2000 - Volume #24, Issue #3, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Front-Mount Rake Saves Time, Helps Make Better Bales
The rake consists of six 36-in. dia. rake wheels mounted on a steel frame that clamps to the loader arm brackets on any tractor. Each arm is suspended independently from a hinge point just in front of the tractor. A small wheel on front of each arm allows the rake to flex over uneven ground. The entire unit is raised or lowered by a single hydraulic cylinder.
"It lets you do two jobs at once and eliminates the need for another tractor and operator," says Lutz. "It works better than hay gathering wheels because you still have to drive over the windrow and you can't put two swaths together.
"The windrow that our rake makes is exactly the same width as the baler pickup so you can make an even bale that not only has a better shape but also has a greater density with tighter ends. There's no need to swerve left or right in order to make an even bale. Also, hay is moved to the inside of the tractor wheels so the tractor doesn't drive on the windrow. There's less leaf loss because with fewer and bigger windrows the bale is made faster.
"If the hay is a little wet in the morning you can unhitch the baler and just rake for a while, then hook the baler back up when the hay starts to dry and rake and bale at the same time again. There's no need to follow the swath because everything that the rake touches is baled. Another advantage is that if it's windy, the baler gets the hay before the wind can blow the swath away. Also, you bale all the hay that's raked so no hay is exposed to rain and spoilage. Anything that's raked is baled."
The center part of the frame is equipped with a spreader bar that keeps the rake spread to its full 20-ft. raking position. The two arms come together for transport by simply pulling a pin and raising the rake so the arms come together into an 8-ft. wide transport position. When you get to the field, you lower the rig and the two arms move wide open as you drive ahead. Then you insert a pin to hold them in place.
The front-mount rake is equipped with two sets of cables - one to lift both arms and the other to keep the arms from going too wide.
"We can make brackets to match any front-end loader mounting brackets. If you want to use a tractor that doesn't have a loader, you can bolt a steel plate on each side of the tractor frame," notes Lutz.
Sells for about $8,000 plus S&H (Canadian). A model with four wheels on each side that covers 24 ft. at a time is available and sells for about $8,700 (Canadian) plus S&H.
Lutz says he's looking for a manufacturer.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Henry Lutz, Box 4, Site 25, Rt. 2, Carvel, Alberta, Canada T0E 0H0 (ph 780 963-1663).
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