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The Daily Bale
Natasha Post, Author
Tedders are designed to assist in the haymaking process. The equipment is used after cutting crops, but before the windrowing process takes place, and aerates the hay to help dry it out and speed up the haymaking process. Aerating the hay not only speeds up haymaking, but it offers an improved aroma and color, resulting in a higher-quality yield.
In its simplest form, the tedding process lifts and separates hay to speed up the drying time. Tedding equipment does this through moving forks that bring the bottom of the windrow to the top, exposing the crop more evenly to sunlight. A rotary motion grabs the hay with spinning tines and casts it off the back of the machine so that it replaces the top layer as it works. Tedders are incredibly essential to use when rain or flooding is in the immediate weather forecast or in areas where good dry down weather is rare, as they can help cut days off the drying time. Tedder transport is also easy and efficient so that farmers don’t have to worry about their equipment.
Where are Tedders Most Commonly Used?
When the process of tedding first arrived in the U.S., it was most commonly done in northeast states such as New York. However, year after year, the trend has continued to spread west throughout North America. Now you’ll commonly see tedders in operation throughout many states, including, but not limited to:
- New York
Although there are some states, particularly in the west and the southwestern United States, where tedding is less crucial to the haymaking process, tedding equipment use is rising overall. The increase in unpredictable weather patterns has prompted many hay producers to add new equipment, such as tedders, to their arsenal to compensate for unexpected extreme weather. Typically, in warmer, dryer parts of the U.S., hay producers don’t necessarily need tedding equipment as the crop on the bottom of the windrow isn’t exposed to excess moisture. However, with the increase of extreme flooding in recent years, this has changed, resulting in many farmers investing in new equipment to help deal with excess water affecting their crops.
Tedder Equipment Classes
When determining which tedder equipment class is right for you, consider the amount of time you will likely spend using it. If you’re only going to use the equipment on a part-time basis, you’ll likely benefit from a light-duty tedder. However, it’s also essential to consider the size. You’ll need a tedder that aligns with your current mower to give the perfect spread.
Tedders can be categorized into two classes: light-duty tedders and heavy-duty tedders. Light-duty tedders are typically designed for people who produce hay part-time or for use in regions where the requirement for tedding is much less frequent. Heavy-duty tedders are high-capacity machines ruggedly built to handle the rigors associated with full-time hay production and busy hay seasons.
How to Ship a Tedder
Large tedders can be challenging to transport. Luckily, most tedders fold together, towards the hitch, at the wheels, which makes it a little easier to load, transport, and unload them. Large tedders usually travel upright on trailers, often exceeding the height limits of standard trailers, but tedding equipment may also travel while tied down horizontally.
Regardless of whether your tedder will travel in an upright or horizontal position, an RGN trailer is one of the best trailer types to work with for equipment transport of this type. The drop-down neck of RGN trailers allows loaders to safely back the tedder aboard the trailer using your tractor equipment, using the detachable front end as a ramp. Past the detachable section for the RGN trailer transport, there is a double drop formation that provides an extra 12 inches of payload space. Compared to flatbed trailers, which can only transport equipment up to 8.5 ft. tall, RGN trailers can transport much taller equipment. Extended RGN trailers can also be used to transport tedders horizontally, or if a standard RGN trailer length is unsuitable for your model.
Loading and unloading is the most challenging part of the transport process, as most tedders have multiple easily accessible tie-down points that can be quickly secured. Before transporting a tedder, make sure the equipment is mud-free and as clean as possible so that loading crews can easily reach tie-down points to secure the vehicle.