The man behind the dual-purpose rake and tedder, Michael Clarke, picked up the Young Innovation of the Year accolade this week at the Ploughing. Trading under Clarke Engineering, the 27-year-old Mayo man said this idea has been a long-term work in progress.
Working full-time as an engineer for Malone Farm Machinery, he said he carried out much of the design work over a couple of years on and off while he was in college. Fabrication began in January 2020, and was only completed over the past month, followed by some test work.
The 20ft working width machine consists of four rotors, a chassis and features independent hydraulics with a tank, tandem pump and valve bank.
All controls are carried out from the tractor cab.
When tedding, the axle folds up out of the way and the rotors run in opposite directions. The rotors also run at a higher speed. When raking, the four rotors feed the grass to a centre swath, while running at a slower speed.
Michael is planning to build a 3m version of the hybrid machine, and long term, hopes to build a 30ft version.