Handling large round bales takes skill, as well as the right bale-handling equipment for the job. Depending on what you need to do, you might need a loader-mount bale spear, a 3-point bale spear, a bale squeeze, or a bale unroller. Or even some combination of all four to get your work done right, and right now.
In this video about how to handle large round bales, we’ll focus on using a Frontier Bale Unroller (US) to unroll a large round bale in a pasture to serve as feed for the landowner’s cattle. We’ll also use a Frontier AB13G 3-point Bale Spear (US) and show you how to get a large round bale into a round livestock feeder. Each tool will be handling large round bales weighing about 2500 pounds (1133.98 kg).
Putting a round bale in a round feeder.
Some people like to use a bale spear and loader to lift a round bale into a round livestock feeder. But there’s a good chance you can damage the spear, the loader, the feeder, or all three by doing it that way.
We think we have a better idea. After removing the bale wrap, set the bale on the ground and then lift the livestock feeder over the top of the bale by hand. No risk of damaging any equipment that way. Plus, it’s fast. It’s easy. And it works every time.
Unrolling a large round bale.
Once you reached the location where you want to unroll the bale, set the parking brake, put the transmission in neutral, exit the operator station, and while the bale is still elevated, remove the bale wrap. Then, after returning to the operator station and fastening the seat belt, lower the bale to the ground and set the 3-point hitch to float. Since the 3-point doesn’t exert any down pressure, your bale unroller will now float along the surface of the ground. and the bale unrolling action will be drive by ground contact. It’s important to make sure the bale is positioned correctly in the unroller, so it actually unrolls as you move forward.
While you maneuver back and forth in a parallel pattern, the bale unroller allows the bale to unroll smoothly. Always remember to lift the bale off the ground when making turns.
When you’re all done, you’ll have a nice layer of feed for your livestock.
Talk to your John Deere dealer about which of these bale handling implements is right for you and your tractor.
As always, remember to read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.