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Passive Hydraulics Steer Big Wheel Rake
Walking through the crowded halls at the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., I ran across an application of passive hydraulics I had never seen before. The Italian-built Enorossi rake offers automatic steering that follows the tractor as it turns.
The unique steering system relies on a 2-point hitch that pivots against a hydraulic cylinder mounted on the rake frame. When the operator turns the tractor, the cylinder is either extended or depressed. Fluid from the cylinder moves through hoses to a cylinder on the top of the rear cross frame. It is connected in turn to shafts in the rear frame legs that turn the rear steering wheels. If the tractor turns to the right, the rake wheels turn in the opposite direction, causing the rake to closely follow the tractor's path.
The son of the company founder was attending the show and said the steering makes the company's big rakes more efficient and easier to handle on smaller Italian fields. He added that the auto-steer system also makes backing the rake into position easy to do.
The steering system is available on only one model in North America, but six in Europe. Active hydraulic systems on the rakes allow the operator to adjust their swath size on the go. The model offered with autosteering in North America is priced at $12,410 and gathers hay across a swath of up to 26 ft., 2 in. All models collapse to a transport width of less than 10 ft.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chuck Peters (U.S. distributor), Agricole International. 1537 Driftwood Point Road, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. 32459 (ph 850 622-1085; website: www.enorossi.it).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2