Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Monday, 11 November 2013

Guest post #2 (a really good rig)

Dad's  second installment,  as  promised about the Haymobile, in talking I have  leaned  there are  a  few  more items I  may  need to grab  photos  of  before  they  are  gone, and also  I need to dig in  my treasures,  because  somewhere I have  a  copy  of one of  the  photos  from the  news  article written  so  many  years ago  about my  family and their  innovations! I  have linked  a  couple of  titles  to the Overshot, and Jahyhawk  stacker  and  for those  who  do  not  know  what  an  Erector  set is . and  forgive  me  I do  not  know  much about mechanical  so I also  linked to what  a  camber and  towin is .

Getting back to my first post about the haymobile well, it may not be the first loader of it's kind it was the first one in our area in my first post I talked about Overshot stackers and Jayhawk stackers there is much info about these on the internet information the first Jayhawk stacker dates back to around 1915 The Overshot stacker, many years before that.The first Jayhawk stacker was a breakthrough as it could sweep the hay then lift it up onto the stack. The first Jayhawk used horses, one on each side to push the stacker and by ground drive lift the stacker up and dump the load. Later models had rubber tires instead of steel wheels and hooked to the front end of a tractor or pick up truck, we had a rubber tire unit.

By steering from the rear it did not have a problem with the sweep going over the windrow like other sweeps and loaders. This was one of the reasons we made the  Haymobile with steering at the rear, and wide stance drive axle at the front for stability and traction. We had already made several hydraulic loaders on tractors The  Haymobile lifted larger loads higher, about 24 ft  with a live hydraulic systems, and a larger pump it also had a self-leveling system which kept the sweep level as the load lifted.I believe this was the first self-leveling loader ever built!
 I first built the loader with an erector set to figure out where to place the pulley cables and hydraulic cylinders to make the stacker self-leveling. 

The basic Haymobile was built on a  1947 three-ton truck, we turned the cab around, mounted hydraulic controls in the cab. We  then turned  the  drive axle upside down which changed the direction the Haymobile  went in the forward and reverse gears. We changed the camber on the steering axles and reset the towin so the Haymobile could travel at speeds up to 45 mph safely.

We also built a bucket for dumping concrete into forms for building basements, and our  all concrete barn, concrete pads etc.
 After we quit using loose hay ,we used  the  unit to lift up to  30 bales at a time onto our large trucks and trailers . One of the safety features of the unit, because the loader was so far in front of the cab, you  had a full view of the load even when the loader was that it's full height.

We used Haymobile for many years due to its extra strength and stability even at high speeds. My two older brothers Albert and  Bud did most of the cutting and welding,  Dad, a lot of the design. Bill  and I some of the cutting and welding. Bill  was the prime driver but I also drove unit many hours. 

 My next installment  is about something we called "The Thing"

There  you  go  folks ! #2 is  out  and  we eagerly  await  the story of  "The Thing

Thanks again Dad  for  sharing  this!
Of  note,  my  dad (Ron ),  and his  brother  Bill  were in  their  early  teens  when  this  was  built!  Albert  and  Bud still  very  young  men  as well.  Amazing  to think of  the type of  hard working  youngsters  they  were in light of  how things  are today . A  different  time  and  generation  for sure.

Until  next  time  stay  safe my  friends! 


phaedra96 said...

Absolutely wonderful how necessity becomes the mother of invention. I love reading these stories....

aurora said...

Interesting history on such a useful well thought out machine! It was clever to build & test a working model with the Erector set. Do you still have the mini version?

Janice said...

Such interesting people your family and smart...easy to see how you take after your family. I am looking forward to # 3 and "The Thing"

Anonymous said...

I love this series - fascinating history!

kden said...

Just as fascinating as the first post. And to use an erector set to practice on? Brilliant.

Crystal said...

Very cool!!! I have been trying to explain this to my father in law, might have to print it out and show it to him...much better explination that I was giving.

GoLightly said...

Fascinating! LOL, I cannot WAIT for the Thing!
This made me LOL too, especially knowing how farmers tend to understate, rather than overstate. "We used Haymobile for many years due to its extra strength and stability even at high speeds." 45 mile an hour?! WOW. You guys built it right!
Yes, please, record as much of your memories as you can, this history is priceless.
To everyone!

Thank you!

4RRanch said...

When I saw the picture of the erector set I thought he was going to talk about how that got him interested in mechanical things as a child, not that he used it to help him design things as an adult. Looking forward to finding out what "the thing" is.

Cheyenne said...


Janice said...

PS. Love that Header shot!!!!!

Buttons Thoughts said...

Thank you Mr. Horrick I truly was spellbound reading this I do believe more parents should get there children an Erector set because it certainly has the ability to make young minds dream and create and that is such a wonderful thing.
The Jayhawk is fascinating but your haymobile is incredible.
I do believe there are many many young men and woman even in this generation who can build and create and they need to know these stories so they can be passed on and know nothing is impossible with an idea a little work and dedication. You and your brothers and your father are inspirational. Thank you so much for doing this series.
I look forward to "The Thing" B

Shirley said...

That's quite the build! Very effective from the sound of it; love how they reversed everything on the truck; using the material at hand and making something special. Lots of lessons here for kids these days! Bring on "The Thing"!