Video: Clever cradle invention lifts seed bags safely

Robert Schwier’s seed bag cradle took the top prize in the Farmers Weekly Inventions Competition simple category.

After a 1t seed bag strap broke, narrowly missing the operator and damaging the drill’s Avadex unit during the 2019 drilling season, Essex farmer Robert Schwier thought there must be a safer way than lifting live weights above workers’ heads.

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Bag cradle on telehandler

Robert Schwier’s bag cradle

Safety and ease of use were paramount, and his cradle design removes any reliance on the bag’s strap and instead rests the full weight on the heavy-duty box section of the cradle.

Watch the kit in action.

The bag is lifted into the box and a bar is put through the strap loops. This stops it from falling through the bottom when it’s empty, rather than taking any weight.

The cradle is then lifted via pallet fork slots underneath, which helps to keep the centre of gravity much lower than before, while also extending the reach of the farm’s articulated loader.

It is easier to see when travelling on tracks and following vehicles, as the bag isn’t swinging around, blocking the driver’s view, says Mr Schwier, and the boom is kept much lower. It took about a day to knock up and cost very little, as all the metal was on the farm already.