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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2013
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    98
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    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Space required to use tractor indoors

    One of the wants I'm looking for in a tractor is the ability to handle <1000lb lg square hay bales. I'm leaning toward a used TC35D or TC40D with counterweighting of course, SSQA bale forks in this case.

    We want to store the bales in the back half of the utility building 85' long x 35' wide. Crushed stone floor. I'm hoping to stack on pallets 3 high x 5 deep and 3 wide. How much room will I require in front of the bales to pick and maneuver out of the building? How much space should I leave between the end bales and side of the building? Based on my research, the regular steer is pretty tight turn, but would Supersteer be worth it?

    It probably sounds like a dumb question: (answer: "as long as the tractor, plus more"), so keep in mind this is my first tractor, first small farm, first time keeping horses for myself. I will be happy to take my time and not punch a hole in the wall. How much more than the length of the tractor + bale on the forks is required?

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    21,014
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Luckily for you, the TC35D or TC40D have the brake pedals on the left side (where God intended ). You can easily use differential braking to make that tractor turn on a dime. I do it with my TC45D all the time. If you use a boxblade on the rear (a short implement with lots of weight) and have loaded rear tires, you'll have the best setup with a bale spear on the FEL. You'll find it much easier to turn with 4wd NOT engaged. However, if your bales are heavy and you don't have rear ballast, your rears will be so light that you just might have severe understeer. Your total load length with a bale and boxblade is probably going to be close to 20'. I would want at least 5' (1/4 the loaded length) to maneuver and 10' would be ideal in my opinion. If I was designing so I could let somebody not a skilled operator do the bale moving, I'd want 12' for easy turning. Even then, on the approach, it might take at least one backup and two approaches to get the tractor straight to the bale for pickup. I'd also allow a minimum of 2' on each side for turning and consider that as just minimum. You don't want to get into a situation where you are trying to maneuver with a bale high in the air. That's an accident waiting to happen for even a skilled operator. With the TC35/40 and 16LA, you can unload two high round bales off a flatbed trailer/truck with care. Three squares as you've described would probably be the highest for that class of tractor. I've never handled big squares, so I can't say for sure.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    799
    Location
    Western PA
    Tractor
    John Deere 5083E MWFD, Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    I would stack it in such a way that you start filling the length up, then change your stacking direction to comes towards the middle of the building, An important question would also be, where is your door located in relationship to the building. Meaning, is it centered or offset?
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
    L3400 Kubota HST Loader, finish mower, rake, scraper blade, Gin pole, Kustom Fab front hydraulic snow plow (Inspired by ASGAR),

    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
    '11 Moritz 20+5 14.5K GN with adj. Tail
    '95 CR 500
    FIL-JD 4020; Ford 9600,5000

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    98
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    jinman,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Some things there I hadn't considered.

    As for unloading from the truck, I'm inclined to pay a hay vendor to bring their skidsteer and do the unloading and stacking for us. They don't have to watch me bumble through it, and a skid steer should be faster. Hay guys who deliver horse-quality lg sq bales have to be used to this. So in that case the max stack I'd have to handle is 3 high off the ground, not off the trailer.

    Long term I'm thinking of concreting the entire floor and buying a used forklift if we are happy with the quality and price of large squares. Then the maneuverability and safety are much better.

    RNR, the building has a single large door centered on the 35' end. Obviously the center 15' will have to stay permanently open. My first inclination was to stack the full width of the far 35' end and just work toward the middle of the building. That way the hay dust tends to stay in back. Another option is to stack along the length of one 85' wall and always use the center aisle for handling space. That might save space since I would really prefer to keep as much machinery indoors as possible.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    8,266
    Location
    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Why not just back out instead of turning around?
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    98
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
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    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    I don't think there was any discussion of turning around. There's only one door and there will be other equipment in the building - so backing straight out was never an option.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    8,266
    Location
    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    I don't think there was any discussion of turning around. There's only one door and there will be other equipment in the building - so backing straight out was never an option.
    OK. It would be for me tho because I would arrange to allow for it with the slightest of turning.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    98
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Sounds like a good reason for a newer, larger building with a full-width door, just for hay. Then the utility building can be just for equipment, cars, and tools. I like that idea as much as I can't afford it.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    121
    Location
    Langley BC
    Tractor
    Mihindra 3616

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Friend across the road parked his ride on lawn mower in with the hay in a lean too along the back of his garage last Saturday. The resulting fire took out the hay, a restored ranchero, all of the bits and pieces from his Parents estates and all his tools. He is self employes so that slowed business for him for a few days. Hay and machinery do not mix well sometimes.
    Cam

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    98
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Space required to use tractor indoors

    Thanks, we're well aware of the issues of storing hay (anywhere). Ideally hay gets its own storage building, but we don't have that yet. Frankly I'm thrilled to simply get the hay out of the horse barn and in a separate building. Most small horse farms don't even have that. Insured equipment is highly inconvenient but also replaceable. Our horses involve years of training and they're good souls so there is not replacement.

    Fortunately, hay for horses (especially with our horse keeping philosophy) must be high quality stuff, and so buying uncured hay is not an option. Once inside the building, it should not get wet and if it does we will have hay quality as well as fire risk to worry about. It does give me pause to consider whether I should invest in a long probe thermometer just to keep an eye on things.

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