Reg Roth was tired of breaking and bending rake teeth while making windrows of hay, cornstalks and other roughage.

So the Wolbach, NE, rancher started tinkering with ways to shore up the teeth. After several attempts, Roth found one that worked, and the V-Rake Teeth Support (VRTS) System was created.

The system is made of high-density polyethylene straps with a series of holes in them to match tooth spacing on wheels.

Depending on the rake model, 10 to 12 straps are bolted together and fitted a few inches from the end of the teeth. They form a support ring outside the manufacturer’s support ring. The wheel and teeth still move normally, but the poly strap keeps the teeth from bending and breaking, also reducing vibrations that cause tooth wear.

“Instead of one or two teeth taking all (the force) when they hit the ground at one time, it’s seven or eight,” Roth says. “Each tooth is sharing the load with all the teeth on each side of it.”

The system works for V-rakes or side-delivery rakes and fits most rake brands and wheel diameters.

He’s used it the last few years to provide feed for his cow-calf operation. His rake has had fewer broken teeth, even after working in heavy crops, such as forage sorghum and cornstalks. Less time and money has been spent on repairs, too.

An unintended benefit of the system: As it stabilizes the teeth, more hay is pulled into windrows, improving the rake’s performance. Rakes normally leave some hay on the ground as teeth pull sideways, the rancher says.

Roth began marketing the patent-pending product in late 2013 through VRTS System, Inc. Dealers are showing an interest in it, and the company is working to create a dealer network.

The system costs about $100 per rake wheel and, at this point, can be purchased at www.vrtssystem.com or by calling 855-754-4011.

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