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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys - I need some insight on v rakes, kinda quick. Here's the situation: I currently run a NH 256 bar rake, but the local dealership has an H&S 8-wheel v rake. I have some friends who us v rakes and absolutely love them. I also know some guys that have used them and don't care too much for them. I do mixed grass hay, no silage or heavy crops such as alfalfa or clover. Most of the fields I have are big enough that turning the rake won't present too much of a problem, so that is the least of my concerns. I've got the v rake for the weekend to demo it, but with this forecast, I don't know if i'll have the chance to get a good test run with it.
What i'm after is, how many out there use a v rake, what type of crop do you have and what are your good AND bad experiences with them? I would love to gain the time-saving that a v rake would offer, but if the hay is thick or not quite dry enough, I don't want to be wishing I had kept my 256.

Any and ALL input would be very appreciated!! Thanks in advance!
 

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What model is the demo?

Alot depends on the design of the rake. I have a khun sr108 and really like it. I have used one similar to a Vermeer WR series ( don't remember the band or model) and it sucked! The height of the main frame and the way they fold up are big factors. The WR was low to the ground and caused heavy/ long stemmed hay to wad up and clog the rake. The way it folded didn't allow it to clear windrows very well. The last wheel on each side would drag hay even when folded all the way up. The frame on the khun is up off the ground more and the wheels fold upwards instead of rearward.
 

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The demo is an H&S V-8. It's an 8 wheel rake.

http://www.hsmfgco.com/Rake1Details.cfm?ID=V-8

I watched a few videos on youtube about v rakes, and one showed a guy talking about pitch of the wheel units themselves. What he said makes a lot of sense, but this rake doesn't have an adjustment for pitch of the wheels. The only thing I can find is obviously the width of pickup, width of windrow, and the tension springs (downpressure adjustment).

One other question I have about wheel rakes - some videos show the rake teeth kind of, 'bending' or 'flexing', whatever you would call it, when they come in contact with the ground. Others show them remaining almost completely straight. Should there be enough downpressure to cause them to flex so much?
 

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In the bottom picture of that link, the one of it folded, notice how close to the ground the two rear wheels are. They won't clear a tall windrow without dragging hay.

The down pressure depends on the conditions. If the stubble is left tall enough and the crop is thick you shouldn't need much down pressure. Alot of the grass hay I rake is thin and cut short so my teeth touch the ground. There is some sweep to them but not much.
 

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I had two NH rolabar rakes and the twin hitch, bought a NH HT154 12 wheel v rake and promptly sold the rolabar rakes and the hitch, have never regretted it.

I make everything from straight alfalfa to 70% grass/30% alfalfa.
 

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I own a Kuhn SR110. It is my first wheel rake and we really like it. All of our hay ground is grass hay, pretty much sod, so we do not have the concerns some have with dirt, pebbles and such being raked into the windrow.

I have raked some very heavy hay and never checked up.

H&S is not real well know in our area. From what I have read about them they are well made rakes. Looking at the picture in the link you posted, my only concern would be if the rake picked up with enough clearance to clear windrows if needed?

We have not had any desire to go back to our JD Bar rake. We did keep it as a back up.

I am spoiled baling behind the V rake. The windrows are the perfect width and consistent.
 

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Everyone around here has the kuhns and havent heard any complaints! The clearance with the windrows looks like it will definitely be a pain! We have the vermeer 2300 rake and its a pain if the baler isn't on top of it!
 

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Kuhns SR110. It's the berries. Had it 3 years. No problems.
 

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The trick, IMHO, to using V-rakes is to not run over windrows.

I do a down-and-back pattern. I start about one windrow from the edge, go down and back, then make a trip across the end to clean up the Y's and tails at the end of each windrow. My turn around at the end leaves about two windrows. I then make a trip around the entire outside to get what I didn't rake at the beginning.

This leaves my field with two windows across the ends. My first baling trip gets the outside windrow and the ends. Leaves me with a nice, clean area to drop bales and to turn around.

A lot of guys with Rollabars here start at the outside and make a continuous spiral into the middle. Y-Rakes take a different strategy.

