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Senior Contributor

Wheel rake vs.. Side delivery

I have been using a side delivery rake but need to change, so are the wheel rakes everything they are talked up to be??

I usually mow my 1st cutting alfalfa with an 9 foot new holland 488, but i lay it flat so it drys quicker.  They tell me that the wheel rakes won't always pick up the flat hay as well.  I can still get a new side delivery but for the same money I can buy a hi capacity wheel rake and cover twice as much ground.  


thoughts comments, concerns, all are appreciated



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4 Replies

Re: Wheel rake vs... Side delivery

I went through the same dilemma a few years back.  I chose to buy 2 basket rakes verses 1 wheel rake. During 2nd cutting hay we hade some wheat straw to rake so we rented a new 8 wheel rake from local dealer. H+S was brand name. When we got done with the straw 17 year old son decided to finished raking the 2nd cutting hay because the rake was much faster. If he made 2 rows at best he decided to take it home and hook up to basket rake. I asked him later on that day why he didn't keep raking with it because it seemed like he was getting a lot more done with the wheel rake. The first words out of his mouth were it doesn't rake alfalfa hay worth a crap!  And most teenagers just want to drive fast no matter what. In my opinion basket rake rakes much cleaner but slower.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Wheel rake vs.. Side delivery

There are light and heavy duty wheel rakes, with the heavy ones needed for wet hay. I have had good results with a rented 14 wheel rake, which we use to put hay together for big bales, and I have had good results with the helicopter looking wheel rakes, one of which we own (Kuhn). The wheel rakes seem to put a bit more dirt in the hay, unless you adjust it up to where it leaves some alfalfa, but I can rake 30" of hay in one swipe. It is easier to make a good looking windrow around ends and headlands with the helicopter rakes. I have not used a beater bar type side delivery rake for probably 25 years, so I don't know if they have improved since then, but the one I used back then was inferior to either of the newer types. A lot of how a rake works is related to how it is adjusted, and different conditions and crops call for tweaking them. You can't just hook up and go and expect it to work great every time.

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Re: Wheel rake vs.. Side delivery

We have a 12 wheel high capacity rake we pull two 13 foot windrows together. It really works well for for us. My suggestion for you would be to rent a wheel rake and see what you think. One thing I like about the wheel rake is it moves the hay slow, it doesn't seem to beat the leaves off the alfalfa as bad as a basket rake. We do own a couple of basket rakes that work and have not been used for a couple of years. Best of luck! 

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Re: Wheel rake vs... Side delivery

   I have a question about hay but pertaining to a different issue.  Are the fluffers worth having?  And if so which is best?  The rotary type or the kind that looks like a paddle from a steamboat?  That's the only description I could think of.

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