Pöttinger Making Headway in the Rake Market
Published on Thu, 12/15/2016 - 10:43am
Pöttinger Making Headway in the Rake Market
By Maura Keller
When it comes to animal performance, forage quality is key. And farmers with production capacities of all sizes understand that forage quality is vital to their success because, quite simply, better forage keeps animals healthier. That’s where Pöttinger’s latest equipment innovation, the TOP 962 C rake, comes in.
As Marco Otten, Pöttinger’s area sales manager, North America explains, this new center-delivery rake can become a vital link in the harvest chain.
“The rake’s performance has the biggest influence on how much contamination enters the windrow, the uniformity of a windrow and the reduction of disintegration losses, such as alfalfa leaf-loss,” Otten says. “Better forage preparation leads to more nutrients resulting in healthier animals and therefore to more profit.”
The Pöttinger TOP 962 C centre-delivery rake is defined as pure performance. Not only does it offer high output, but it is a cost-effective alternative to traditional 4-rotor rakes. Here’s why: The TOP 962 C features a six-wheel chassis with tandem axles. This provides not only smooth running, but also the best possible ground tracking. The adjustable slant of the tines can be set around ½-inch deeper towards the swath formation point, resulting in perfect raking performance—each and every time.
“The 6-wheel undercarriage in combination with the standard mounted Multitast wheels on the rotors, gives stability and smooth running in the field,” Otten says. “Due to the perfect ground tracking it allows the user to set the rake closer to the ground with clean forage as a result.”
With a working width of 29’ 2” to 31’6” and a large rotor diameter of 4.3 m, the new TOP 962 C is designed to deliver maximum performance and is aimed at high output. The hydraulic raking width adjustment gives the operator the ability to match the raking width with the mower running in front of it as well as being able to make a uniform fluffy windrow to feed the next machine in the harvester chain to follow.
And mounting of the rake is straightforward. It uses a yoke that allows a turning angle of 73 degrees and features a turning angle indicator. In addition, the headstock is kept tidy thanks to a practical PTO shaft holder and hydraulic hose boom. The rotors are protected individually against overloading and a freewheel is integrated as standard into the splitter gearbox.
“The already proven TOPTECH Rotors with large camtrack and bearing distance offer maximum strength with minimal stress on the assembly, this in combination with the 15 tine arms per rotor gives the customer the ability to drive faster in the field without jeopardizing the clean raking performance and output,” Otten says.
Boasting the TOPTECH PLUS rotors with a rotor diameter of 14’1” and 15 tine arms per rotor offer many advantages for the TOP 962 C. Overall, the new rotor unit guarantees great output, strength and reliability at the same time as ease of maintenance.
For instance, the large diameter cam track without steep inclines ensures precise tine control and provides the tine arms with maximum strength and minimum stress on the arm bearings.
What’s more, Pöttinger’s emphasis on reliability is paramount in the TOP 962 C. The tine arms are easy to replace using just three bolts. If a collision should occur, a damaged tine arm can easily be removed and replaced. The cam track can be adjusted according to changing forage volumes and harvesting conditions. The rotor gearbox unit is extremely rugged with its gears submerged in semi-liquid grease and completely sealed to keep out dust. A large diameter gear wheel guarantees smooth running and a long service life.
“We offer a fully enclosed and sealed gearbox to keep dust and dirt out, offering longevity and reliability for the end user,” Otten says.
For ease of transport, the TOP 962 C features rotors that are lowered hydraulically after folding. Specifically, the rotors are raised and folded using a single-acting hydraulic connection. The lifting clearance can be adjusted and is limited by a valve. The rotors can then be retracted using a double-acting remote valve and the transport interlock then engages automatically. Individual rotor lifting is available as an option and this feature is activated using a button on the control terminal. The working width can be adjusted using a double-acting spool valve and the swath width can be varied between 4’3” and 6’7”.
“For road transport, you can easily switch from field position to road transport, and due to the three-point linkage connection, the equipment is very stable behind the tractor even at high transport speeds,” Otten says.
A display comfortably within the driver’s field of vision indicates the current working width as well as the height setting
Removing four of the tine arms brings the transport height to below 13 feet. And if you come across an obstacle, the rotors can be hydraulically shifted 2 feet upwards.
Thanks to the steered chassis with axle steering, the rake follows the tractor exactly and is extremely manueverable. While the chassis features maintenance-free steering linkage joints, the 9’6” wide chassis frame provides the highest stability even on slopes. As standard, the TOP 962 C is supplied with 340/55-16 tires.
When it comes to operating a rake system in the field, flexibility is paramount. The TOP 926 C offers a straightforward hydraulic control system to meet these needs.
“Our motto is and has always been, ‘More success with Pöttinger,” Otten says. “This is not just a promise but also one of our guiding principles for the company. The new TOP 962C, which is a continuation of the development which started with the smaller version TOP 842C, shows our commitment to providing innovative designs and ideas to lay the base for not just ours but also our customers’ success tomorrow.”