Ralph
 

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I am spoiled baling behind the V rake. The windrows are the perfect width and consistent.
I've found I can also bale faster behind a wheel rake than a rolabar. I still do a little custom baling, I can do my entire first cutting (around 150 acres this year) and never jam or plug the pickup, when I do the custom work it's all raked with rolabar rakes, it will be the only time I have problems with jamming the pickup. I also think most people tend to start raking a little too soon with a rolabar and it makes slugs.

The trick, IMHO, to using V-rakes is to not run over windrows.

I do a down-and-back pattern. I start about one windrow from the edge, go down and back, then make a trip across the end to clean up the Y's and tails at the end of each windrow. My turn around at the end leaves about two windrows. I then make a trip around the entire outside to get what I didn't rake at the beginning.

This leaves my field with two windows across the ends. My first baling trip gets the outside windrow and the ends. Leaves me with a nice, clean area to drop bales and to turn around.

A lot of guys with Rollabars here start at the outside and make a continuous spiral into the middle. Y-Rakes take a different strategy.

Ralph
I do something similar , I start on the straightest side of the field and work to the other side raking the end rows dead last.
 

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I've found I can also bale faster behind a wheel rake than a rolabar. I still do a little custom baling, I can do my entire first cutting (around 150 acres this year) and never jam or plug the pickup, when I do the custom work it's all raked with rolabar rakes, it will be the only time I have problems with jamming the pickup. I also think most people tend to start raking a little too soon with a rolabar and it makes slugs.

I do something similar , I start on the straightest side of the field and work to the other side raking the end rows dead last.
Try explaining this to someone that has only ever raked with bar rake when they were growing up.(aka my father in law) I've tried to explain it to him no less than half a dozen times... still I get round and round
 

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The trick, IMHO, to using V-rakes is to not run over windrows.

I do a down-and-back pattern. I start about one windrow from the edge, go down and back, then make a trip across the end to clean up the Y's and tails at the end of each windrow. My turn around at the end leaves about two windrows. I then make a trip around the entire outside to get what I didn't rake at the beginning.

This leaves my field with two windows across the ends. My first baling trip gets the outside windrow and the ends. Leaves me with a nice, clean area to drop bales and to turn around.

A lot of guys with Rollabars here start at the outside and make a continuous spiral into the middle. Y-Rakes take a different strategy.

Ralph
.

That is exactly how we rake with our NH V rake
 

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We do 4 passes around the field with our swather then the longest and straightest lines until the field is done gives you plenty of room to manuver.
 
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In the bottom picture of that link, the one of it folded, notice how close to the ground the two rear wheels are. They won't clear a tall windrow without dragging hay.

The down pressure depends on the conditions. If the stubble is left tall enough and the crop is thick you shouldn't need much down pressure. Alot of the grass hay I rake is thin and cut short so my teeth touch the ground. There is some sweep to them but not much.
The demo is an H&S V-8. It's an 8 wheel rake.

http://www.hsmfgco.com/Rake1Details.cfm?ID=V-8

I watched a few videos on youtube about v rakes, and one showed a guy talking about pitch of the wheel units themselves. What he said makes a lot of sense, but this rake doesn't have an adjustment for pitch of the wheels. The only thing I can find is obviously the width of pickup, width of windrow, and the tension springs (downpressure adjustment).

One other question I have about wheel rakes - some videos show the rake teeth kind of, 'bending' or 'flexing', whatever you would call it, when they come in contact with the ground. Others show them remaining almost completely straight. Should there be enough downpressure to cause them to flex so much?
I have a JD700 rollbar. We borrowed a rake with similar configeration. We had problems folding and coming out of the field because of the back two. We used a JD and a Vermeer 220 (I think). The left and right frame were in a j pattern and wold rub on the rake tires. The JD was occasionally but the Vermeer (should I say a welded up Vermeer) rubbed all the time. I could not find an adjustment that would correct the situation. I would take a step up on the v rake. I know money is a problem but it looks like it would save you agravation in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, after trying it this weekend I decided to pass on the v rake and stick with my bar rake for the time being. The biggest reason was that the hay I tried it out on wasn't the thickest stuff that I bale, and the hay kept balling up between the tires and the wheel units. I was impressed with how well it did the raking though, so i'll definitely be doing some more research on different brands of rakes and hopefully get one in the near future. Thanks for the input guys!
 
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