Thanks guys for the input.....but that was not my real question. My question: is the work performance of the equipment much improved over the same item (when it was new) 20 years ago. Personally, I think the new round balers are much better than the round balers of 20 years ago, but is that also true of rakes? tedders? 8ft disc mowers? small square balers?
So, does your new 4 rotor tedder actually dry hay faster and better than your year 2000 4 rotor, tedder did when it was new?
RB, yes as mention, tension (consistency), ability to start a roll, quicker cycle times.
SS balers not as much, but maybe what I call creature features. Hydraulic swing, pickup more adjustments for bale density and possible control(s) of kicker. There is only so many pick-up teeth, feeding forks or auger or plunger design that you can do. And until someone comes up with a better knotter system, there is a limit to improvements. I'm thinking plunger strokes are most likely maxed out. The inline was/is huge. I've seen somewhere, where someone is working on a 'twin' baler, that makes two ss side by side. Which would be almost doubling the baling capacity.
Cutting, disc defiantly improved cutting efficiency. Rolls and flails, IDK I think Massy might have just set a higher standard on roll type conditioning. Quick change blades are a great addition, even though it does nothing for cutting. Once again, I don't think you can increase blade tip speed for faster cutting much more (almost 15 MPH, is cruising).
Tedders/rakes, probably not much left to improve that will speed drying. Spreading/fluffing crop can be controlled by adjustments on some models and/or operator as far as tedders. Rakes, the roll-bar is most likely maxed out on design change improvements. Same for wheel rakes and rotaries IMHO. The difference is going to be in the style of rake, bar, wheel/v or rotary (along with the operator) as far as improving drying time/cleanness of hay/leaf loss. IMHO rotary is the gold standard.
Overall, I'd say not a lot that has improved any one thing, but discs over cutter bars, rotary rakes, would be the biggest two things, because of speed and quality of crop.