Curtis Cooper owns Dear Oak Farm in near Fountain Inn, S.C., where he raises Angus cattle as well as hay for cattle and horses. For many years, he owned a machine shop and enjoyed finding "a better way to do something."
"Many of my hay fields are old cotton fields with terraces that are wider on one end and much narrower on the other. When raking across the terraces, the wheel rake will come off the ground in front and the back wheel can’t keep the shape of the windrow, leaving it flat and too wide for the baler to pick up. Inspired by a tandem trailer going over a speed bump, I drew a design to scale on a pizza box. I used two bolts to attach a piece of rectangular tubing to the frame of the rake. The bolts, along with the 3" notch cut into both ends of the tubing, allow the rake to fluctuate just enough to hug the contour of the terrain."
Ready when Needed
I often need a chain when working around the farm on my utility tractor. There isn’t a great place to store one, so I came up with a way to stash a chain in the cross-brace of my loader. I cut two round plates that measure 4.5" out of 1⁄8" iron and welded studs on the side of the loader. Now I can slip my chain in the cylinder brace and use nuts to keep it safely in place.
- Early Spring 2012