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They triples their double rake
Quentin Fry and Sons, Montpelier, Ohio, built a hydraulic drive 28-ft. wide "triple" rake from three 23-ft. wide "double" rakes, allowing them to rake at a faster ground speed and make a bigger windrow ahead of their two Hesston 4800 big square balers.
The Frys widened the frames on their two Vermeer R-23 double rakes, then bought a new R-23 rake and took it apart. They discarded the frame and mounted a basket and hydraulic motor behind each double rake.
"We bale 3,000 to 4,000 acres of straw each year so we have to cover a lot of ground in a hurry," says Quentin, who buys swathed straw from area farmers, rakes and bales it, and sells it to local mushroom growers. "To make better time we always try to keep the baler full so we want the biggest windrow possible. Our double rakes worked fine until we got into heavier straw which caused the baskets to plug up at the `V' opening. The modified wider rakes build bigger wind-rows without plugging up. The front two rakes leave two windrows about 5 ft. apart. The extra basket behind then puts the two separate windrows into a single large one. By widening the front rakes we also were able to increase their angle so they don't have to roll straw as far. It lets us drive almost twice as fast."
The Frys widened each double rake by bolting a 28-in. long, 4 by 6-in. steel plate onto the rear end of the frame supporting each basket. They bolted a bracket onto the lengthened frame, then bolted the extra basket to it. "We can switch from a triple rake back to a double rake by simply unbolting the extra basket," says Quentin.
The rakes were designed to be folded mechanically in toward the tongue. The Frys converted them to hydraulic fold by mounting a pair of 1 1/2 by 8-in. hydraulic cylinders onto the tongue. "We bale 100 to 150 different fields each year so hydraulically folding the rakes from the tractor seat is a real plus," notes Quentin, who also replaced the original 12-in. dia. castor wheels with 16-in. dia. implement tires. "The bigger tires handle rough ter-rain better, especially since we're now raking at twice the ground speed."
To turn wet windrows, the Frys remove the rear basket and mount it "backwards" in front of their tractor. They made a mounting brace from 4 by 6-in. box tubing and mounted it on the tractor's weight bracket. It attaches to the rear of the rake and to a second brace arm that bolts to the front of the rake. "We didn't need the extra basket behind the double rake to turn wet windrows," says Quentin. "By mounting the basket on the tractor we can turn three windrows at once."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fry Bros., Rt. 2, Box 409, Montpelier, Ohio 43543 (ph 419 485-4002).


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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #4