Chasing Bales


Every summer (for the last eight?!), we try to get down to the mid-Willamette Valley to take rides with Russell in “his” bale stacking outfit.

We almost missed it for this season.

But after lunch yesterday, Ruby and Andrew and I took off.

Here are eleven photos I took.

Releasing the bales and going 'throttle up' to pull away
Russell hitting the “gas” to pull away.

Standing a stack of bales with the Bale Chaser
Backing up to and releasing a load at a stack in the field.

Andrew Roth running a Bale Chaser for the first time!
Andrew running the Bale Chaser for the first time.

Older brother Russell teaching the art to younger brother Andrew
Russell riding as instructor and shot-gunner.

Off to get another load
First load dumped, Andrew heads off for his second (and last) load.

Caught up to the baler so it's time for a break
They’ve caught up to the baler, so they came over for the Mountain Dews we brought.

Looking at the Bale Chaser from behind
View of the Bale Chaser from behind.

Bale Chaser as seen from the right
Now look at it from the back right.

Bale's view of an oncoming Bale Chaser
Here’s what a bale “sees” just before getting caught.

Some of the Bale Chaser innards
Hoses everywhere under the Bale Chaser “deck”!

Inside a JC B Fastrac 3220 Plus
That joy stick controls the Bale Chaser.

That’s fantastic equipment.

And Russell is “famous” in that part of the Willamette Valley for his stacking skills and speed. I hope he’s unlike his Pappy and doesn’t let it go to his head.

And I think it would be neat if Andrew could land a job next summer, running the second Fastrac and stacker. He would be 16 years old then, just like Russell was (as I recall) when he started.

I’m glad Andrew got earlier experience running a different kind of stacker for his brother-in-law Luke Mullet. Thanks, Luke, for teaching him how to run your equipment and then trusting him to use it!

Oh, one other note: I think in earlier comments here and/or elsewhere, I identified the bales in the photos above as 500-pounders. They’re actually half-tonners (ie, 1000-pounders). And those Bale Chasers handle a load of twelve with amazing ease.

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