THE front end loader has been freed up with a new invention by Daysdale sheep producer Peter Mills.
A nominee for the 2017 Henty Agri-Innovators Award the ute hay bale lifter is designed to make feeding out round bales on the farm easier.
Mr Mills said he came up with the invention following a serious spinal injury. Following his rehabilitation a tilt tray was fitted to his new ute to make chores easier around the farm.
“When it was fitted I noticed it had a two-way hydraulic ram so thought I could use it for lifting,’’ he said.
Mr Mills said a trip to the Henty Machinery Field Days in 2017 gave him ideas on how to construct the lifting frame and he began work at Christmas with the help of Focus Engineering at Corowa.
Mr Mills said the lifter was ideal for feeding out hay without the need for a front-end loader or tractor fitted with forks.
“There are plenty of people with three or four properties keen on the concept as often the front end loader is tied up doing jobs when needed for feeding out,’’ he said.
The lifter fits either a seven or eight foot long ute tray and will be fitted to a Ford Falcon for display at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
Mr Mills said once the tailgate is removed, a swing-arm frame is bolted on, together with a support frame secured with a spring pin, and two pick-up arms on the rear of the tray.
The hydraulic lift is achieved with by a hand held remote and takes about 20 seconds, he said.
Mr Mills said besides easily lifting a 350kg hay bale it can be also used for loading wool bales or 44-gallon drums.
The winner of the Henty Agri-innovator Award will be announced at the Henty Machinery Field Days “stump” on Wednesday, September 20 at 11am.
Entrants must meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full-scale production at the time entry.