Make Fluffier Windrows And Cleaner Bales

Today, we’re going to show you how to make bigger, fluffier windrows and cleaner bales using a Frontier high capacity carted wheel rake.

Managing the variables of time and technique in cutting, raking and baling hay is important to producing the highest nutritional value hay possible. Moisture level, cutting height, and ash content can all impact bale quality.

So first, in order to make fluffier windrows and cleaner bales, we’re checking moisture level in the cut hay  to be as sure as possible it is where it needs to be before raking. To do that, we’re using John Deere’s handheld Windrow Hay Moisture Tester (US CA). All C.J. needs to do is pack a good bunch of hay into a 5-gallon bucket. He then turns on the Moisture Tester and presses it into the hay in the bucket to get a quick, accurate reading. The desired moisture level is between 13 and 18 percent. As you can see, this hay is ready for raking. No tedding needed.

We’re matching our Frontier WR3210 High Capacity Carted Wheel Rake (US CA) with a John Deere 5125M Utility Tractor (US CA). And you’ll notice we’ve added a Walking Tandem Axel kit to the rake, which allows the rake to better follow the contours of the land. In turn, that allows for decreased down pressure from the rake arms, which limits rake wheel contact with the ground, while helping keep the rake wheels engaged with the crop. And all that helps make fluffier windrows and cleaner bales.

The rake wheels on the WR32 are larger than those found on many other wheel rakes. At 60-inches in diameter, they turn more slowly than smaller rake wheels. That means they’re gentler on the hay crop, which can be very important, especially when used in alfalfa hay. It also means you can rake at a higher ground speed than you can with smaller rake wheels

The result is large, fluffier windrows and cleaner bales, plus an overall smoother ride.

Hooking up the WR32 is very easy. Ideally, your tractor’s drawbar should be 13-17 inches above ground. The clevis hitch on the rake can be adjusted to the height of the drawbar so the main rake beams are parallel to the ground when in the raking position.

C.J. can then attach the rake using a hitch pin and secures it with the locking pin. He secures the safety chain, attaches the hydraulic hoses to raise and lower the rake arms, and moves the lift jack to its storage position.

Adjusting the windrow width is also easy with this rake.

First, with the rake beams raised slightly so the rake wheels are just off the ground, remove the pin and hairpin clip from the rake arm. Then using an adjustable wrench for leverage, use the turnbuckle to slide the rake arm out to the operating position, and reinsert the pin and clip.

C.J. can then adjust the windrow width by removing each rake beam pin, manually setting the desired angle, confirming the windrow width using a tape measure, and reinserting the rake beam pins and hairpin clips.

Finally, C.J. adjusts the rake arm down pressure by adjusting the pressure rod assembly.

While the rake wheels are still slightly above ground, C.J. loosens each lock ring on the rod assembly and turns the rod collar to the desired setting. Then he hand-tightens the lock ring to secure the setting. He raises and lowers the rake arms to check his setting, makes any adjustment necessary, and he’s ready to start making fluffier windrows and cleaner bales.

With this WR3210 High Capacity Carted Wheel Rake adjusted so the large rake wheels just barely touch the ground, they collect less soil, or ash. That means these large, fluffy windrows are cleaner.

And, as a result, so are the bales that follow. Better bales. Better nutrition. Better business.

Frontier’s nearly 400 implements and attachments are designed, engineered, tested, and manufactured to fit and work with John Deere tractors. That’s a breadth and depth of equipment compatibility you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating or storing any piece of equipment, and follow all operating and safety instructions.

And remember, if you’re looking for equipment you can count on to get your job done with confidence, choose the Green-On-Green solution – John Deere and Frontier. Available only at your John Deere dealer.

Helpful Links:

John Deere Utility Tractors (US CA)

Frontier High Capacity Carted Wheel Rakes (US CA)

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