A video of a bale handler created by a student from Kildalton Agricultural College has become an instant hit on social media.
Cathal Moran, who is studying Machinery and Crop Management at the college, created the bale handler as a project for his studies.
Moran, from Stradbally, Co. Laois, designed a handler to lift four bales of hay or straw.
The video, wherein Moran shows and operates a bale handler of his own design, has clocked up over 76,000 views on Facebook in just two days.
In the video, the handler is tested using wrapped bales of straw. The handler lifts two pairs of bales; one pair elevated above the other.
2017 Kildalton College Machinery & crop mgt project: Cathal Moran
Posted by Teagasc Kildalton College on Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Francis Quigley, Machinery Technician at Kildalton College, said that he was delighted with the reception the video received.
“We normally upload videos of students’ projects but have never had such a reaction. We are thrilled,” he said.
There are a number of factors as to why the video has become so popular, he added.
The design of the machine interested people; as well as this Cathal’s personality came across well. The fact that the bales of straw were wrapped intrigued people as well.
Quigley elaborated on the wrapped straw, saying that bales of straw from last year had been wrapped to use by the students at Kildalton for tractor and machinery practice and exams. As it did not matter if these were damaged, the wrapped bales were used for testing the projects.
On the course itself, Quigley said: “students love the fabrication part of the course. The crop aspect also has to be done, planting spring barley and so on, and operating machinery on tillage farms. This gives them great confidence when they return home.”
Asked on the grading of the project, Quigley laughed “It [the reaction] will definitely help. From a design point of view, the uniqueness is great. The students design the projects themselves, carrying out research and tests.
“They sometimes get ideas from the LAMMA Show in Peterborough, which we went to see a while ago. They have made some other great projects, which can be seen on the Kildalton Facebook page,” he said.
Moran himself, when asked on the matter, said: “It’s unbelievable; I’m shocked really. I am happy with the overall design of the project. If I were making it again, I would make it heavier; using heavier steel. I got good feedback from some of the comments on the video.
“The handler is not meant for wrapped bales of silage, as they would be too heavy, but it is ideal for hay or straw. It has a low horsepower requirement, making it better for guys with smaller tractors,” he said.