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  1. #1
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    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Raking leaves with tractor

    Has anyone sucessfully built a rake to hook up on a 3ph that does a good job of raking leaves? I saw somewhere on the net, maybe here, where someone built a simple rake using hay rake teeth they were using behind a riding lawn mower. It looked like it would do the job. I want to build one to pull with a YM2200 or a Ferguson 35. The one I saw was a simple bar with teeth, but I am thinking of building a app. 2 ft high cage with teeth on the bottom so I can let the leaves build up and then head for the woods, never having to actually pick them up. When I get to the woods, pick up the rake and scatter them out in a drive by fashion. I am sure it won't do as good a job as hand raking but it could sure get the biggest part out of the way to make hand raking a lot easier. I have a bagger attachment on my riding mower and also a pull type lawn sweeper to do the finish work. There is just so many leaves it will work you to death emptying them. Just trying to think of a way to get 'er done in an easier way.

    Tell me your tried n true ways of accomplishing this. How close together do I need to space my tines? Does angling the ends forward help in keeping the leaves in the rake and not coming out of the sides while pulling it? I need ideas!

    My thoughts are to build a 3 sided cage out of 1" tubing, cover tubing with expanded metal and maybe put a top on it to keep them from spilling over after it gets full. Have rake teeth hanging down 2 1/2 to 3 or so inches lower than the sides of the cage. Anyone tried this?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Hooked_on_HP's Avatar
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    Coal City IL
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    Ford 1900 FWD Kubota F2100E

    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    I have the same problem with with leaves that you do. I have a sweeper for the lawnmower but spend more time dumping than sweeping. I have tried the landscape rake but the leaves would roll off the ends. I thought about adding wings but decided against it. I have seen some PTO driven sweepers on ebay that hold alot of leaves. Now I am considering a PTO driven blower since I can just blow them into the woods.
    Bill

  3. #3
    Member
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    Jul 2006
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    46
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    North East PA
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    JD2520, Ford 8N, JD318, Cub Cadet125

    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    I move leaves with a walk behind blower and also a back pack blower. When the leaf piles get to large, it gets slow going. At that point I use my York rake with gauge wheels to drag the piles into the woods. I don't worry about getting them all or spillage - just follow up with one of the blowers. Speeds things up a lot. One caution on trying to do a clean job of raking with a back rake - get a little too low, or hit a high spot, and the grass is gone, especially if the ground is wet.
    Good luck on your project.

  4. #4
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
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    Sierra Nevada Mtns
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    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    That garden tractor rake post is here and there are links in that post to building the rake and 2cuyd leaf bucket.


    91296d1197532286-big-bucket-leaf-moving-2-fill-bucket-1_sm.jpg

    My system of course requires two tractors; one to rake with, the other to haul. Older used small garden tractors/lawn mowers are fairly cheap and you say you have a riding lawnmower.

    I have found the rubber teeth work very well set vertical. That way I can pull or push. I can push a lot more than I can pull because the leaves do not bunch up below the tractor. Another member built a set of these (rubber rake teeth on a bar) for use as an attachment to his FEL and had some problems but I don't recall the actual difficulty. I think he used too much down pressure and the teeth folded back. Gauge wheels and bucket in float may have solved that problem. My rake is set rigid with the tractor (not floating) and when engaged with the ground bend 10-15 degrees. I built the hitch to allow for some side-to-side movement, see the rake build post.

    Teeth spacing depends on what you are raking. We have primarily black oak and ponderosa pine. The 3"+/- spacing I have works great for me as long as there is sufficient debris on the ground. If cover is sparse then I'd want tighter spacing because the oak leaves pass through the 3" space. If there is a mix of pine needles and oak leaves the needles fill in the gaps.

    I like your idea of a collection bin in front of the rake. But the longer you make the bin the less maneuverability you will have. Would you make the assemble pivot so it would track like a trailer? You might consider making the bin a slight trapezoid in plan, wide end toward the tractor, and put rake teeth on the tapered sides. This may help keep the leaves contained in the bin in transit.

