The Flex Rake is an innovative approach to hay and forage production.
1. The rake is designed to hook to your tractor and pull an inline round or square baler.
Conventional rakes are designed to be used “stand alone”, which requires a second tractor and operator in the field. The Flex Rake gives the option of raking and baling in a single pass. If the rake is used in its preferred mode, it eliminates the need for a second operator or separate tractor pulling a baler, which saves time, fuel, labor and wear on equipment. If the hay product or weather does not allow for raking and baling at the same time the rake can be used as a conventional "V" rake.
The times that allow for raking and baling at the same time are where we really make some hay!!
2. The rake has an integrated driveshaft that is enclosed inside of the main frame. The only exposure of the drive shaft is at the front and rear of the rake. The ends of the drive shaft are interchangeable and allow for standard 540 PTO, small 1000 PTO or large 1000 PTO. Drive shafts are 2" solid steel with industrial pillow block bearings that provide support at both ends and in the center.
3. The rake has main rake arms which extend and retract in a "V" fashion and are actuated by the tractor hydraulics. The front end of each of the main arms are supported by gauge wheels which, while in operation, lessen the stress on the machine’s frame and individual rake wheels on uneven terrain. The rake arms are made from 1/4" wall 4" X 6" A500 grade or stronger tubing.
4. As the name implies, the rake’s arms operate independently of each other while raking allowing individual flex and movement to maintain more consistent contact with the ground. This is accomplished through a pinned joint where the main arms are attached to the main frame.
5. An adjustable spring tension system on the individual rake arms allows the operator to set the machine’s individual rake wheels to rake lightly, or more aggressively contact the ground according to the existing raking conditions and material.
6. Flex Rakes have an adjustable windrow width that is able to close up for small inline balers or open up wide enough for the 5 foot and Megawide round balers.
7. When the rake is to be transported from field to field it can be fully closed from the cab of the tractor. When the Flex Rake is in the fully closed "transport" position the wheels on the front of the main rake arms are held completely off of the ground. This allows the rake to transported still hooked to the tractor and baler at tractor highway speeds. The front wheels being fully off of the ground eliminate the "death wobble" associated with the caster style wheels on the front of the main rake arms.
8. The proximity of the baler to the rake allows for the very efficient baling of the hay product. The rake is efficient and, when paired with a suitable baler, will rake the cut hay and bale in one pass. Since the hay is baled immediately after raking, there is practically no loss of product to settling, wind, or adverse weather.
9. The rake is compatible with any in-line baler (round or square).
10. When raking and baling, the tractor doesn't have to straddle a windrow which can cause a problem in thick hay with the tractor's under frame tangling with the hay in tall windrows.