Bale Wrangler: A new concept in feeding round bales | TSLN.com

Bale Wrangler: A new concept in feeding round bales

The winter of 2008-09 started early and ended late, and it was tough on everyone and all the livestock. Not much good can be said of those months, but something good did happen as a result of one rancher’s frustration with the equipment he had and the expense of running it.

Out of that frustration and a lot of time spent on the feed ground with time to think came an idea, and out of that idea, invention. Al Garr, who ranches with his wife Valerie and grown son Tigh west of Belle Fourche, SD, raises Corriente/Longhorn cross roping cattle, runs some yearlings and summer herd cows, and sells grass fat beef. While feeding, he cringed every morning when he started his big tractor, fearing a breakdown. Each day he was aware of the expense of keeping that big motor warm overnight with an electric meter humming, plus the wear and tear on all the high priced parts that make a tractor operate, and adding the risk of breaking down due to the cold stress and long hours.

The fuel would gel and it would take hours to thaw the fuel lines out and replace the filter, none of which was done anywhere near a shop or even out of the wind. Al just knew there had to be something he could be doing differently that wouldn’t be costing him so much and could ensure that his stock got fed, no matter what.

He ran many ideas through his head, and finally came up with something that he thought would work. So, with the help of a retired neighbor who had some time on his hands and is a good welder, he started working on it. Garr says, “I thought about it quite a while, then I had to come up with the junk to start putting it together and that took a while. We’d both weld on it, and if something didn’t work, we’d cut it off and go to plan B.” He laughed and added, “Mine’s all made out of junk!”

What he finally came up with and started using, was a bale handling system that can be operated with anything that can pull it, whether tractor, pickup or team of horses. His, though made of junk, worked so well, that he got to thinking about maybe making some to sell. While at the Black Hills Stock Show, he was visiting with Dean Johnson of Prairie Industries, Vale, SD, and told him about his invention. Dean was intrigued, and went to watch it operate at the ranch. Johnson thought it sure looked like something they could build and market.

That process has taken time and a lot of effort to streamline the original bale handling cart. Finding the best source for the components was challenging, as keeping costs down helps make the end product more affordable. “It’s been a fun experience, though,” says Garr. He added with a chuckle, “I’ve been at their place so much their dogs have quit barking at me when I drive in.”

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“I have a gut feeling about it and think there is a future for it,” says Garr. “I think most people want an easier, cheaper way to operate, that is more adaptable.”

The Bale Wrangler is certainly all of that. Being able to use it with various means of pulling it frees up equipment for other jobs or for repairs. “I have nothing against bale beds or tractors, but when that equipment breaks down, you can’t feed,” he added.

For smaller operators who need to be able to move round bales and feed them but really don’t need a tractor, it’s the perfect solution. For larger operators who may have stock spread over a large area, they can hitch up to the pickup and take one or two bales wherever they need to go and save time and expense. Since the pickup bed is not used, it can have a cake feeder or ear corn in it, thus saving a trip.

The Bale Wrangler has an electric pump that powers the hydraulics which operate the arms. There is a battery and a hydraulic reservoir right on the bale cart itself, and the controller is run up to the operator’s seat. The Bale Wrangler can either operate off of the vehicle’s battery or it’s own, so that adds to it’s versatility.

The cart can pick up a round bale with ease, and either put it in the bale cradle or transport it on the arms alone. The smooth hydraulic action is quick and easy to handle and the bale rolls out easily when it’s time to feed. The bale cradle is optional on the Bale Wrangler, and is adjustable for bale size and is removable.

Even with two bales on the Bale Wrangler, the weight is dissipated so that the tires aren’t bearing excessive weight, nor is the vehicle. It pulls straight down the road at normal speeds and can withstand quite a bounce without dislodging the bale in the cradle.

Garr points out, “We want to be able to price the Bale Wrangler so that it’s affordable.”

Being in the cattle business himself, he understands how tight that bottom line can be. The final price on the Bale Wrangler hasn’t been determined, but will be about half the price of a hydraulic bale bed, installed, on a pickup (not including the cost of the pickup). Garr adds, “It’s going to look pretty cheap compared to a $4,000 hydraulic pump for a tractor. It’s also made so well that it should hold up for years of use.”

Having the Bale Wrangler manufactured right in South Dakota, USA is important to Garr, and he is very pleased to be working with Prairie Industries. Owned and operated by Ron and Bev Johnson and their son Dean and his wife Becky and family, they manufacture high quality grill guards for pickups and trucks. Located at Johnson’s Dry Well Ranch south of Vale, Dean also trains reining, all-around and working cow horses and shows as well.

At this point, the first Bale Wrangler has been painted and the final adjustments are being made, and dealers are very interested in carrying them. To begin with, they want to be able to have the Bale Wrangler ready to go within four weeks of the order, and as the process becomes more streamlined, that interval will be shortened as orders come in and production gets faster. Eventually the goal is to be able to keep enough ahead that there will be some in stock.

One man’s brainchild has become something that anyone can use without having to go through the same process of trial and error that he did. In the mean time, Al Garr will keep feeding with the original, because even though he made it out of “old junk,” it works great for him and his operation.

