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  1. #1
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    Default Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    I've never owned a tractor before, but am thinking of buying a used JD 460 tractor with a 400 series front-end loader and pallet forks to move large square hay bales for my horses. Are there any safety issues I should be aware of? Thanks

  2. #2
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    If you pick it up too high it can roll off the loader back onto you. Anything on a loader makes a tractor top heavy. Even an empty loader makes a tractor top heavy. Be careful on slopes and hills.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Dozernut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    What whistlepig said. The wife's cousin was moving round bales raised too high on forks, hit a bump and he is now a paraplegic. Get yourself a bale spear, carry low and be safe.
    RB

  4. #4
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    I'm not sure how a spear is safer than forks (unless the recommendation is for a 3pt spear.)

    But: make sure you have plenty of rear counterweight and/or loaded tires and counterweight. If going downhill, have it in 4wd for the braking assist.

    As everyone said, keep it low and go slow. Use your safety equipment (ROPS and seat belt).

    Realize too that with a big round bale in front of you, you cannot see what's in front of you.

    Realize that round bales can vary significantly in weight from one bale to the next. Don't assume they are the same and get complacent.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken45101 View Post
    I'm not sure how a spear is safer than forks (unless the recommendation is for a 3pt spear.)
    Most people pickup under the bale with the forks, so it is free to tip backwards and roll down the loader arms onto the operator if you raise the bucket too high.
    A spear goes into the bale and prevents it from going anywhere.

    Aaron Z
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  6. #6
    Elite Member Xfaxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    These are spears for large square bales.
    -jd-jpg -ss_4spr_4312-jpg -bale-spear_2-tine-round-jpg
    Much better than pallet forks
    My Avatar, the TORO+Loader: Kwik-Way FEL and TORO Groundsmaster Put Together

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  7. #7
    Platinum Member repowell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    Welcome to TBN. Get a 3 point spear. Safe is better than cheap. All it takes is one life altering accident to wipe out any savings. You start with "I will never have to lift them that high" and then you find out that stacking them higher takes less room or the trailer holds more if you stack them. Next thing you know you are going for 3 high in the barn.
    Randy

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  8. #8
    Elite Member GManBart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle1718 View Post
    I've never owned a tractor before, but am thinking of buying a used JD 460 tractor with a 400 series front-end loader and pallet forks to move large square hay bales for my horses. Are there any safety issues I should be aware of? Thanks
    First off, welcome!

    I'm not aware of any Deere tractor called a 460. They had a 460 loader, is that maybe what you saw?

    When moving keep the load as low as possible, avoid moving sideways across a hill, and make sure you have enough counterweight on the back of the tractor.

    You can lift a max load to full height safely if you move slowly, and have a solid, level surface under the tires, but you can still run into problems. For example, if you didn't see an obstacle and it pinched a tire causing it to go flat suddenly...that would be a nearly instant roll over.

    It's unlikely that a single large square bale is a max load for the machine you're looking at, but we'd need more info to be sure. For example, if the machine weighs 5,000lbs, and the loader can lift 2,000lbs to max height, you shouldn't have any issues with something like a large square bale, or even medium round bales.
    Parts manuals are like complicated and stuff!

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by Dozernut View Post
    . . . Get yourself a bale spear, carry low and be safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken45101 View Post
    I'm not sure how a spear is safer than forks (unless the recommendation is for a 3pt spear.

    Realize too that with a big round bale in front of you, you cannot see what's in front of you. . .
    Aaron answered the question about a spear vs. forks.

    I ran over a parked pickup in my hayfield once. :
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
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    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

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  10. #10
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safety concerns when moving hay bales

    I ran over a parked pickup in my hayfield once. :

    Pictures? I would like to see how it turned out.
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


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