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Bale Loading Machine Components

  1. Jan 30, 2012 #1
    I am designing a Bale loading machine to load Small rectangular bales of 25kg.
    The machine will be driven by its wheels so no hydraulics and no power being drawn from the PTO. An example of one can be seen http://marongfarmmachinery.com/sales/view.php/16

    I would like to put a clutch on the axle so the conveyor doesn't run unnecessarily. I have seen some old farming implements with clutches on the axles that activate the mechanism.
    I would like to know what these clutches are called so i can find information on them. Are they off the shelf items? Do i have to design my own? If they are off the shelf items who sells them?

    I read up a little on different types of clutches and the description of a mechanical lock-up clutch seems to suite what I am looking for. unfortunately All search results for this bring up stuff about automatic transmissions on cars which is of no use to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2012 #2


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    Hi, Yster.
    I don't think that this is actually a real term, but when I was a little kid we called them "drag clutches". It works essentially the same as a centrifugal clutch, except that the operation is governed by an external actuator such as a solenoid or a hydraulic cylinder rather than flyweights. The best thing that I can think of to look into would be what is called an "air locker" differential that is used for heavy-duty 4x4 vehicles. It's like a manually controlled Posi-Trac or Limited-Slip unit, which is activated by a pneumatic cylinder.
  4. Feb 1, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the reply Danger

    I just found a machine with a good example of what I'm looking for. One picture shows how it is when engaged and it's disengaged in the other picture.

    This one is not positioned where the mechanism is. The wheels and axle turn independently, engaging it locks them together and only then will the machine perform it's function. Something tells me this is an off the shelf item but I just can't seem to find anything like it anywhere

    Attached Files:

  5. Feb 2, 2012 #4
    The drive wheel was commonly called a bullwheel.
    early farm implements were all pulled by horse so there was no PTO - everything was driven from the movement on the ground. there were binders, mowers, combines, you name it - anything that needed movement of the machinery. The farmer sat on a metal seat and operated the horses as well as a couple of levers to say left the mower or to disengage the mechanism from the bull wheel, which was just a locking mechanism within the axle. No need for a clutch at the low speed.

    So all you have to do is make up your own locking mechansim be it metal to metal, or if you prefer a belt drive from the ground driven wheel to your loader and just have a way of tightening the belt and away you go loading bales.
  6. Feb 3, 2012 #5
    Thanks a lot 256bits. I had my finger's crossed that I would be able to get an 'off the shelf' solution. It would have made my life a lot easier. The whole point of the project is to use as many off the shelf items as possible so that the user can just buy replacement parts from anywhere!

    I guess it's off to the drawing board for me.
  7. Feb 4, 2012 #6


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    Thanks for making me feel even older than I am, 256bits. :grumpy:
    I remember harvest time with an uncle on my mother's side, with whom I lived, when his old Cockshutt tractor with the honkin' huge flywheel on the side powered the threshing machine 20 feet away through a twisted canvas belt. (The twist was to reverse rotation.) That was here.
    Later, at an aunt and uncle's place in the Valley (most of the way across the country), we stooked sheaves by hand after a horse-drawn swather. Every second armful had a couple of wasps in it, and I'm terrified of bugs. That was part of my summer vacation that I don't miss at all.
    Anyhow, Yster... I'm thinking of setting up something like a brake drum/shoe arrangement. That's similar to the "drag clutch" that I mentioned, except that they used locking lugs rather than friction for engagement.
    I know that I'm not expressing myself very well, and I'm sorry for that. I'm very tired. Perhaps tomorrow I can put something together that will make more sense.
  8. Feb 5, 2012 #7
    Sorry Danger - but making you feel older also makes you feel younger. Some of terms many will not understand - Cockshutt, threshing machine , flat canvas belt, stook, sheaves, swather. Took your shirt off and got a good tan I bet.
  9. Feb 5, 2012 #8
    there has got to be some of the locking mechanisms around somewhere out there, but via internet searching for wheel locks, bullwheel, etc , I did could not get a good hit either.
  10. Feb 5, 2012 #9


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    Huge negative on that. Shirt fully buttoned and tucked into my pants, and my pants tucked into my boots. When you get that wheat crap on your skin, you itch for a week.
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