Equipment Specs
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Hay Rake

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(Redirected from Hay rake)
Agricultural Equipment
John Deere 702 11-Wheel Hay Rake
Hay rakes are used in agriculture to make loose, fluffy windrows of mowed hay to facilitate collection by hay loaders and hay balers. Additionally, mown hay must be raked into loose windrows in order to be properly cured.[1] Types of hay rakes include sweep and side-delivery hay rakes. Both are still in use, but side-delivery hay rakes are most common.


[edit] History

[edit] The Whoa-back Rake

As with all early farm tasks, hay raking was initially carried out by hand. It wasn’t until the 19th century that strides were made to simplify the task. In 1825 the whoa-back horse-drawn rake was developed.[2] The whoa-back was named for the way in which the operator had to stop the rake and back up the horse in order to dump hay for a windrow. This rake progressed over time and eventually comprised metal rather than wood tines. Though the whoa-back rake was utilized for some time, the development of mowers would eventually make it obsolete.

[edit] The Dump Rake: A Better Solution

Following the whoa-back, the dump rake, also known as the sulky rake, was developed in the mid-1800s to meet the growing needs of farmers working with mowers.[3] The first spring-tooth dump rake was introduced by Walter A.Wood around 1853.[4] Early dump rakes consisted of wooden frames and wheels; their steel tines, used to deposit hay in a windrow, were raised with a hand-powered lift lever. This implement was beneficial because it was lightweight, amounting to a lighter load for horses to bear. Additionally, this rake could be used on all types of fields. Later, improved dump rake models were made entirely of steel and the dump mechanism became power-assisted. When hay loaders were introduced, this machine was deemed undesirable due to the scattered fashion in which it would form windrows.

Massey Ferguson 36 Side Delivery Hay Rake

[edit] The Side-delivery Rake

In 1894, the side-rake was developed to produce more appropriately sized windrows for hay loaders and to facilitate curing of the hay.[5] By 1918, these rakes, originally horse-drawn, were being converted for use with tractors. As tractor speeds were too great for the rakes, modications had to be made to this machine. Rakes were outfitted with such things as enclosed gears and four-bar reels in response. In addition, they were given small wheels on which pneumatic tires could be fitted. Conventional three-spider, three- or four-bar reels were used on rakes almost without exception until 1951 with the Ferguson Company’s development: a side-stroke reel that used only two spiders and six bars.[6] Around the same period, a no-reel rake was invented. This model, called a finger-wheel type rake, used raking wheels with rims extending from which were tooth-like projections. The side-delivery type continued to develop; it remains the most widely used type of hay rake available to date.

[edit] Features/How it Works/Types

In general, rakes can be classified as either sweep or side-delivery types. While sweep rakes are still in existence, side-delivery rakes are much more frequently used. Conventional rakes are comprised of reels. The general reel assembly consists of a shaft, bars, teeth, spiders, and bearings. Modern rakes are often comprised of six tooth bars.

[edit] Sweep Rakes

The sweep rake, sometimes called a buck or bull rake, is normally tractor-mounted; its teeth are raised and lowered using power from the tractor towing it. This rake is used most often to collect hay from a windrow and transport it to a stationary baler or stack a short distance away. The sweep rake is ineffective on terrain covered in stones and other obstructions. This type of rake has not been as commonly used since the development of modern hay stackers.[7]

[edit] Side-delivery Rakes

Side-delivery rakes can vary from cylindrical reel, parallel-bar or side-stroke, and finger-wheel types.

[edit] Cylindrical Reel Type

The cylindrical reel rake can be ground-driven trailing, semi-mounted ground-driven, tractor-mounted power take-off-driven, or hydraulic. This type of rake is comprised of a four- or six- bar cylindrical type reel; the reel bars are attached to three spiders. The cylindrical reel is suspended under a heavy iron frame at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the direction of travel. As the rake moves forward, the cylindrical reel revolves. This enables the rake’s spring teeth to move forward along the ground, raking hay as the reel moves. While in contact with the hay, the rake’s teeth, curved forward to aid in picking up hay, are held at an angle that gives a pushing and slight lifting action in the hay. The angle at which the reel is suspended causes the hay to move along the front of the reel toward the rake’s trailing end, and roll off in a loose roll formation. To prevent hay from hanging on the rake’s teeth, the implement is outfitted with stripper bars. The underneath portion of the reel partially surrounded by strippers bars is called a basket.

[edit] Parallel-bar or Side-stroke Type
Highline 6600 Bale Processor Hay Rake
This type of rake may consist of four to six reel bars; these bars are attached to two parallel plates or spiders at both ends of the reel. On rakes that utilize parallel plates, the right front plate faces rearward, while the left rear plate faces forward. These plates, attached to the reel bars, are set at right angles to the rake’s direction of travel. When the reel revolves, the bars rotate in such a way that the rake teeth are constantly held in a vertical position. When a reel bar reaches its lowest position and its teeth come in contact with the hay, raking is carried out for a short distance; the next bar then follows and continues the task. On this type of rake, the angle of the teeth are altered by shifting the entire reel. Parallel-bar/side-stroke rakes move hay to the side using parallel strokes of the reel bars; this is done with less agitation than with a cylindrical reel rake.

The finger-wheel rake has no reels and is comprised of five or more individually floating wheels, set in a row, attached to the peripheries of which are fingers that lightly make contact with the ground. These wheels, each three or four feet in diameter, are able to move individually so uneven land can be raked clean. The rotation of the wheels and subsequent raking of the hay most often depends on contact of the teeth with the ground. When the rake is moved forward, the wheels, set diagonally to the direction of pull, revolve in such a way that the hay moves forward and to the side. The wheels on this type of rake are attached to a crank arm and are supported in part by a tension spring; the wheels are essentially floating. This enables the wheels to follow the ground’s contour without applying undue pressure upon it. The finger-wheel rake is able to move over terraces or irrigation ditches without damaging the rake.

Push- and pull-type finger-wheel rakes are available. While the push-type is easier to guide, the pull (trailing)-type is more easily attached. The pull-type finger-wheel rake is often attached to the right side of the tractor rather than trailing behind it; this enables the tractor to run on previously raked land.

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Additional Photos

Vermeer R23 Twin Rake
Allen 851-852 Twin Hay Rake
New Holland 166 Hay Inverter

[edit] References

  1. Smith, Harris Pearson and Wilkes, Lambert Henry. Farm Machinery and Equipment. McGraw-Hill, Inc: 1976.
  2. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines For Power Farming. John Wiley Sons, Inc: 1967.
  3. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines For Power Farming. John Wiley Sons, Inc: 1967.
  4. Barlow, Ronald Stokes. 300 Years of Farm Implements and Machinery: 1630-1930. Krause publications: 2003.
  5. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines For Power Farming. John Wiley Sons, Inc: 1967.
  6. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines For Power Farming. John Wiley Sons, Inc: 1967.
  7. Smith, Harris Pearson and Wilkes, Lambert Henry. Farm Machinery and Equipment. McGraw-Hill, Inc: 1976.