9 June 1995

Folding spikes a safety boon

ONE-MAN/one tractor bedding and scraping is the theory behind a Somerset-built yard scraper.

The "Scrape &#42 Spike", which was placed second in this years Brainwaves competition, comprises a conventional yard scraper fitted with a hydraulically-operated fold-up twin spike.

There is nothing new about fitting a spike to a scraper. But making it automatically folding means it is safer for both stock and the people working with them.

Andrew Langley, who built the attachment, explains: "Livestock tend to get very excited when they are being bedded up, and accidents can happen. Because the spikes can be folded up to a vertical position from the tractor seat, the operator is more likely to do it."

Mr Langley farms a 160ha (400-acre) mixed arable/stock unit at Western Farm, near Shepton Mallet. He built the "Scrape &#42 Spike" to mount behind the farms yard tractor, a Massey Ferguson 65, because it was the only machine capable of getting into the units low-roofed beef sheds.

The attachment is based on a conventional Tincknell yard scraper on to which has been added a box-section sub-frame, twin spike and double-acting hydraulic ram. Fitting a twin spike, rather than a single unit, stops the round bale from spinning as it is lifted clear of the ground. Total cost of additional parts was about £120.

"We used to push the bales into the loose yard with the scraper, but this made the tractor struggle and got the bales mucky.

"Now we have one machine that can both scrape and bed."

A hydraulically-operated, fold-up bale spike reduces risk of damage to stock and staff. Inventor and builder – Andrew Langley.