My first time loading round bales was definitely an experience. Three days out of college for the summer and just finished with finals, I didn’t think my brain could take any more concentrating. But during hay season anything is possible.
I started off the day by following Dad to the field on what I thought would be my designated tractor-a 6200 John Deere- for the day until I realized that I had the bale spear on. As soon as Dad slowed to a stop in the hay field, I abandoned the seat on my tractor and walked over to his. After climbing up, Dad showed me the vital parts- throttle, brakes, and then pointing to another random stick, stated “that’s a hand clutch” and jumped off the tractor and headed for his own. I just stared after him. I shoved the 630 John Deere (yes another John Deere, we are a green tractor type of family) into first and started to learn by doing. Soon I was working that hand clutch like a charm, and hauling bales fell into an easy pattern. Enter field, trade tractors and unhook trailer, follow Dad around to fill trailer, sit in the shade and wait for Dad to fill other trailer, up The Hill, wait for Dad to unload and start all over again.
Mainly a lot of waiting on my part until Dad decided it was time to add a little more to my work load.
That’s when the real experience started. Instead of trading tractors as normally planned, I was motioned back to the 6200 to load my own load of hay. This is the point in time where I wish someone had a video camera to compare the difference between Dad and I loading the bales. When Dad loaded bales, he barely slowed the tractor to pick it up before jutting off to put it smoothly on the trailer and zooming off to the next bale. (If you can zoom around on a tractor)
Meanwhile, I SLOWLY drove up to the bale, stopped, picked it up and then continued on to the trailer. After finally getting to the trailer, it was a mess of forward, backwards, up and down motions just to place the one bale on the trailer. Then the process started all over again. Needless to say, I only got to load two trailers of bales before Dad took over again so we could finish before midnight. Even though I only got to load two loads of bales, it was still a successful day in the hay field with my Dad!