A strong hay rake designed and manufactured in Australia has won the 2018 Henty Machine of the Year Award.
The Next F Series V-Rake, entered by Schinckel Hayrakes from Naracoorte SA impressed judges with its simplicity, ease of operation and price competitiveness.
The V-rake was fitted with self-opening wings to reduce heavy lifting by the operator, plus telescopic arms fitted to the raking arms and the main beam.
Manufacturer Simon Schinckel spent two years fine tuning a simpler, safer way of lifting out the 15-20kg telescopic arms into position for V raking.
The required raking width can be pre-set with a magnetic pin fitted to the telescopic arm. There are nine different pre-set raking positions, ranging from 4.2 to 9.1 metres wide for V raking.
Highly commended was the Post Straightener developed by two mates, Daryl Irving and Dan Robinson, of Mudgee NSW.
The Post Straightener uses a relatively small amount of energy to recycle quality old steel posts, eliminating the need to buy new.
A total of 24 machines and equipment at the cutting edge of agricultural technology were showcased in the Henty Machine of the Year.
Announced on the opening day, this award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the field days. In many cases the winning machine has gone on to become a standard piece of equipment on farms throughout Australia.
Judging criteria include the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction (durability and design), ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.
Last year, the award was won by the 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill entered by Bourgault.
Judge Andrew Alexander, Lockhart, said the award was open to all machines on site released into the Australian market in the 12 months prior to the field days.
Mr Alexander said much thought had gone into the Schinckel hay rake for the operator to easily fold out the machine.
“It is designed for simplicity, ease of operation and is price competitive,’’ he said.
“It doesn’t have hydraulics, making it cheaper, and it can be towed behind a Ute.
“Hay is topical and everyone is talking about how much they will cut or not.’’
Co-judge Mark Bowyer said the V-rake was user friendly and more affordable for farmers, being manually adjustable. “Schinckel has been making hay rakes for a long time and most of the components are Australian sourced,’’ Mr Bowyer said.
Mr Bowyer said the Australian designed and manufactured Post Straightener recycled old steel posts into a useable product, no matter how bent or twisted.
“Even if the posts had a bit of wire on them, the machine chipped the wire off,’’ he said.
“They virtually come out like a new post. “It would be a good add on for a fencing contractor’s business. “When watching the demonstration, it was remarkable how quick it was and what a good job it did.
“There wouldn’t be too many farmers around without a heap of bent posts lying around.’’ Mr Bowyer said entries ranged from large seed drills to a camping generator, showcasing diversity in innovation.