Our business is unique so we have developed unique tools to fit the individual needs. One of the biggest problem people face after having a chopper / forage box wrecked can be how to unload, retrieve and set up the unit. Wrecks don’t happen to empty boxes on a flat open field. In 25 years we have seen boxes in every imaginable situation. Often the chopper / forage boxes are in these situations while sitting full of silage. That means you face 2 separate problems, unloading the box and getting the box out of whatever situation it is in. Over the years we have become quite efficient at this by developing custom tools for these tough cases. These tools keep changing as we find what works the best. We also have other tools that save time & produce the best final solution.
John Deere 270 Diesel Skid Steer
The John Deere skid steer we use is the backbone of the box retrieval operation and all the tools we have are built around it. For instance, we have a 17,500-pound electric winch which runs directly off the skid steer battery. This can be ran off either the front or the back of the skid steer depending on the situation. We also have 2 more of these winches, one on each of our trailers. Other than the normal pallet tines and an extra large dirt bucket we have developed a third special bucket just to unload silage. This 4 x 11-foot bucket extends into downed boxes allowing us to evacuate the silage quickly without the hours it would take to manually fork this out. To see a picture of this bucket feel free to look at the skid steer trailer. You will also see the skid steer used around the main operation whether it is hauling parts, moving equipment or doing the heavy lifting for other purposes.
Not pictured is a 9,000-pound Warn winch that attaches to the dirt bucket. It can also be hooked to the rear of the skid steer to use in recovery work if the forage box is in a difficult retrieval location.
This apparatus has a 17,500-pound Recon electric winch. The snatch block effectively doubles the pull to 35,000 pounds, which is essential in chopper /forage box recovery. The bucket is set up to dig into ground to create a strong winch point. It also has various points with hooks on them. A receiver hitch is used to pull the boxes out of the woods.
Pallet Tine Buckets (Long and Short)
Pictured below is a long pallet tine bucket. We also have a short pallet tine bucket that is not pictured. These buckets are used in unloading freight, picking up floor units, and moving long sheets of roof steel. All of these are vital tasks in the repair of chopper / forage boxes.
If a forage / chopper box is still usable the PTO motor can be hooked to the hydraulics of the skid steer. The box can then be ran which saves both labor and money as the box can have silage unloaded which can make recovery an easier task.