Since its introduction, the front-mounted Opener Series rake from Schinckel Hayrakes has proven to be a game changer in the hay cropping business.
With its ability to maximise crop quality while avoiding damage and wastage, the Opener Series is one of those brilliant ideas that seem obvious once someone has the vision to bring them to market.
Schinckel Hayrakes is based in Naracoorte SA, and company director Simon Schinckel says his lightbulb moment for the Opener rake came to him when he saw the many crops that had been cut down early with 9 to 12m (30 to 40ft) header fronts because of poor growing conditions in the 2018 season.
“I noticed that rows waiting to be raked together for baling were spaced anywhere from 0.9 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.
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 a range of different conditions and it works every time.
Many satisfied customers have also enjoyed great success with the Opener Series and report additional benefits such as faster and more even drying of crop along with easier and faster baling of prepared windrows.
Another use that a number of owners have found is to use the Opener Series rake to quickly turn crop in the paddock if it experiences rain while drying.
Patents are pending worldwide on the Opener Series rakes, which are built with standard components off the Schinckel Hayrake shelf.
For further information call Simon Schinckel on 0428 838 524 or go to the Schinckel Hayrake website: www.schinckelhayrakes.com.au to check out working videos.