Friday, February 27, 2009

It's So Much Easier This Way!

Last week, a friend and I were discussing the drudgery of "bucking hay" -- gathering and storing bales of hay in the barn for winter when we were kids. In those days, the 2-rope bales we handled weighed about 70 pounds and had to be handled one by one at least 3 times before they got to the hay loft.

First we picked them up from where they were dropped by the baler out in the field and threw them up onto the hay wagon, where they were caught and stacked by someone else. After being transported to the barn, they were tossed back off the hay wagon down to someone who would load them onto a conveyer belt that took them up to the hay loft. In the loft, we caught them as they came off the conveyer and stacked them as neatly and as high as we could.

This was inevitably done on the hottest day of August while wearing long pants and a long sleeved shirt to protect one's flesh from the sharp hay. It was and ugly job, but it had to be done. Gads we got tired and dirty!


You will understand then why I have so much fun watching a load of hay being delivered and unloaded for me these days, especially since the monster bales we buy now weigh several HUNDRED pounds each! A load came in this morning and I managed to catch the end of the process with my camera. I think the drivers thought I was nuts -- it was foggy, damp, and COLD out there!


These are the last 18 bales left on the trailer. Just look at the size of those babies!


That's the "Squeeze". I love that machine. The driver takes aim with those long arms at the base of the stack he wants to remove from the trailer, and...


...Carefully now! ...he scoops up 6 bales...

...backs carefully away from the truck, and then sets them down.


He drives to the other edge of the stack to get a good grip on the long edges, pinches those big mechanical arms together and lifts one more time...


for one last trip into the hay barn. Each trip takes about 3 or 4 minutes at most.

Wasn't that easy? If I had had any sense I would have watched the whole thing from inside the house with a last cup of coffee in my hand, but I wouldn't have been able to take very good pictures that way.


6 comments:

MaryO said...

I have to say you have my admiration for being able to handle those 70 pound bales! I enjoyed this picture story very much! I had never given much thought to the effort required to manage these huge bales that I see in fields now and then.

Linda Fleming said...

I remember wrestling bales of hay for my horses. As much as we bemoan the passing of the good old days- some things are best left in the past, huh? LOL

Jennifer Rose said...

very neat to see :) thank for sharing

Carla said...

Great photos. I never had to do it and admire you for having the strength.

Kerry said...

I have seen this done many times in the past and this is way better thank goodness for all of you! Wonderful photo's too!!

Serena said...

great pics, judi! i've only ever wrestled with small bales of hay....thank goodness for machinery!