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Haukass wins award for new bale grapple

Haukaas Manufacturing Ltd., based in Mortlach, Sask., received a Gold Standard Award for its rotating bale grapple, and a Sterling Standard Award for its trailer mount conveyor at Canada’s Farm Progress show in Regina in July.

The trailer mount conveyor is designed to make filling the air seeder during spring seeding more efficient, allowing farmers to side unload from a semi-trailer without putting an auger under the trailer.

“It’s very fast. It will keep up to a 10-inch auger or a 15-inch conveyor,” says Beric Haukaas, head of sales and marketing. The conveyor runs off the hydraulics of the truck’s wet kit, and can be operated from the driver’s side. It’s mounted with a bracket system that fits between the two bellies under the trailer, Haukaas says.

“It’s confined to the dimensions of the trailer, so going down the road (is) not an issue. Your ground clearances are not tampered with.”

Haukaas says they’ve been prototyping the trailer conveyor for two springs now, and hope to hit the retail market in early 2014.

“We feel that the conveyor itself functions quite well, so our biggest challenge right now is just adapting it to all the different (trailer) makes and models. And once we get that, we’re going to go into production,” says Haukaas.

Rotating bale grapple

Haukaas Manufacturing’s rotating bale grapple, the latest addition to its bale handling system, attaches to the front-end loader of a tractor or skid steer.

“It will handle two round bales, and it will twist them 90 degrees. So when you’re stacking in a mushroom formation in your stackyard, you can do so easily,” says Haukaas. He adds that stacking in mushroom formation — where the first bale is placed flat on the ground, and the second is placed on top, round side down — uses less space, and keeps wildlife from climbing up bale stacks and contaminating the hay.

The rotating grapple also cuts the trips to and from the trailer in half.

Haukaas says the bale grapple should be available by August. Haukaas Manufacuring is currently working on different attachments so the grapple can be fitted to any front end loader.

“We’re finding out here at the (Canadian Farm Progress) show too, that there are a lot of universal mounts,” says Haukaas.

Haukaas says ther bale handling system started with the bale cart, which is designed for gathering up bales in the centre of the field or near the approach. Haukaas says after bunching bales in two rows, people can drive a semi between rows.

“And then with our grapple line, you can grab two bales and load them on that trailer. So if you have a 53-foot trailer — and we load pipe-style — you can fit 30 bales on in seven minutes, haul that home, and unload and rotate them, stack them, in 12-1/2 minutes. So we just made hay hauling extremely efficient.”

Haukaas Manufacturing has also designed a bale rack system for 53-foot trailers.

“So we’ve really gone from start to finish with the bale handling system and just made it a one-stop shop for those producers.”

Haukaas Manufacturing has other products, including levelling shovels to scatter rodent hills in hay fields and bin door inserts to ease grain augering from old style bin doors.

Haukaas says he, his father and grandfather all come up with ideas for new products.

“We’re a family-run business. Thirty-two years strong. And necessity is the mother of innovation, and that’s just how it happens,” says Haukaas. †

About the author

Field Editor

Lisa Guenther

Lisa Guenther is field editor for Grainews based at Livelong, Sask. You can follow her on Twitter @LtoG.

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