Farmers Raise Productivity with the Right Hay Trailers

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Better equipment can increase farm productivity and lower labor costs.

The 2EZ Gooseneck Hay Bale Handler Hay Trailer

The 2EZ Gooseneck Hay Bale Handler Hay Trailer

“My hay trailers help me be more productive, and they’re always ready to go,” concludes Moon. “The only downside: my neighbors want to borrow them all the time.”

With drought, hay and farm labor shortages a near constant backdrop in farmers and ranchers lives for too long, what’s the best way to respond? More farmers and ranchers are choosing to work more productively with the help of improved equipment to speed production and reduce labor costs.

Hay collection and moving has traditionally been a labor-intensive activity that required several days of work and a team of hands to complete. When separate parcels of land, separated by miles or more, are farmed it’s even more important to improve farm productivity. Inefficiently transporting hay, labor, and equipment, or owning unnecessary pieces of equipment, can waste valuable resources.

“We had to have tractors at both ends,” says Edwin McLerran, who raises about 300 acres of hay and 100 head of cattle. “We’d bunch bales with a tractor in the field. Then we’d have to come back and load them onto a trailer hauling big round bales. With the flipper trailers, we had to restack bales every time.”

Farmers or ranchers such as McClerran who want to enhance their efficiency at handling and transporting hay are turning to labor-saving equipment such as self-loading/unloading hay trailers to get the job done with fewer hands and expense.

Self-loading/unloading hay trailers can turn a two or three-man job into a one-man job since the operator can stay in their tractor or pick up while loading or unloading bales. Since this “never get out of your vehicle” style trailer is capable of loading, hauling, and unloading large round bales up to six at a time with only a truck or tractor, it can eliminate the need for a separate tractor or additional hands to load bales onto a trailer.

An example of this type of self-loading trailer is the 2EZ Bale Mover by GoBob Pipe and Steel, a manufacturer of farm and work trailers that meet or exceed NATM and DOT requirements.

This system uses a “power up, gravity down” design, with massive hydraulic cylinders to lift the rails to traveling height. When needed, the rails drop back down using only the force of gravity. A “lock out” system prevents the possibility of dropping hay bales too early.

Some farmers and ranchers find they can dramatically improve productivity with their existing equipment if their wife hauls baled hay in a pick up-pulled trailer while they bale hay with the tractor. This can remove the bottleneck of waiting for one person to do all the work with a single tractor.

“With the 2EZ, I get hay off the field quicker,” says McClerran. “I bunch five bales in the field, and it’s easy to move them several miles, set them down, and they’re all rowed up, ready to go. I bring them to the hay bin, set them down, and I’m done. I save a lot of time, labor, and money loading and unloading bales with them. They’re a must for handling hay.”

The bale mover’s design even allows old and mis-shaped bales to be transported with no further damage. Since its design keeps a single side of the bale in contact with the ground, it also saves hay by minimizing the number of bad hay spots caused by ground-absorbed moisture—another savings for the farmer or rancher.

When moving and arranging large numbers of bales, its design can be a particular time and labor saver.

“Before I’d bunch bales in sixes with my tractor’s front-end loader, then load them on a trailer,” says Arlyn Moon, who farms about 600 acres of wheat and hay and raises cattle. “Every time I’d come back to the field, I’d have to drive up to another bunch of bales, walk back, and get my tractor. But sometimes guys would want to buy 50 bales, which can be quite a chore if I have to haul them out of the field for them.”

After Moon turned to a self-loading/unloading hay trailer, he streamlined his work process.

“Once I get the bales lined up with my tractor, I slide the bale mover under them, pick them up five or six at a time, and move them to another field, pasture, or buyer,” says Moon. “I don’t have to walk across the field every time to get another bunch. It’s handy not needing another tractor to move them.”

While the original bumper pull trailer works best with tractors, and the gooseneck model works best with pick ups, a new hydraulic bumper pull model works best for those using both a tractor and a pick up to haul bales. The hydraulic bumper pull model, in fact, combines the speed of the original bumper pull model with the ground clearance of the gooseneck model.

“This trailer makes hauling hay a lot easier,” says Moon. “I just load it once from the back, and the bales roll off the side at their destination when I pull the lever. It speeds things up a lot.”

For heavy bale loads, more loads, long use, and those who don’t want to worry about anyone tearing up their equipment, it’s best to consider a hay trailer that’s built to last. Besides an extra wide 5’ frame for bale stability and double latches to reduce metal fatigue, this trailer uses more steel in the cradle, neck, axles, main tube, and rail supports for extra strength.

“My hay trailers help me be more productive, and they’re always ready to go,” concludes Moon. “The only downside: my neighbors want to borrow them all the time.”

Another type of hay trailer, the side dump trailer can also boost productivity. These trailers allow farmers and ranchers to leave their loader in the field, haul hay over fields or roads, then dump it at their destination.

Most side-dump trailers are set up to dump the whole load at once, but some hay trailers are capable of dumping just one bale at a time, which can be important if you’re feeding smaller herds in several different locations. Side dump hay trailers come in a range of sizes and capabilities, from 4 or 6-bale models all the way up to an 11-bale trailer called the Red Ox, the largest inline hay trailer in the world, which can reduce the number of trips needed to clear a field.

Inline trailers also give farmers a safer way to transport hay. Double row hay trailers are not legal for street use; one of the prime reasons for this is the limited visibility they offer—both to the farmer and anyone approaching on the road. Any accidents involving these inevitably result in the farmer being at fault—as the trailer was not legal for street use to begin with.

The Red Ox is an inline hay trailer that is street legal and safe for use as it does not restrict visibility. GoBob Pipe and Steel offers a complete selection of quality hay trailers, feeders, fencing, pipe and guards, designed to help farmers and ranchers save money and labor by working more efficiently.

For more information, contact GoBob Pipe and Steel at 1-866-532-9123 or visit

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Saif Khan

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