    I have found that now and again the leaves will ball up at the rake and the rake teeth will bend/flex and ride over the top of the ball "losing the load". Then I'll need raise the rake, go front or back, and re catch the load. How far do you need to move the raked leaves and what is the terrain? I have found I can push a load of leaves several hundred feet. I start at the disposal area and push a path to my burn (or compost) area then move further and further away pushing the new load down the established path. My ground is level, cleared and the pathways are dirt/clay/solid surface.

    This fall I played with a tph/pto blower/vacuum/bin idea. A member used a discarded swamp cooled and hooked it to his pto for a "Tim Taylor" blower. My plan used this as a start point. I tried to take the vacuum exhaust to blow/direct leaves into the vacuum collection chamber. Leaves were deposited in to a out house shaped bin/trailer with a rear top-hinged dump door. The assembly got too ponderous to pursue further.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Hooked_on_HP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    RedDirt, I like your set up. I found the rake tines at TSC for $2.29ea. My question is if I spaced the tines closer together, using more tines wouldn't I be able to pull more before the tines started to bend. Also have you broke any of the tines.
    Bill

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    Red Dirt, thats an awesome set-up you have there. I did a search a few weeks ago and all it showed me was 1 pic of the rake. But it was a pic of your rake for sure.

    Although I do have 2 tractors and a 63 Cub Cadet "Original" with a hand operated 1 ph, I want to design a rake that will rake and pull a pile of leaves to the woods to mulch. I can also build a contraption to push the leaves further into the woods or into a larger pile that will work off of the 3ph and use the other tractor to push the piles up after I get quite a bit of them in my way. No FEL to work with but after seeing your designs, I think I can go from here. As far as something to push with, my 5' scraper blade turned backwards to push should do this.

    I am on sandy flat ground and most areas do not have grass. I have 5 acres that is app 440' wide and 550' deep. The front 200 ft is considered yard and the back is wooded with tractor paths. I may build a smaller set-up that will work on my Cub Cadet to do the smaller areas next to the house and just drop them in the open to later pass over with the bigger rake to grab them up to pull to the woods. You've got me thinking! Thanks for the reply and the great ideas.

    Always open for any more ideas before I build. Anyone else got anything to add to this already great set-up? Thanks again Red Dirt!

  7. #7
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
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    Sierra Nevada Mtns
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    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Re: Raking leaves with tractor

    Bill,
    I have found that the leaves and pine needles do a good job of filling the space between the tines. That is, unless there is not very much to rake, then they just go through the space. The object here is not rake "too often". I can live with that. I don't think more tines would make too much difference with the tines bending/flexing with a load especially if the leaves are dry, not wet and heavy. The rubber mounting of the tines are fairly stiff. Their advantage is that they will flex over an immovable object like an exposed root or boulder.

    No, I have never broken a tine. This is the 7th year I've used the rake.

    6011Artist,
    Thanks for the compliment. I thought I put in a link in that other reply/post a couple of weeks ago. Maybe not or maybe you saw the rake at a different post.

    I have 5 acres too. If you are on sandy flat ground then you should not have any trouble pushing your leaves wherever you want them. You'll be surprised and pleased at how much you can push.

    I built a push brush rake, hydraulic lift, trip lever dump, for the Wards tractor before I had the bx23 and although I could not lift the weight I could push two/three full pick-up loads of limbs and brush (at once) when we logged. I was amazed. I had tire chains and wheel weights on the Wards. Sorry no photos. The brush rake used 5/8" rebar for the teeth and back guard. If I was careful not to dig a tine in the ground and watched my swing not to hit a tree the 5/8" rebar worked well. I bent a tine a couple of times in 5 years but they bend back into shape easily. If you want photos I can try but it's snowing now and the rake is in storage.

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