Ballyealan Engineering, an agri-engineering company in its infancy, launched the 'Easy Arm' at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co. Offaly last week.
Darragh Egan, a recent engineering graduate and Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2016 Co. Offaly winner, set up Ballyealan Engineering in June 2017 to manufacture "high-quality, durable and safety-related" equipment for farmers.
According to the manufacturer, the Easy Arm allows the operator to collect a bale and simultaneously lift and move a ring feeder in the field - while feeding out.
The attachment can either be used on a front loader or attached to the rear end of a tractor.
Rather than man-handling the ring feeder into position, this attachment can be used to: take the bale to the ring feeder; then lift the feeder; place the bale on the ground; and finally place the feeder over the bale.
A "curved bar" piece on the back of the implement provides stability for the ring feeder, when it's lifted off the ground.
The (ring feeder) arm can be removed during the summer months when not in use - by "simply" removing two pins. The bale handler can then be used as normal, for the transportation of bales.
The Easy Arm R.L. version has road lights and reflective plates for road work.
Egan said: "It is money-saving and time-saving; it helps to prevent back injuries; it doesn't damage ring feeders; and it prevents ground compaction."
It also allows the ring feeder to be moved to a ‘fresh’ site, and lets you unwrap the bale while it is safely on the ground.
The cost of the Easy Arm on its own (without the bale handler) is €1,000 excluding VAT; it comes equipped with brackets and can be attached to any other make of bale handler.
The asking price of the bale handler and Easy Arm, combined, is €1,400 excluding VAT.