In the ever-important drive for improved efficiency in the farming and agricultural sector, increased returns from machinery and equipment are becoming highly relevant to savvy operators.
ROC’s RT series of continuous merger rakes have a revolutionary raking system that not only creates greater efficiencies, but also protect crops from damage during harvest.
The full range of Italian-manufactured ROC continuous merger rakes is now being distributed in New Zealand by Webbline Agriculture Ltd, and the company’s ROC franchise manager, Winston Smith, said he expects the range to make a significant impact in the New Zealand market.
“Continuous mergers are a relative unknown in New Zealand, but the ROC range will complement our existing series of SIP Star swather rakes, so we will be able to offer a full range of options to farmers and contractors right across the spectrum,” he says.
“ROC mergers are available in working widths from 3.8m to more than 12m and, due to their innovative operation, protect the crop during pick-up, leading to improved crop quality.
“In addition, because the larger rakes can build significantly larger rows than traditional raking systems, harvesters can operate much more efficiently, leading to savings in time and fuel, as well as reduced wear and tear on components.”
Performance at pick-up
The main difference compared to traditional rakes is during pick-up. Rotary rakes ‘drag’ the crop horizontally along the ground, whereas the ROC merger has a vertical pick-up which lifts the drop and deposits it on a conveyor before being deposited out either side of the rake. This, combined with ROC’s innovative tine design, results in a much cleaner crop with a significantly-reduced level of foreign material included in the crop.
Recently trialled with contractors in the North Island, the first of the ROC series in New Zealand – a RT 1000 with a 10m working width – has been impressive, showing just how much it can improve speed and quality of harvest.
Because it has a full 10m pick-up, it can create a wide row during each pass, but can then deposit the crop from the second pass right alongside the existing row, effectively building one large row every 20m, which allows the harvester to make fewer passes in every paddock.
That performance is reflected in the productivity of the machine, with a10m RT 1000 covering the same number of hectares per hour as a 12.5m four-rotor swather rake.
Should an entire row need to be moved, the ROC merger is easily capable of handling the quantity of the crop to be shifted with no loss of volume.
Manoeuvrable and effective.
Both the speed of the pick-up, and the speed and direction of the conveyor can also be changed to suit different conditions.
Each side section of the merger runs on a set of four modulating tandem wheels that can be adjusted to sit the height of the cut, while the centre section runs on a hydraulic rear axle lifting system that can be raised to 1m for road travel, to clear large rows or for turning at the headlands.
For operating in reduced spaces, the RT series can also operate with either – or both – side sections of the merger in the raised position, or even with the separate sections of the conveyor running in opposite directions.
Smith says the two models of ROC merger most appropriate for New Zealand contractors are likely to be the 10m RT 1000 and the 11.5m RT 1150.
“New Zealand contractors using higher powered foragers for increased productivity on grass silage will really benefit from the impressive performance of these ROC mergers,” he says.
For more information on the ROC series of continuous mergers, contact Winston Smith on 021 220 1097.