Autonomous round bale mover

Vermeer is testing the prototype of an autonomous bale moving concept. Dubbed the Bale Hawk, the time and labour-saving device eliminates the manual step of moving bales.

by Steven Vale

15 Jul 2021

Precise details are under wraps, but we can confirm that the patent-pending concept uses sensors to detect where it is relative to a bale, allowing it to plan a route to pick it up. Today, it can load three bales at a time before delivering and unloading them to a predetermined location.

Powered by a Deutz block, the rubber tracked vehicle appears to use similar belts to load bales onto a carrying frame. It has been successfully tested with bale weights up to 600kg each.

Weighing under 3.0t (empty weight), the North American manufacturer sees the lightweight concept as a solution to reduce the compaction caused when collecting bales the traditional way using a tractor or telehandler.

“Our team is dedicated to developing practical ways to help farmers make the most of their available labour and get the most out of their time in the field,” said Vermeer R&D development manager Kent Thompson. “We work to identify solutions that producers don’t even realise are possible.”

The development work continues.