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I found these online tonight, they're pretty neat. While they may not work for everyone, it would be ideal for our operation. Expensive though, the only prices I can find are $15,000 for a 10 wheel and $18,000 for a 12 wheel. A lot of the high speed rakes are expensive though, so it's not all alone in that price range.

Flex Rake - Rake and Bale...One Man, One Tractor


They have more videos on their Facebook page, and you don't have to be a Facebook user to watch them. :good2:

https://www.facebook.com/FlexRakeLLC/
 

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Well, my first thought was that it would take some extra HP to run this combo, until I found out that the rake does not require PTO. Obviously it would have to run off of the ground wheels. Still it would require a tractor with some weight to it, especially if the ground was not fairly level. With that much strung out behind the tractor, that could cause some interesting scenarios on hilly ground. My next thought was that why bother with the pre-raking as they showed in the video. Just get the wider unit and make only one pass. You could likely get enough hay with the wider rake to make bales pretty quick. Possibly even with the narrow rake. After some thought, it occurred to me that it was not pre-raking, rather they probably used a haybine. I still have not gotten used to haybines being used. So I guess the width of your haybine would be the mitigating factor here as to what size rake you would need.

More and more, farmers/ranchers are having to deal with a lack of manpower and this appears to be very much in line with that.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They have some other videos of it being used on flat, unwindrowed hay and it looks like it does a great job. The rake itself is ground powered, but there's no driveline. It's much like any wheel rake, the angle of the tines on the ground causes each individual wheel to roll as the tractor moves forward.
 

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Pretty cool

I found these online tonight, they're pretty neat. While they may not work for everyone, it would be ideal for our operation. Expensive though, the only prices I can find are $15,000 for a 10 wheel and $18,000 for a 12 wheel. A lot of the high speed rakes are expensive though, so it's not all alone in that price range.

Flex Rake - Rake and Bale...One Man, One Tractor


They have more videos on their Facebook page, and you don't have to be a Facebook user to watch them. :good2:

https://www.facebook.com/FlexRakeLLC/
That's a cool solution to lack of manpower. It does require a pretty large field which is a problem in our area but looks like it would do well in the west. Are the wheels metal or some type of composite with metal prongs?

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a cool solution to lack of manpower. It does require a pretty large field which is a problem in our area but looks like it would do well in the west. Are the wheels metal or some type of composite with metal prongs?

Treefarmer
On that one, I think they're composite because it has the yellow metal braces across the back. They have some other videos where the wheels have more traditional, longer wire teeth as well though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
"Give me 40 acres and I'll turn this rig around..." :laugh:

[video]https://www.facebook.com/FlexRakeLLC/videos/923004627844798/[/video]

They claim a 7' turning radius, and this film gives a better closeup picture of how it works.

[video]https://www.facebook.com/FlexRakeLLC/videos/929274773884450/[/video]
 

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When FARMHAND first came out with their wheel rake in the early/mid 1960's most everybody in our neighborhood was still using steel wheel hay rakes that were converted from horse-drawn to tractor drawn. Dad had a 4-bar converted New Idea and a rubber tired David Bradley that my brother-in-law still uses! Bet there were only a handful of parallel bar rakes around in 1970.

Was the early '70's before the first wheel rakes showed up. Couple neighbors even raked hay/straw with them behind their 4WD pickups!
 

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If you're making 1000+ rounds a year, that makes pretty good sense pretty fast.

A neighbor does custom haying, and this would have him an entire tractor and crewmember. He has a 20' pusher haybine, then they rake using a small 100HP IH tractor and about a wheel rake that's at least as wide as this one in the video, and then he has 2 6 series JD's with the big round balers, THEN comes the hauling.....!!!

There's a custom company SW of Calgary called Valley Hay Sales. They actually MacGyver'd up a rig to pull two small square balers at the same time......looking back on it, it sounds so absurd that I think I'm making this story up, but it's true!!!
 

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As has been said, the wheel rakes came out late 60s. Big improvement over the bar rake. Very efficient and gentle on hay. Can rake fast, each wheel floats so following the ground is great. They don't really pull hard. I used one in 70s - 90s for my own hay and custom work on around 500 acres per year. They have gotten larger but basic function is same today.


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