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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Background: 95 acres of hay, SW Ontario
In early 2020 I bought a farm and moved back to my hometown. I decided to put my 60 acres of land into 60/40 grass alfalfa hay. I went with hay because I'd like to bring in animals - hopefully in 2022. I hired a custom hay guy who does the mowing, raking, and baling. I bought a bobcat and tractor to basically bring the 4x5 round bales into the barns.

Coincidentally, in 2020 a neighboring dairy farmer planted and rented a 30 acre patch of alfalfa on my late fathers farm. Then he sold his farm and moved out west, so in 2021 we took that over, along with planting a 9 acre hay field for a neighbour who has some animals.

2021 went pretty well overall I would say. I wanted to buy a rake mid season but there wasn't much in terms of inventory out there. The custom guy and myself get along pretty well, and I am looking to take over the raking in 2022 as another step to doing it ourselves, but also sticking with what works. His experience is great in producing a quality product, and making sure we don't bale it dry, but the custom work bills do eat into profits, and we want to do it ourselves. Our plan would be to rake the hay and collect the bales this year, then hopefully spring for a mower and then a baler in the next year or two depending how it goes.

Rakes:
I've been getting some quotes on different models locally. I'm zeroed in on a few models in particular. There isn't much stock so we are looking at springing for new or 'slightly' used. All are from local dealers.

2018 Krone 42T 10,900 CAD
2021 Krone 42T 14,500 CAD
2021 Pequea 1140 12,500
2021 MF RK451T 14,800 CAD
2021 Claas 370T 12,500 CAD
2021 Claas 450T 18,000 CAD


The rakes are all roughly the same working width, with the exception of the 370T which is a little smaller. My custom guy has a 10 foot mower.

Initially I was looking at Claas but the prices were higher vs the Krone and Massey.
Right now I am favouring the Krone 42T, likely the used model as it is a cost saver and looked in good condition. I liked that it is a heavier model, and that the arms are a little heavier. The tines have that curve, I'm not sure how important that is. Another feature is the gear box is grease and arms are fairly easy to replace when something goes wrong, there aren't gaskets etc etc to replace.

Questions for you guys:
  • Anything specific problems I should be looking for in the used 42T rake when I look it over?
  • Thoughts on new vs used on the 42T? I've heard complaints from my custom guy that new units actually have more problems sometimes from assembly issues?
  • Any thoughts on the MF RK451 ? My understanding is massey bought another brand and isn't really known for their rakes.
  • I'm leaning away from the Claas and Pequeua. I was surprised at the price of the Claas being so much more and am leaning away from it as the dealer is a little further away. The Pequeua is interesting as I've heard these off euro brands are really great value.

Appreciate any input, I'm favouring the used Krone 42T right now and thinking of giving it a better look over and pulling the trigger. The MF RK451 is from a dealer down the road we've worked with and has a good reputation locally. The big downside is the rake is not in stock, but we would buy on order which is pretty tough. I've also not known MF to be big into rakes, my understanding is they bought up another brand and are selling those.

I'm pretty green to the hay machinery game so would appreciate any input or personal experience.
 

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Hi All,

Background: 95 acres of hay, SW Ontario
In early 2020 I bought a farm and moved back to my hometown. I decided to put my 60 acres of land into 60/40 grass alfalfa hay. I went with hay because I'd like to bring in animals - hopefully in 2022. I hired a custom hay guy who does the mowing, raking, and baling. I bought a bobcat and tractor to basically bring the 4x5 round bales into the barns.

Coincidentally, in 2020 a neighboring dairy farmer planted and rented a 30 acre patch of alfalfa on my late fathers farm. Then he sold his farm and moved out west, so in 2021 we took that over, along with planting a 9 acre hay field for a neighbour who has some animals.

2021 went pretty well overall I would say. I wanted to buy a rake mid season but there wasn't much in terms of inventory out there. The custom guy and myself get along pretty well, and I am looking to take over the raking in 2022 as another step to doing it ourselves, but also sticking with what works. His experience is great in producing a quality product, and making sure we don't bale it dry, but the custom work bills do eat into profits, and we want to do it ourselves. Our plan would be to rake the hay and collect the bales this year, then hopefully spring for a mower and then a baler in the next year or two depending how it goes.

