uses brakes would work out for me and I dont want to maintain them.


whats to maintain ???? I have a hay stealer that is over 20 yrs old and has seen hundreds if not thousands of bales . Ive never been into the brakes they are engaged 10 seconds at a time , they never wear out because you are not stopping them and if its built right where it will break over with little effort .
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:05 pm

M-5 maybe your right but it still goes back to that being more work than I want to put in. And again I dont think the ones with brakes would work for me and the places it would be used spear or fork would be my best bet.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:11 pm

M-5 wrote:
j_20 wrote:I think if people saw them start moving around a lot of the smaller guys would be interested, kinda why I wanted to build one thought if somebody wants to buy it maybe I'll just sell it and build another. I agree on the ones with brakes a lot of where I'll be using it is sandy creek bottom and sandy river bottom dont think one that uses brakes would work out for me and I dont want to maintain them.


whats to maintain ???? I have a hay stealer that is over 20 yrs old and has seen hundreds if not thousands of bales . Ive never been into the brakes they are engaged 10 seconds at a time , they never wear out because you are not stopping them and if its built right where it will break over with little effort .


Brakes get caked up with mud, wires get ripped off, they sit most of the year and the drum brakes cease up...

Plus, I've seen them slide and not break over in clover or green winter grass. If its muddy they won't break over either.

I don't see many around any more. There use to be tons of the grey ones. Think they were called tumble bugs or some thing. People woukd rig them up to their headlights so the brakes would engage when you turn the lights on.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby M-5 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:22 pm

Brute 23 wrote:
M-5 wrote:
j_20 wrote:I think if people saw them start moving around a lot of the smaller guys would be interested, kinda why I wanted to build one thought if somebody wants to buy it maybe I'll just sell it and build another. I agree on the ones with brakes a lot of where I'll be using it is sandy creek bottom and sandy river bottom dont think one that uses brakes would work out for me and I dont want to maintain them.


whats to maintain ???? I have a hay stealer that is over 20 yrs old and has seen hundreds if not thousands of bales . Ive never been into the brakes they are engaged 10 seconds at a time , they never wear out because you are not stopping them and if its built right where it will break over with little effort .


Brakes get caked up with mud, wires get ripped off, they sit most of the year and the drum brakes cease up...

Plus, I've seen them slide and not break over in clover or green winter grass. If its muddy they won't break over either.

I don't see many around any more. There use to be tons of the grey ones. Think they were called tumble bugs or some thing. People woukd rig them up to their headlights so the brakes would engage when you turn the lights on.


Yes they plug into 4 way plug but it just 2 prongs and brakes are triggered by headlights . Mine saw more use this past year after sitting for about 3 years , hooked to it and worked just like it did the last time it was used. good grippy tires will solve the sliding problem most people use old wore out tires on them . Ive never seen one like was posted anywhere but on the inter net and see tumblebugs running around here all the time.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby j_20 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Green winter grass? We dont have that around here we have this white stuff that makes things just as slick its falling right now actually, plus mine will see equal time behind a tractor I have a 3020 wheatland so it has no 3 point and the ones with brakes would be useless there. I agree with all of your points on avoiding brakes Brute, especially for the application I find mud, water, sand, and snow/ice, and ruts to be enemies of trailer brakes. Yes my stock trailer has electric brakes but I dont drag it through ruts, creeks, and snow drifts typically.
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Re: bale dolly

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:34 pm

M-5 wrote:
Brute 23 wrote:
M-5 wrote:
whats to maintain ???? I have a hay stealer that is over 20 yrs old and has seen hundreds if not thousands of bales . Ive never been into the brakes they are engaged 10 seconds at a time , they never wear out because you are not stopping them and if its built right where it will break over with little effort .


Brakes get caked up with mud, wires get ripped off, they sit most of the year and the drum brakes cease up...

Plus, I've seen them slide and not break over in clover or green winter grass. If its muddy they won't break over either.

I don't see many around any more. There use to be tons of the grey ones. Think they were called tumble bugs or some thing. People woukd rig them up to their headlights so the brakes would engage when you turn the lights on.


Yes they plug into 4 way plug but it just 2 prongs and brakes are triggered by headlights . Mine saw more use this past year after sitting for about 3 years , hooked to it and worked just like it did the last time it was used. good grippy tires will solve the sliding problem most people use old wore out tires on them . Ive never seen one like was posted anywhere but on the inter net and see tumblebugs running around here all the time.


You must have a good one.

How does that work with all the daytime running lights and auto lights on the vehicles now days?
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