The winter of 2008-09 started early and ended late, and it was tough on everyone and all the livestock. Not much good can be said of those months, but something good did happen as a result of one rancher’s frustration with the equipment he had and the expense of running it.

Out of that frustration and a lot of time spent on the feed ground with time to think came an idea, and out of that idea, invention. Al Garr, who ranches with his wife Valerie and grown son Tigh west of Belle Fourche, SD, raises Corriente/Longhorn cross roping cattle, runs some yearlings and summer herd cows, and sells grass fat beef. While feeding, he cringed every morning when he started his big tractor, fearing a breakdown. Each day he was aware of the expense of keeping that big motor warm overnight with an electric meter humming, plus the wear and tear on all the high priced parts that make a tractor operate, and adding the risk of breaking down due to the cold stress and long hours.

The fuel would gel and it would take hours to thaw the fuel lines out and replace the filter, none of which was done anywhere near a shop or even out of the wind. Al just knew there had to be something he could be doing differently that wouldn’t be costing him so much and could ensure that his stock got fed, no matter what.

He ran many ideas through his head, and finally came up with something that he thought would work. So, with the help of a retired neighbor who had some time on his hands and is a good welder, he started working on it. Garr says, “I thought about it quite a while, then I had to come up with the junk to start putting it together and that took a while. We’d both weld on it, and if something didn’t work, we’d cut it off and go to plan B.” He laughed and added, “Mine’s all made out of junk!”

What he finally came up with and started using, was a bale handling system that can be operated with anything that can pull it, whether tractor, pickup or team of horses. His, though made of junk, worked so well, that he got to thinking about maybe making some to sell. While at the Black Hills Stock Show, he was visiting with Dean Johnson of Prairie Industries, Vale, SD, and told him about his invention. Dean was intrigued, and went to watch it operate at the ranch. Johnson thought it sure looked like something they could build and market.

That process has taken time and a lot of effort to streamline the original bale handling cart. Finding the best source for the components was challenging, as keeping costs down helps make the end product more affordable. “It’s been a fun experience, though,” says Garr. He added with a chuckle, “I’ve been at their place so much their dogs have quit barking at me when I drive in.”

“I have a gut feeling about it and think there is a future for it,” says Garr. “I think most people want an easier, cheaper way to operate, that is more adaptable.”

The Bale Wrangler is certainly all of that. Being able to use it with various means of pulling it frees up equipment for other jobs or for repairs. “I have nothing against bale beds or tractors, but when that equipment breaks down, you can’t feed,” he added.

For smaller operators who need to be able to move round bales and feed them but really don’t need a tractor, it’s the perfect solution. For larger operators who may have stock spread over a large area, they can hitch up to the pickup and take one or two bales wherever they need to go and save time and expense. Since the pickup bed is not used, it can have a cake feeder or ear corn in it, thus saving a trip.

The Bale Wrangler has an electric pump that powers the hydraulics which operate the arms. There is a battery and a hydraulic reservoir right on the bale cart itself, and the controller is run up to the operator’s seat. The Bale Wrangler can either operate off of the vehicle’s battery or it’s own, so that adds to it’s versatility.

The cart can pick up a round bale with ease, and either put it in the bale cradle or transport it on the arms alone. The smooth hydraulic action is quick and easy to handle and the bale rolls out easily when it’s time to feed. The bale cradle is optional on the Bale Wrangler, and is adjustable for bale size and is removable.

Even with two bales on the Bale Wrangler, the weight is dissipated so that the tires aren’t bearing excessive weight, nor is the vehicle. It pulls straight down the road at normal speeds and can withstand quite a bounce without dislodging the bale in the cradle.

Garr points out, “We want to be able to price the Bale Wrangler so that it’s affordable.”

Being in the cattle business himself, he understands how tight that bottom line can be. The final price on the Bale Wrangler hasn’t been determined, but will be about half the price of a hydraulic bale bed, installed, on a pickup (not including the cost of the pickup). Garr adds, “It’s going to look pretty cheap compared to a $4,000 hydraulic pump for a tractor. It’s also made so well that it should hold up for years of use.”

Having the Bale Wrangler manufactured right in South Dakota, USA is important to Garr, and he is very pleased to be working with Prairie Industries. Owned and operated by Ron and Bev Johnson and their son Dean and his wife Becky and family, they manufacture high quality grill guards for pickups and trucks. Located at Johnson’s Dry Well Ranch south of Vale, Dean also trains reining, all-around and working cow horses and shows as well.

At this point, the first Bale Wrangler has been painted and the final adjustments are being made, and dealers are very interested in carrying them. To begin with, they want to be able to have the Bale Wrangler ready to go within four weeks of the order, and as the process becomes more streamlined, that interval will be shortened as orders come in and production gets faster. Eventually the goal is to be able to keep enough ahead that there will be some in stock.

One man’s brainchild has become something that anyone can use without having to go through the same process of trial and error that he did. In the mean time, Al Garr will keep feeding with the original, because even though he made it out of “old junk,” it works great for him and his operation.

