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Skid Steer Attachments Review: Bale Handler or Bale Spear

The skid steer loader is an old hand at farm life. For many decades, at harvest time in rural communities, a familiar scene rose out of the freshly shorn fields: a farmer with a baler is followed by a passel of teenagers, who are dutifully chucking and stacking the dusty bales into a flatbed farm vehicle. Those same teenagers would earn a bit more money de-tasseling corn stalks at the next farm down the road.

But there is always someone devising easier ways to do things. If indeed a grass, wheat, hay, or straw farmer needs to harvest, store, and transport his crops, he is going have to come to grips with just how versatile the skid steer machine can be on a farm of any size. And when choosing the most useful skid steer attachments for his machine, he will have to come to grips with the best way to grip his bales.

Is a bale handler going to be the best choice? Or will a bale spear work better? Bales of grasses, wheat, hay, straw, and other crops are staples in rural communities, and whether they are to be bought, sold, or used by a farmer, they need to be stacked, stored, moved around, and eventually eaten by the livestock. The Bale Handler is one of the simplest skid steer attachments available. It consists of nothing more than a giant hydraulic claw that can pinch any size or shape of bale. Using the boom of the skid steer, the operator then has the ability to lift or tote a bale wherever it needs to go.

With the ability to move, stack, lift, and transport round or rectangular bales up to 2400 pounds, bale handlers are strong enough to handle almost any bale. Many modern bales, in order to keep the material together, are wrapped in a plastic sheath before being transported. Because the wrapping material is the only thing that keeps the round bale intact, the bale handler has been specially designed to have no sharp edges. It is made with smooth surfaces all around, so that this skid steer attachment is able to manipulate wrapped bales without the risk of damage to the wrapper. The bale handler attachment is the kind of skid steer attachment that will assist in keeping barns and yards tidy and well-organized for years into the future.

The Bale Spear is an entirely different animal, and is truly one of the simplest skid steer attachments that is available on the market. It is made up of a simple pair of sharp fork tines for poking the bales. The bales can then be lifted and carried and put in a barn, trough, or into the back of a truck. Because of its nasty, sharp, pointy end, the bale spear is one of many skid steer attachments that should be operated with the utmost care. It too, is capable of stacking bales of any size with ease into a truck or barn, but is, by virtue of its design, more well-suited to round bales. The bale spear can impale several disks of crops (without contacting their wrappers) and move them anywhere the skid steer can go.

Which is best? As with many skid steer accessories, it depends on the job, and the type of bales that need to be moved. If a farmer finds that he or she produces bales of different kinds, then the bale handler makes more sense. It really is able to work effectively with any bale configuration. However, if a farmer is only going to work with round bales, then the bale spear is the best choice. It is simply designed to work with round bales, and can carry a formidable load.

No matter what shape your bales might be, let the skid steer (and the right attachment) help you handle them with care.

Your skid steer attachments of the bale handler and bale spear for use in landscaping, construction, or to manage ranch land, can be found at This family owned business is exclusively online to keep prices down for the Skid Steer equipment buyer. Skid Steer Solutions specializes in building custom skid steer attachments.