Rakes:
I've been getting some quotes on different models locally. I'm zeroed in on a few models in particular. There isn't much stock so we are looking at springing for new or 'slightly' used. All are from local dealers.

2018 Krone 42T 10,900 CAD
2021 Krone 42T 14,500 CAD
2021 Pequea 1140 12,500
2021 MF RK451T 14,800 CAD
2021 Claas 370T 12,500 CAD
2021 Claas 450T 18,000 CAD


The rakes are all roughly the same working width, with the exception of the 370T which is a little smaller. My custom guy has a 10 foot mower.

Initially I was looking at Claas but the prices were higher vs the Krone and Massey.
Right now I am favouring the Krone 42T, likely the used model as it is a cost saver and looked in good condition. I liked that it is a heavier model, and that the arms are a little heavier. The tines have that curve, I'm not sure how important that is. Another feature is the gear box is grease and arms are fairly easy to replace when something goes wrong, there aren't gaskets etc etc to replace.

Questions for you guys:
  • Anything specific problems I should be looking for in the used 42T rake when I look it over?
  • Thoughts on new vs used on the 42T? I've heard complaints from my custom guy that new units actually have more problems sometimes from assembly issues?
  • Any thoughts on the MF RK451 ? My understanding is massey bought another brand and isn't really known for their rakes.
  • I'm leaning away from the Claas and Pequeua. I was surprised at the price of the Claas being so much more and am leaning away from it as the dealer is a little further away. The Pequeua is interesting as I've heard these off euro brands are really great value.

Appreciate any input, I'm favouring the used Krone 42T right now and thinking of giving it a better look over and pulling the trigger. The MF RK451 is from a dealer down the road we've worked with and has a good reputation locally. The big downside is the rake is not in stock, but we would buy on order which is pretty tough. I've also not known MF to be big into rakes, my understanding is they bought up another brand and are selling those.
I'm pretty green to the hay machinery game so would appreciate any input or personal experience.
All Good rakes, Pequea is not european and MF may or may not be, the euros have invented the rotary so I'd pick one of them and be guided by dealer support.
 

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Gourmet Horse Hay Producer
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I am a solid Krone guy so take what I say with that in mind. I was an ‘only NH” hay tool guy but didn’t like my 258 rolabar, and had some issues with my 4 banger 163 Tedder. When shopping for replacements I was able to evaluate the Krone and pequeua side by side along with Kuhn. In my view the Krone is much stouter. I got my Krone Tedder and rake new in 2013 and have yet to have to rep a tine. I liked them so much I traded mu NH discbine for a Krone several years ago. I think kro would be a great choice for you.

regarding new vs used, your point on break in is a valid one, but I suspect more relevant to mowers, and balers with more adjustments involved. You’re going to keep this rake forever and if you have the cash flow to buy it new, you always know everything that’s happened to it and how it was maintained.

happy haying. Btw, you didn’t mention getting a Tedder but I can’t imagine you won’t need one where you live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am a solid Krone guy so take what I say with that in mind. I was an ‘only NH” hay tool guy but didn’t like my 258 rolabar, and had some issues with my 4 banger 163 Tedder. When shopping for replacements I was able to evaluate the Krone and pequeua side by side along with Kuhn. In my view the Krone is much stouter. I got my Krone Tedder and rake new in 2013 and have yet to have to rep a tine. I liked them so much I traded mu NH discbine for a Krone several years ago. I think kro would be a great choice for you.

regarding new vs used, your point on break in is a valid one, but I suspect more relevant to mowers, and balers with more adjustments involved. You’re going to keep this rake forever and if you have the cash flow to buy it new, you always know everything that’s happened to it and how it was maintained.

happy haying. Btw, you didn’t mention getting a Tedder but I can’t imagine you won’t need one where you live.
Thanks for the advice.

The salesman mentioned it being a weightier rake and I watched a video of a guy comparing the arms and tines to other rakes I found compelling. Also the idea that it is an enclosed gearbox which runs on a thinner type of grease which made for easy replacement, no gaskets, I liked that as well.


