US sales yard halved their feeding time and got 100% utilization of their hay after purchasing a Hustler bale unroller

Published 11th August 2022
United States

“When we started looking at some things that we could improve here at the livestock market, we found out about a Hustler, I thought, we need to try that,” says Kyle Shobe, owner of Lewistown Livestock Auction. By cutting down the feeding time to just six hours for the entire yard and one man, the rest is history. Watch this video to learn more about how the Hustler LX105 mounted bale unroller has helped Kyle get 100% utilization out of his hay and drastically improve his business.

Kyle was born and raised in Lewistown, Montana, United States. His family has been in the auction business as far as he remembers and the first dollar that he ever earned was right at Lewistown Livestock Auction as a five or four-year-old. A few decades later, Kyle and his wife bought Lewistown Live’, in the fall of 2020. They decided to rethink pretty much everything, including the way they provide feed and water to the animals, one of the most money and time-consuming part of the business. 

A livestock auction can seem fairly simple. But behind the scenes, it’s a different story!

“There’s a lot that goes into the pre-sale,” Kyle explained. Cattle are checked in. “They go into the stockyard. They’re put on feed and water. They’re sorted before they come into the sale ring.”

“After the animal’s sold, the animal will go to a different part of the yard, and they’ll be collected into buyers pens, and eventually they’ll be loaded out of the yard. So as a market owner in a commercial basically commercial business efficiency is everything. And that’s not unlike any other business,” Kyle continued.

And that’s how Kyle found out about Hustler and he thought “we need to try that.”


“One guy can feed this yard pretty realistically in six hours now. And that’s huge.”


The Hustler mounted Unrolla LX105 bale unroller is a tough, compact and simple machine designed to feed out all but the tightest of round hay bales and silage bales.

The Unrolla LX105 is very easy to use thanks to integrated tines that are used to load the bale onto the feed cradle and hook it back to the tractor. Being 100% hydraulically driven, the connection is instant, saving precious time for the operator. 

“It’s all hands-free, quick detach, you don’t even have to get out of the seat, except to cut your net. And you can once in a while if you got a guy around that’ll cut net for you,” Riley Colver, Lewistown Livestock Auction Yard Manager, explained. 

Called Snaplox, this patented automatic, hands-free connection and disconnection system allows the operator to connect and disconnect the Hustler Unrolla LX105 without having to leave the tractor cab. Snaplox disconnects automatically the headstock, so you can spear a bale, position the bale over the feeding cradle, remove the net wrap, reconnects automatically the headstock and feed out. It’s easy to use, without any manual rope or hydraulics.


“It’s an amazing time saver.”


“It’s an amazing time saver. You know, we’ve talked about that. From the first week that we bought it, it seems like it comes up in conversation every week, you know, just the efficiency of it. 40 years ago, dad tells stories they used to drive flatbeds down here and hand throw square bales off into those feeders. I’m glad we don’t do that,” Riley said. 

“It has cut down our feeding time immensely. The simplicity of it has been very positive, but overall, the efficiency – freeing us up to take care of other maintenance issues or take care of selling more cattle, working with customers. That’s all very, very key in making our business run smoothly,” Kyle said. “It’s better for our consigners. It’s better for the animals.”


“It has cut down our feeding time immensely.”


Riley and his crew use the Hustler Unrolla LX105 mainly to feed out in troughs and hay racks. “When we first bought it, we had it on a Bobcat, just regular skid steer. And that worked really well,” Riley explained. The Hustler Unrolla LX105 can be mounted either at the rear of a tractor or at the front of pretty much any front-end loader, skid steer, telehandler, or compact loader on the market today.

Riley uses the Unrolla LX105 on a JCB skid steer style machine that telescopes out. “I can feed two alleys from one side now because of that with the Hustler,” Riley said. 

“One guy can feed this yard pretty realistically in six hours now. And that’s huge. That’s two guys that are able to go out and do more maintenance stuff while one guy’s feeding, instead of essentially shutting down your whole full-time crew for an entire day to get stuff fed,” Kyle detailed further.

The Hustler Unrolla LX105 is not only a time-saver for the auction yard. It has helped us to save on hay. “You’re not cutting a bale on the ground, leaving 40-50 pounds it takes between eight and nine bales to feed the whole yards. And 40 pounds of a bale, over the course of 52 weeks, it really adds up,” Riley said.


“You’ve got 100% usage out of your hay now with the Hustler.”


“The efficiency of it was the biggest draw to it with hay prices continuing to go up. You’re almost able to say that you’ve got 100% usage out of your hay now with the Hustler. It’s 100% product usage, because of the way that it flakes it right into the feeders, and we’re not wasting it on the ground,” Kyle pointed out.

“It certainly from a cost standpoint, has saved us money because we’re not paying somebody to feed for almost two days. We’ve cut that down to do nearly a half day to feed the entire yard with a Hustler and you know the bottom line is the bottom line,” Kyle concluded.


Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder – 5 Key benefits in a nutshell

  1. The Snaplox auto connect/disconnect hands-free loading system saves you time, saves you having to tug on a rope to disconnect, and saves you from twisting your back. It’s fail-safe, fast and operates naturally. It is also the perfect feature when you choose to fit your unroller at the front of your tractor.
  2. The toughest chains and floor bars on the market are bullet-proof and lasts the entire lifespan of the bale feeder. Super strong roller chains with a combined strength of 24,000lbs, with tough 40mm x 40mm zinc-plated bars. Bars are bolted to the chain, a stronger and more easily replaceable system.
  3. Tough new thermoform fully enclosed polyethylene floor with covered drive shafts which eliminate wrapping. It’s non-corrosive, impervious to UV, slippery, easily repairable and very shock resistant. Fully enclosed – no wastage of expensive feed. A longer bed can take 5’ long bales.
  4. Low maintenance. Just 4 grease nipples are all it takes to maintain the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, that’s because instead of bushes we use long-lasting, fully sealed block bearings, mounted outboard to keep them clean and free of damage from acidic silage juices. We’ve also added bearing covers that prevent debris from causing damage.
  5. Flexible design. Do you operate in barns, outdoors, on steep country, with a loader or a telehandler, supplement with loose silage or fodder beet? With the flexible configuration of the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, your machine will suit all of the above. No other unroller allows this level of flexibility which gives you peace of mind, should you want to change the way you operate.

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