Attaching a rake to a tractor’s front linkage and running a baler behind to pick up the resultant swath is not a new idea, but it is one that has seen relatively little take up in the UK and Ireland for a diverse number of reasons. Here we look at the Italian made Abimac Avantime. Launched in the UK in 2017, these rotary models are claimed to have the build strength to cope with heavy crops, but is this enough to popularise the idea?

There is no doubting the appeal of an all-in-one rowing up and baling combination. This has long been a goal for Simon Smith whose interest in the front rake concept stems from the need to reduce the time and labour taken to bale hay and straw for bedding for his pig fattening unit. He initially approached Abimac to see if they could develop a front rake for him, but soon realised he was not the only one who
would benefit from the right type of design “Abimac have been making rotary rakes for around 40 years but have not competed in the UK rear rake market simply because there are already so many well-established suppliers.

Abimac will only sell front mounted rakes over here, a limited model range enabling us to ensure these rakes are right for our heavy crops.” The original 7810-13 rake Simon has been operating since 2017 has seen a few detail tweaks. Among the first was to fit a UK sourced front strobe and LED lighting plus a
wireless camera package. Although the rake extends ‘just’ 3.0m to the front of the tractor, the camera provides the necessary side view of the road at tricky junctions.

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