I was favouring the used one, but I like your idea to think long term. The used unit looked quite clean and there's an opportunity to save a little on the unit. Apparently I can talk to the guy who traded it in, the salesman is going to connect me. So hopefully that will help me come to a decision.

I don't have a tedder right now and my custom guy doesn't use one, but I think I'd like to get one of those too. It'd be nice to tighten up that weather window and take some of the pressure off. You have a krone tedder too? I was thinking of going cheaper on the tedder as it's kind of a secondary piece of equipment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All Good rakes, Pequea is not european and MF may or may not be, the euros have invented the rotary so I'd pick one of them and be guided by dealer support.
OK sounds great. The dealer is just 10 minutes away and they seem good to deal with so far.
 

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Hay has been made for many years without a tedder. With that said I would say that there are conditions/ places where a tedder is used once in awhile, when conditions are not "normal". Then there are those conditions/locations where a tedder is utilized nearly always. I made hay for years with just a rake to turn the windrows. I bought a tedder and haven't made any hay without tedding it at least once since I got it.
 

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I'm running a Krone 42T and have a friend running a Claas 450T. Both are great rakes. I opted for the Krone for its folding arms and heavier build. My equipment storage is tight, and I can fold the arms in a matter of minutes. The Claas arms can be removed for transport/storage as well - just a little more cumbersome removing and storing the extra arms. Not bad if the splines are kept clean and greased.

If you opt for the used rake, some things I would recommend checking/looking at:
  • Check the backlash of the ring & pinion. This is best done by removing the PTO shaft, and grabbing the splines where it enters the main frame tube. This should be very minimal.
  • Look very closely at the gap between the cast rotor housing and the top rotor plate. Compare the clearance at the front to the clearance at the rear. The clearance should be equal. If the clearance at the front is larger than the clearance at the rear, it is likely that the vertical shaft running from the running gear to the cast rotor housing is slightly bent. This can happen when these rakes are abused and hammered across rough ground at high speeds. When this occurs, it also increases the backlash of the ring & pinion as it moves the pinion away from the ring.
  • If you can, engage the PTO numerous times to check the condition of the slip clutch on the rearward end of the PTO shaft. You should be able to engage it without it ratcheting. If the previous owner was in the habit of engaging at higher RPMs, rather than engaging at idle then raising RPMs. the slip clutch could be quite weak.

Hard to beat new if you are in this for the long term, but I wouldn't be afraid of used if it checks out on a close inspection, and it fits into your financial plan any better. $3500 isn't a big difference in the long term for a brand new rake with at least a little bit of warranty.
 

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I don't have a tedder right now and my custom guy doesn't use one, but I think I'd like to get one of those too. It'd be nice to tighten up that weather window and take some of the pressure off. You have a krone tedder too? I was thinking of going cheaper on the tedder as it's kind of a secondary piece of equipment?
On the tedder: It would tighten up the window even further and once you have it you'll say where have you been all my life! 😁 Krone is a great choice!
If you want to save a bit on the tedder and think of buying new have a look at SIP haying equipment, that's all they do. It's a slovenian comany with very good products, but only if you have a dealer nearby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hay has been made for many years without a tedder. With that said I would say that there are conditions/ places where a tedder is used once in awhile, when conditions are not "normal". Then there are those conditions/locations where a tedder is utilized nearly always. I made hay for years with just a rake to turn the windrows. I bought a tedder and haven't made any hay without tedding it at least once since I got it.
Yes. My custom hay guy made the comment that with Alfalfa the tedder handles it a little more and has less benefit. But part of it might be him wanting to haul one less piece of equipment around. I'm a little impatient in wanting to get it baled up (something I am working on) and I think a tedder might do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm running a Krone 42T and have a friend running a Claas 450T. Both are great rakes. I opted for the Krone for its folding arms and heavier build. My equipment storage is tight, and I can fold the arms in a matter of minutes. The Claas arms can be removed for transport/storage as well - just a little more cumbersome removing and storing the extra arms. Not bad if the splines are kept clean and greased.

