Raking hay

Raking Hay

     The above illustration shows the John Deere No. 594 Steel-Wheel Side-Delivery Rake. The same brochure that this picture came from also shows the No. 594-LW (Low-Wheel Rake) with regular "fat" implement tires. However, the rake that I have has high wheels with rubber tires: 4.00 x 36!! This was just another option for the same machine. The parts for it DO show up in the parts catalog.
    Here are a few shots of me, raking the field the way it used to be done, with a 1940 John Deere Model B, and a No. 594 Rake. The tractor is a hand-start "early styled" type. The rake hitches to the drawbar with just a pin. There is no PTO coupling, because the rake is "ground-powered". In other words, the raking mechanism is geared to the wheels, and only turns when the rake is in motion.

Raking


    The original brochure says "rake in the same direction as you mowed." That would mean going around the outside of the field, in a clockwise direction, in the same pattern as you did the mowing. The rake picks up a swath of hay about 10' wide and pushes it to your left, in a "windrow". Several people have written and advised me that it is better to go the OTHER way. I have tried it, and I agree. From the air it might look like you are making a crop circle.
     Those of you who have farmed all your lives will wonder why I am so amazed with such a primitive contraption. Those of you who have never farmed will be just as fascinated as I am!

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5/14/12