“Built strong to last long”.
That is the motto Simon Schinckel adheres to when manufacturing hayrakes for his Naracoorte-based company Schinckel Hayrakes.
It also led the South Australian innovator last year to spawn the idea to “hay the new way” when driving to-and-from field days in the Eastern States.
Mr Schinckel noticed that farmers using some bigger header fronts run a risk of then driving their tractor over the prized hay and compacting it into the soil, so he created the eight-wheeled hayrake Opener Series.
The unit, which mounts on to the front of a tractor to push hay out beyond the tyres’ path, was awarded this year’s Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days best new release for machinery attachments.
Mr Schinckel, who has been a regular exhibitor at the Dowerin event for two decades, said he was overwhelmed his invention was bestowed the gong.
“It can be used on any rake on the market, it doesn’t have to be connected to one of ours — it is a new concept,” he said.
“Manufacturing is hard and you have to come up with new ideas and this blends in with our V-Rakes. The design is simple and effective — let’s hope it takes the world by storm.”
If a crop of hay is cut down with a 9m to 12m header front and rows are left close together, Mr Schinckel found using the front-mounted Open Series rakes the material out of the tractor’s path.
Towing a V-Rake behind the tractor, while the Open Series is mounted to the front, rakes the material together in one row, which Mr Schinckel says ensures no damage to the hay.
Mr Schinckel said the unit had been successful in different conditions across South Australia and Victoria, making him confident it was adaptable to WA’s vast agriculture regions.