Thank goodness we're a small cattle operation- only 27 head of cow calf pairs at the moment. The reason I say thank goodness, is because lately I've been doing the feeding by myself. Well not entirely by myself, I have my trusty crew of canines who hold the bales on the flat bed. ;)
When my hubby is available to help feed, I drive the tractor and he tosses the hay off the trailer. When I do the chore myself, I use either the flatbed truck or the tractor and trailer. Though the tractor and trailer are easier. I drive into the field, stop where I want to start tossing hay and get out of the truck of off the tractor, cut the strings on 800 lb bales of either alfalfa or tricticale, and pull a flake off on both sides of the flatbed. Then I get back in the truck or stand on the back of the tractor and let out the clutch and move forward about ten feet and go to the back where the hay is and toss off a couple more large flakes. I do this process until the bale is fed. Then get in the truck or hop on the tractor and head out of the field. It takes me three times as long to feed by myself as it does when there's two of us, but the cattle need fed even if I'm the only one home.
In the past when we had small bales to feed and I had to do it alone and the cows were in the larger pasture, I'd put the tractor in the slowest gear it would go, climb down the back and up onto the trailer, and feed the bales off as the tractor crept across the field. If the tractor started heading toward a fence or irrigation ditch I'd have to hop off and up the back, grab the steering wheel and redirect the tractor's course and hop back on the trailer to finish feeding. I REALLY like feeding the large bales over the small bales. Less stress to feed alone.
Feeding happens once a day in the afternoon. It gives the calves something dry to lay on and the cows then have the heat from chewing their cuds to keep them warm at night. And when it's done I have a feeling of fulfillment for a job well done.
And don't forget Tink. She has her own basket bolted onto the side of the tractor so she can ride. My husband put a basket on every tractor because she loves to ride and it's hard to work a tractor with a dog on your lap.