If you opt for the used rake, some things I would recommend checking/looking at:
  • Check the backlash of the ring & pinion. This is best done by removing the PTO shaft, and grabbing the splines where it enters the main frame tube. This should be very minimal.
  • Look very closely at the gap between the cast rotor housing and the top rotor plate. Compare the clearance at the front to the clearance at the rear. The clearance should be equal. If the clearance at the front is larger than the clearance at the rear, it is likely that the vertical shaft running from the running gear to the cast rotor housing is slightly bent. This can happen when these rakes are abused and hammered across rough ground at high speeds. When this occurs, it also increases the backlash of the ring & pinion as it moves the pinion away from the ring.
  • If you can, engage the PTO numerous times to check the condition of the slip clutch on the rearward end of the PTO shaft. You should be able to engage it without it ratcheting. If the previous owner was in the habit of engaging at higher RPMs, rather than engaging at idle then raising RPMs. the slip clutch could be quite weak.

Hard to beat new if you are in this for the long term, but I wouldn't be afraid of used if it checks out on a close inspection, and it fits into your financial plan any better. $3500 isn't a big difference in the long term for a brand new rake with at least a little bit of warranty.
Thanks for this. I will make sure I look into these specific items, and maybe mention them if I get a chance to talk to the previous owner.

You are right in that $3,500 isn't a make or break amount, looking at it from the bigger picture.

I really feel I am looking at a very good model and price wise it's very comparable to the others, and well under the Claas 450T. So I feel fairly settled on the Krone 42T at the moment, I just need to decide if I want to roll the dice a little on a used one.
 

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If I read the op post correctly.....the op is planning on using a single rotary rake for 60 acres of hay.......that seems a bit much to use a single on in my opinion
I was thinking that as well, but, I was running 60-70 ac with a single NH 56, just didn’t like it much. Really comes down to field size and shape. If it’s big fields that are regularly shaped, I would go with a double
 
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Gourmet Horse Hay Producer
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Hay has been made for many years without a tedder. With that said I would say that there are conditions/ places where a tedder is used once in awhile, when conditions are not "normal". Then there are those conditions/locations where a tedder is utilized nearly always. I made hay for years with just a rake to turn the windrows. I bought a tedder and haven't made any hay without tedding it at least once since I got it.
true, we used to use steel wheel side delivery rakes and dump rakes but I don’t know anyone who wants to go back to them. Back then, we rarely made hay that had the quality that is routinely possible now. I accept that there is an issue with tedding alfalfa but with grass hay in the eastern part of the US, tedding is usually essential
 
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I think the size of the rake depends too on how much they plan to rake and bale in a day. We do over 100+ acres comfortably with a single rotor Kuhn of equivalent size to the 42T. Works very well for us, but we also typically never do more than 20-30 acres/day. And usually have one person starting to bale while someone is finishing raking. If we were doing more acres per day and/or was a single person operation we might be more interested in a double. Also keep in mind we could rake more acres per day than mentioned previously, we usually just don’t like to get too much down at once depending on weather forecast.

Guess my point is I don’t think a single rotor is unreasonable for those acres. And also hard to beat the maneuverability of a single depending on field size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I spoke with the previous owner of the used model, he was very happy with the rake, drove it almost exclusively himself. Also, he is very happy with the dealer. I think I'm going to jump on the used one after one more lookover and maybe a try at dropping the price just a little.
 

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I think the size of the rake depends too on how much they plan to rake and bale in a day. We do over 100+ acres comfortably with a single rotor Kuhn of equivalent size to the 42T. Works very well for us, but we also typically never do more than 20-30 acres/day. And usually have one person starting to bale while someone is finishing raking. If we were doing more acres per day and/or was a single person operation we might be more interested in a double. Also keep in mind we could rake more acres per day than mentioned previously, we usually just don’t like to get too much down at once depending on weather forecast.

Guess my point is I don’t think a single rotor is unreasonable for those acres. And also hard to beat the maneuverability of a single depending on field size.
Curious as to how many acres a hr max estimated you can do with your single?.......I run a single 42 kubota rotary I'm guessing I do 2-3 a/h
 
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