‘The rake floats really nicely’: What rake does this Co. Kilkenny contractor love?

Leon Stanley, who is contracting at home with his father Leeson Stanley in Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny, upgraded to the Krone Swadro TC760 from a competitive machine. Leon explained: “We chose Krone as we know a good few people who have bought them and are getting on well with them.

“We do both pit silage and bales,” continued Leon. “The good thing I like about the Krone rakes is we can adjust how many swathes we bring in; for the pit silage we bring in 30ft (three 10ft swathes) and when we’re baling we only bring in 20ft and it’s easier on the baler – we couldn’t do that with our previous machine.”

Ease of use

Speaking on the ease of use, Leon commented: “You could basically let up anyone at all and there’d be no problem; it’s very straightforward.

With conditions often varying, the electric height control system makes adjusting rake height easier and faster than mechanical systems.

“The electrical height adjustment from the cab is a great job. If you meet a rough piece of ground you can adjust it and let it up and you won’t be tilling the ground or raking in stones so it saves the machine.”

From the cab-based control box, operators control two servo-motors which change rotor height conveniently and accurately. Along with adjusting the height, the control box also displays the current work height.

The rotors can be lifted out independently, which is a great advantage in wedges, along boundaries and in low-yielding crops.

“The control box is very straightforward and very simple,” Leon explained. “Just a switch for either side and another switch for the height adjustment.

Guaranteed clean rake

“When you’re letting it down into the ground it floats very nice; it doesn’t bang down, it goes down nice and slow and is very easy on the machine,” said Leon.

Krone called this the ‘jet effect’. As the bogies are lowered into work, the rear wheels touch down first before the leading wheels follow.

It also works the opposite way: As the rotors lift out, it is the leading wheels that lift out first and the rear wheels that follow. This ensures that the ground is raked clean and that the rotors do not slam into the ground.

Along with this, all Krone rakes have specially designed lift tines that are kinked in two positions. When compared with more traditional straight tines, Krone ones clear more material per acre and allow for greater ground clearance which reduces crop contamination.

Hard wearing; low maintenance

All Krone rakes come with hard-wearing Duramax cam tracks which have low maintenance and come with a three-year warranty as standard. This is down to the exceptionally tough cast iron cam tracks being used in conjunction with sealed-cartridge bearings.

As well as being very resistant to wear, this system is low on maintenance as it does not need to be lubricated. In fact, operators need not bother to lube a single component on the entire rotor. Combined with this, it only takes two bolts and a few minutes to remove a tine arm which makes servicing a breeze.

Practical in every way

“We got the wider wheels on the rake and it seems to be a good job,” explained Leon.

“We also got wheel weights which are a very good thing on the side of a hill for stabilising. I’ve often seen air underneath the old rake but you don’t see any with this, it’s very good.”

All Krone TC760 rakes come equipped with wide wheels, single rotor lift, electric height adjustment and wheel weights as standard, so there are no hidden costs when buying. All rotors run on a Krone-developed tridem chassis. This means that the rear axle is wider than the more flexible front axle, so that the chassis forms a triangle.

With the chassis utilising the full space under the rotor, the wheels can stabilise the rotor where the tines are under load, which leads to an exceptionally quiet rake.

“The steering is very good on it,” added Leon. “It’s very good at following you round in the field. It leaves a nice gradual bend for the baler.

“We’re very happy with Krone,” explained Leon. “I think in the future if we are looking for another rake we would go back for Krone again. They seem to be a good job and are improving the whole time.”