SIMON Schinckel is not saying today’s farmers are layabouts, but he does reckon they shy a little from the heavy lifting.
That’s the thinking behind the latest product off the drawing board of the Naracoorte, South Australia-based farm machinery manufacturer.
While most buyers have been happy with the strong and super reliable rakes he has been churning out at the rate of one a week for nearly 27 years, some have baulked at the effort needed to lift out the 15-20 kilogram telescopic arms into position for V-raking.
About two years ago he decided to do something about it.
He went into research mode and started scratching his head and came up with what he is calling a “smarter, simpler, safer and sexier” machine, whose raking arms actually open the telescopic arms themselves when the raking arms are opened out.
The required raking width can be pre-set with a magnetic pin fitted to the telescopic arm – there are nine different pre-set raking positions, ranging from 4.2 metres to 9.1m wide.
With a patent in hand, he first launched his new rake at the Wimmera Field Days, Victoria, in early March with unbelievable interest, with orders placed on the day and more to follow.
A former shearer and bulldozer driver, he is considered one of the greatest characters of the farm machinery industry, and a new name for the new model was obvious.
Because it was an update of his F Series, he named it, ‘The Next F Series’.
Farmers and contractors who have had a sneak peek have been impressed and Simon is hopeful for continued orders as he floats across the country.
“Look, the customers are getting older and I know I’m getting older,” Simon said.
“Nobody can lift things easily anymore, and it’s not just the old ones.
“The younger generation don’t want to do the work either.
“With this machine, there’s no lifting involved or pins to be removed or lost.
“The telescopic arms are fitted to the raking arms and the main beam and open themselves.”
Simon estimates the base machine will cost in the high $20,000s, with optional extras also available.
“It’s not going to cost a hell of a lot on the top of the price of the rake,” he said.
“And this will be a standard feature in our rakes this year, doing away with all that hard work farmers have previously had to do.”
Simon will be on-site at this year’s Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days and Newdegate Machinery Field Days.