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Author Topic: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?  (Read 2318 times)

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Offline metroplexchl

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Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« on: February 19, 2018, 09:19:30 PM »
  
So I need to lift about 200-300lbs, and I want to buy and use an antique hay bale trolley like the one pictured below. It will be running on a 4"x4" or 4"x6" or 6"x6" beam, so the beam will be stout enough.

Anyone know if the trolley can handle the load?

Offline starmac

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 09:32:34 PM »
I have never used one, but have hauled hay that averaged 160 pounds a bale, but that is on the heavier side, most 2 wire would be 110 pounds or less.

I seem to remember seeing pictures of them using them trolleys lifting a platform with 8 or 10 bales at a time.
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 05:51:42 PM »
I think that they would unload a wagon in 4 passes . Close to 1000 pounds . 1 inch rope is strong and before 2 or 4 times safe load rules [OSHA].
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Offline Whitman

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 07:27:07 PM »
When I was 18yr We would pickup 10 bales that were about 75 #. Had to use the 1949 H to pull them up. I would much rather use a conveyor as the bales did not always make it to the back of the barn.  Whitman

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 01:22:33 AM »
Yes, years ago I've unloaded many a hay wagon with one of those hay trolleys. There was a set of hay forks attached to the bottom and you usually picked up two layers of 5 bales each time so it was 10 bales per lift. Even at 50 lbs per bale that's 500 lbs per lift.

You should easily be OK at 300 lbs but don't stand under the load. It was no fun for the guy setting forks on the wagon but that was because sometimes not all bales made the lift. And sometimes if you did not watch the trip rope and it got caught on something it was bombs away before the lift went into the barn.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 07:14:44 AM »
I was looking at a barn the other day with the trolley still running up in the loft. I wouldn't be worried about a few hundred pounds on it. My main concern was the connection of the collar ties to the rafters up there holding the track. This one ran the length for hay but at the far end there was a parged block silage pit and a loft level floor deck under the trolley looking down into the pit off either side of that ~10x12'"bridge". There was a door out of one end of that pit silo down at the main floor level. I'm not sure how that silage part worked, any of you have experience with that?

Interesting font, not sure how I did that

Offline maple flats

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 01:27:20 PM »
When I was about 6-7 my dad did some haying for his mother who was still milking 12-13 cows, by hand. He used one of those with a hay fork that picked up a huge load of hay, the 18' long hay wagon was emptied in 3-4 loads, using an old doodlebug made out of a 2 ton Ford truck with 2 transmissions in series) Originally those were pulled by horses so I'll bet they will have no issue with 200 or even 300#. As said above, don't stand under the load and build something as a safety (scaffold or such) to roll under it before you start to work up near it. Cast iron is real strong until it gets hit with something hard, vibration is where it fails.
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 01:30:09 PM »
I was looking at a barn the other day with the trolley still running up in the loft. I wouldn't be worried about a few hundred pounds on it. My main concern was the connection of the collar ties to the rafters up there holding the track. This one ran the length for hay but at the far end there was a parged block silage pit and a loft level floor deck under the trolley looking down into the pit off either side of that ~10x12'"bridge". There was a door out of one end of that pit silo down at the main floor level. I'm not sure how that silage part worked, any of you have experience with that?

Interesting font, not sure how I did that (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Did you hit "control B?", that's how I did it. To remove, just hold control and hit B again.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 06:41:49 PM »
I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm also interested.  I had picked up a hay trolley awhile ago to eventually put in my barn.  More as a novelty, but I thought it might be useful to lift things into the loft.
e aho laula

Offline maple flats

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 01:49:29 PM »
While in later years those may have been used for bales, they were common in the days before balers were common, hoisting a big load of loose hay with a heavy fork that was dropped onto the top of a pile of hay, then a part on the bottom of that fork was turned at a 90 degree angle and the hay was hoisted up, then when the load got where they wanted the hay, a rope was pulled and the hay was released. Then the farmers had to use pitch forks to move the hay towards the outside of the hay mow (rhymes with cow).
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2018, 05:00:38 PM »

e aho laula

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 07:19:21 PM »
I don't think your going to find an answer. They are all build different. 100's of different makes.
Some are much stronger than others.




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Offline r.man

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 07:52:38 PM »
We brought in loose hay into the 80s that was unloaded with an overhead trolley. 300 lbs wouldn't make one of those machines break a sweat. Our unloader forks took up a huge amount of hay each time and the first drops in the mow always made the barn hop when they landed. Some unloaders used slings so the whole wagonload went in 3 or 4 dumps. Like Kbeitz said there were all kinds of trolleys and all kinds of track. Ours ran on a steel rod supported in three places, both ends and the center gate, I know of another that ran on wooden 2 X 4s and a third that had a metal T track.
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Offline r.man

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 08:08:05 PM »
That was a neat video but not overly representative of my experience. We always towed the wagonfull of hay onto the central thrashing floor in between  two mows and used the forks solely inside. Use the trip rope to slam the car into the gate which released the forks. We always had wire rope so the forks would basically free fall to the wagon. I also wonder about the accuracy of the video, those four steel forks looked just like ours and ours were from long before baled hay. Plus they looked very awkward with bales but they worked a charm for loose hay.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2018, 01:25:56 PM »
Why not just use a chain hoist trolley?
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Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2018, 11:05:33 PM »
They looked a bit awkward because those guys did not have enough hay nor experience with them forks .  I remember the guys on the rack never took that long to get them bales up to us in the loft and the only time you got only four was at the end of the load.
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Offline Chop Shop

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 12:03:24 AM »
A steel I-beam trolley will work better and would bend (steel) if ever loaded enough to damage it.

A hay trolley is cast iron and will break when it fails.  It may never fail, but if it does its coming crashing down.  

Is the load expensive, anyone underneath, etc?

Or if it doesn't matter if it hits the ground, try it.


Myself I would not use any kind of CAST IRON trolley or hoist.  There are much better options now than 120 years ago. 

Just my .02

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Anyone know load capacity of an antique hay bale trolley?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 07:08:25 AM »
The big old 100 year old dairy barns in this area had the remains of hay trolley systems .In the day they were built for mowing loose hay not baled .The barns now are just about all gone as are the trolleys .They became a burden to maintain and were not very good for modern farming .The roofs went bad and in time they came tumbling down after the elements weakened the mighty oak that built them .


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