Engineer, Dairy Farmer & Transport Operator Voices Opinion on Hustler Softhands

Published 9th January 2020
New Zealand

We visit Shane Dunlea, a very busy man with many strings to his bow, who was keen to tell us what he thinks about Hustler Softhands® bale handlers…

Born and bred in Kaikoura, Shane took over Mahanga farm about 25km inland, a couple of years ago. The property once was a sheep farm until it got diverted to a dairy operation in the 90’s. Since taking over, Shane has developed the property further in the last 5 years.


Shane stocks 500 dairy cows on his operation and feeds out around 500 bales yearly.

Alongside his dairy operation, Shane also runs a transport business that carts bales for farmers around town and to Christchurch and an engineering workshop Dunlea Products in Kaikoura. It is there, that he has one set of 1.5 year old Hustler Softhands®, currently mounted on a JCB telehandler. The other pair is about 2 months old and is operating on his farm, hooked on the tractor.


“They are easy to use and have a good grip.”

Shane says his Softhands® are easy to use, have a good grip and the bales aren’t slipping out. The bale handler has different points so it can be adjusted, if bale sizes differ. “They are very versatile and can be useful for more than one thing.” Handling wool bales, for example.

A firm favorite with contractors, they are fast to hook on and off and quick to grab a bale. The shape allows bales to be stacked tightly on trucks. The hands can be pushed in between the bales without ripping the bale wrap. “Other bale grabs can be a bit more square.

“Being an engineer myself, I look at the welding.”

“I think the workmanship is great. Being an engineer myself I tend to look at the welding.” Shane thinks the Hustler Softhands® are made nice and strong and he has always liked the Hustler brand.


See for yourself what Shane has to say in the video:


9 Key Benefits of Hustler’s Softhands LX200

  1. 3 Position Adjustable Hands – hand shape to be adjusted for different size bales
  2. Horizontal nudge bars – eliminates wrap damage, over stretch and ripping of bales
  3. Equalizers bar standard keeps hands moving simultaneously – gives the operator more control and the ability to put up bales tighter when loading trucks
  4. Slim hand design – easy sliding between tightly stacked bales without ripping
  5. Massive 38x400mm pivot pins, with replaceable bushes – longer working life and more strength and a huge 2 ton rated capacity
  6. Compact load center – reduces stress on tractors front axle
  7. Taller hands than all other bale handlers – provides more bale support and safety
  8. Ability to handle both round and square bales – for more versatility
  9. 4 Year Warranty – reduces operating costs