The winter of 2008-09 started early and ended late, and it was tough on everyone and all the livestock. Not much good can be said of those months, but something good did happen as a result of one rancher’s frustration with the equipment he had and the expense of running it.

Out of that frustration and a lot of time spent on the feed ground with time to think came an idea, and out of that idea, invention. Al Garr, who ranches with his wife Valerie and grown son Tigh west of Belle Fourche, SD, raises Corriente/Longhorn cross roping cattle, runs some yearlings and summer herd cows, and sells grass fat beef. While feeding, he cringed every morning when he started his big tractor, fearing a breakdown. Each day he was aware of the expense of keeping that big motor warm overnight with an electric meter humming, plus the wear and tear on all the high priced parts that make a tractor operate, and adding the risk of breaking down due to the cold stress and long hours.

The fuel would gel and it would take hours to thaw the fuel lines out and replace the filter, none of which was done anywhere near a shop or even out of the wind. Al just knew there had to be something he could be doing differently that wouldn’t be costing him so much and could ensure that his stock got fed, no matter what.

He ran many ideas through his head, and finally came up with something that he thought would work. So, with the help of a retired neighbor who had some time on his hands and is a good welder, he started working on it. Garr says, “I thought about it quite a while, then I had to come up with the junk to start putting it together and that took a while. We’d both weld on it, and if something didn’t work, we’d cut it off and go to plan B.” He laughed and added, “Mine’s all made out of junk!”

What he finally came up with and started using, was a bale handling system that can be operated with anything that can pull it, whether tractor, pickup or team of horses. His, though made of junk, worked so well, that he got to thinking about maybe making some to sell. While at the Black Hills Stock Show, he was visiting with Dean Johnson of Prairie Industries, Vale, SD, and told him about his invention. Dean was intrigued, and went to watch it operate at the ranch. Johnson thought it sure looked like something they could build and market.

That process has taken time and a lot of effort to streamline the original bale handling cart. Finding the best source for the components was challenging, as keeping costs down helps make the end product more affordable. “It’s been a fun experience, though,” says Garr. He added with a chuckle, “I’ve been at their place so much their dogs have quit barking at me when I drive in.”

“I have a gut feeling about it and think there is a future for it,” says Garr. “I think most people want an easier, cheaper way to operate, that is more adaptable.”

The Bale Wrangler is certainly all of that. Being able to use it with various means of pulling it frees up equipment for other jobs or for repairs. “I have nothing against bale beds or tractors, but when that equipment breaks down, you can’t feed,” he added.

For smaller operators who need to be able to move round bales and feed them but really don’t need a tractor, it’s the perfect solution. For larger operators who may have stock spread over a large area, they can hitch up to the pickup and take one or two bales wherever they need to go and save time and expense. Since the pickup bed is not used, it can have a cake feeder or ear corn in it, thus saving a trip.

The Bale Wrangler has an electric pump that powers the hydraulics which operate the arms. There is a battery and a hydraulic reservoir right on the bale cart itself, and the controller is run up to the operator’s seat. The Bale Wrangler can either operate off of the vehicle’s battery or it’s own, so that adds to it’s versatility.

The cart can pick up a round bale with ease, and either put it in the bale cradle or transport it on the arms alone. The smooth hydraulic action is quick and easy to handle and the bale rolls out easily when it’s time to feed. The bale cradle is optional on the Bale Wrangler, and is adjustable for bale size and is removable.

Even with two bales on the Bale Wrangler, the weight is dissipated so that the tires aren’t bearing excessive weight, nor is the vehicle. It pulls straight down the road at normal speeds and can withstand quite a bounce without dislodging the bale in the cradle.

Garr points out, “We want to be able to price the Bale Wrangler so that it’s affordable.”

Being in the cattle business himself, he understands how tight that bottom line can be. The final price on the Bale Wrangler hasn’t been determined, but will be about half the price of a hydraulic bale bed, installed, on a pickup (not including the cost of the pickup). Garr adds, “It’s going to look pretty cheap compared to a $4,000 hydraulic pump for a tractor. It’s also made so well that it should hold up for years of use.”

Having the Bale Wrangler manufactured right in South Dakota, USA is important to Garr, and he is very pleased to be working with Prairie Industries. Owned and operated by Ron and Bev Johnson and their son Dean and his wife Becky and family, they manufacture high quality grill guards for pickups and trucks. Located at Johnson’s Dry Well Ranch south of Vale, Dean also trains reining, all-around and working cow horses and shows as well.

At this point, the first Bale Wrangler has been painted and the final adjustments are being made, and dealers are very interested in carrying them. To begin with, they want to be able to have the Bale Wrangler ready to go within four weeks of the order, and as the process becomes more streamlined, that interval will be shortened as orders come in and production gets faster. Eventually the goal is to be able to keep enough ahead that there will be some in stock.

One man’s brainchild has become something that anyone can use without having to go through the same process of trial and error that he did. In the mean time, Al Garr will keep feeding with the original, because even though he made it out of “old junk,” it works great for him and his operation.