Schinckel Opener Series rake is a clever move

The Schinckel Opener Series front-mounted rake has four reels per side, and a castor wheel on each raking arm plus another in the front centre pivot

With the Schinckel Opener rake front mounted it allows growers to get the crop In quickly and at better quality.

The Opener Series rake from Schinckel Hayrakes is mounted to the front of the tractor and is a model that has simplified hay raking while improving the crop quality.

When used in combination with any type of rear rake (V, rotary or roller bar) the front-mounted rake pushes the crop away from the path of the tractor as the rear rake regathers it together into a single row.

This way the tractor avoids running over and damaging the crop while the front-rear rake combination creates a perfect windrow.

Simon Schinckel says he has demonstrated his Opener Series rake in many different conditions and it works every time.

“We have used it on crops that have been tedded, hay has been cut with disc mowers and left out in a flat swath, mower-conditioner rows, and in situations where there is lots of regrowth.

“The Opener rake works effectively in all of these situations. It can be also used to turn two wet rows of hay at the same time.

With the locally designed Schinckel Opener rake, the tractor never has to run over the crop

“Turning hay for faster drying is a very slow and arduous task, but with this model, labour, fuel and machine costs can be cut in half. Turning windrows can also be done with the front rake towed by a four-wheel drive ute.”

Schinckel Hayrakes is based in Naracoorte SA, and Simon says when he was travelling to southern field days in September and October 2018, he noticed that many crops had been cut down with 9 to 12m (30 to 40ft) header fronts or large windrowers.

The crops had been cut because of the very dry season.

“I noticed that rows waiting to be raked together for baling were spaced anywhere from .9 to 2.4m (3 to 8ft) apart, so it was going to be a big issue for raking.

“I have been in the hayrake industry for 28 years, and I could see that driving a tractor and rake down these rows wasn’t going to work satisfactorily. The tractor would have to run on top of both rows, which would pack it into the ground.

“This would make it difficult to rake cleanly, knock leaf off and lower the quality of the hay. Straddling one row with a tractor and rake isn’t an option, so people would have to use an inline rake, which doesn’t produce a nice evenly-shaped windrow for baling like a V Rake does.”

Simon put his thinking cap on and came up with a unique but simple system – the Opener Series. It is effective because the tractor always runs on clean ground.

John Pallant farms near Naracoorte SA, and because he grows a lot of hay Simon often tests out his new rakes on his property. When Simon arrived to test out the Opener at the end of last year, John could see its potential and he was the first to buy one.

“We make 4000 big square bales a year for our own use and to sell to dairy farmers,” John says. “I could see how useful the front rake would be, particularly in lucerne.

“We use a Massey MF1340 disc mower that cuts a 3.9m (13ft) swath. When we rake with our V Rake, the tractor always drives over some of the crop.

“I could see that with the Opener front rake, we could leave the lucerne spread out more when we cut it so it would dry faster, and then we could rake it up without damaging the crop.”

John says this summer he did several cuts of lucerne with the Opener rake and he has been able to do the whole process – cut, cure, rake, bale and cart – in four days.

“It allows us to get the crop in more quickly and it is better quality. It is a magic bit of gear. So far I have only used it on the lucerne but we will use it on all our hay crops.”

Patents are pending worldwide on the Opener Series rakes, that are built with standard components off the Schinckel Hayrake shelf.

It uses four reels per side and has a castor wheel on each raking arm and a dual castor in the front centre pivot.

For further information call Simon Schinckel direct on mobile 0428 838 524 or go to the Schinckel Hayrake website: to check out working videos.

A hydraulic lift on each raking arm is standard equipment. The Opener rake can fit to the front of the tractor in three ways:

1) It can be fitted to the front-end loader arms if they have Euro-style quick release.

2) It can be bolted to the front counter weight with an A frame system for easy hook up and disconnection.

3) It can connect to the front linkage arms.

A set of removable wheels can be fitted so the rake can be towed on the road. A tow bar will be fitted to the front, and rear tail lights are supplied.


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