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Crawfords West, based in Camrose, Alta. is introducing a new tool to western Canadian producers, that makes it possible to shred and spread hay and straw bales using a front-end loader.

Roto-King, which is a brand name for a line of products manufactured by MDS Manufacturing of Parkston, South Dakota, includes a bale shredding attachment that fits on the front-end loader of most skid steers and farm tractors. Crawfords ( now the western Canadian dealer for Roto-King.

With the hydraulically-powered shredding attachment in place, a producer can scoop up a large round bale and begin shredding.

Once the bale is in the shredder bucket “you simply back up the tractor and shredded hay or straw drops out of the bottom of the shredder onto the ground,” says Larry Nielson, operations manager for Crawford.

“It works on any front-end loader provided it can carry the weight,” says Nielson. The Roto-King shredder itself weighs about 1,250 pounds, and added to that is whatever the weight of the bale is. “If you have a skid-steer or tractor that can carry 2,500 pounds or more with the loader, then the shredder will work.”

Nielson says the Roto-King shredder is ideal for shredding hay anywhere the loader can reach. It can be used to shred hay into a feeder, or the loader can reach over a fence to make piles of shredded hay or bedding, or the operator can back the tractor up creating a windrow of shredded hay on winter feeding grounds.

“The nice feature about it is that it is self-loading and the operator can see what they’re doing,” says Nielsen. “Some of the pull-behind tub grinders are self-loading, but it is hard to see what you are doing, or you may need a second tractor in the yard to load the bale into the tub. With the Roto-King there are tines on the front of the shredder. You just scoop up a bale and you are ready to go.”

The Roto-King operates with an 18-to 20-gallon capacity hydraulically-driven motor. The shredder retails for $9,500 with mounts, or $9,000 without mounts, depending on what the producer needs. It can be used with either quick-attach or pin-attach loaders.

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]

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