Getting 50lbs hay bales into second floor hay loft - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-13-2014, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Getting 50lbs hay bales into second floor hay loft

My barn has a second floor hay loft with stairs and a hole on the second floor to drop hay bales down. For awhile I carried each one up the stairs and stacked it in the hay loft. That is obviously very slow and labour intensive. Anyone have any ideas on how else to get the bales up there? A pulley system maybe? I would prefer not to rent/buy a hay escalator or something similar. Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-13-2014, 11:06 PM
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Does it not have a door to the outside on 2nd floor that you could back hay truck up to and throw them up in? We'd do that and then sometimes use a board and slide the bale up the board (we'd get creative when it was just us 2 girls).
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-13-2014, 11:10 PM
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Don't you have a door at the end of the barn that swings open...most barns with haylofts do....
If buying by the ton...park the truck under the window and heave-ho through the window and the person inside does the stacking....

If no swing door...either the stairs or use a empty stall.
You're not going to get a conveyer to work in that small a space of a stall drop window.. maybe up the staircase but that doesn't sound very convenient either....

Good luck.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-13-2014, 11:16 PM
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The reality is a bale elevator is the way to go - it's a lot easier on the muscles and saves a considerable amount of time.

If you were thinking of a pulley type system, you could hook something up that would pull a couple of bales at a time up the stairs (assuming it's regular stairs and not a straight up ladder stair (which would be quite a feat for you bringing the bales up manually)) on plywood cut to size. The pulley would connect to the loft wall and then attach to the plywood sled. To make this work, you need to have the stairs located to accommodate the system, a sturdy wall frame, a reinforced connection in the plywood (otherwise wood might crack from stress) and a way to keep the plywood from slipping off the stairs if there is no railing in place.

If you get that to work, I'd love to see pictures of it in action. Good luck with the project.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-13-2014, 11:29 PM
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Hay elevator all the way! Invest in one, borrow one or make sure your hay guys have one. It's saved countless backs!
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-14-2014, 01:48 AM
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I'll third the hay elevator. Hubby and I wouldn't be able to put hay in the loft without it. Guaranteed that it will be some of the best money you ever spent.

One end rests on the loft floor and the other end is hooked up to a pulley system so that when not in use it gets pulled up to over head height and out of the way. When lowered it rests just inside the doorway so hubby pulls the hay wagon as close as he can get to the door and then I toss the bales onto the elevator and it takes them right up to the loft for him to stack.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-14-2014, 06:09 PM
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A friend got one pretty cheap at a farm auction. She says it makes a huge difference. She sets the bales onto it and hubby stacks. Can't get any better than that.

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-14-2014, 07:30 PM
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If you have no outside access window or door I'd go with Chevaux's method.

If it's at all possible that you could have a loft window installed (provided you don't have one) I'd do that and either find a way to make a hay elevator or rent one if possible. Some can be bought online for relatively little.

I don't have the problem as it doesn't snow here ( at least not regularly and nothing beyond a few inches for one day.) So I've always use a hay shed about 20 feet from the barn. (That was my old trainers set up anyways and one I prefer.)

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-17-2014, 07:19 PM
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We had pulleys/hooks we dropped down the hole (the one you drop hay from) and one person hooks onto the bales string than pulls it up (use good gloves) Another person grabs and stacks upstairs. It's very tiring but it's doable.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-17-2014, 07:24 PM
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Hay elevator, everything else is labor intensive, trust me, I know!
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