At the end of one of the aisles in the grassland pavilion on the grounds of Agritechnica last November was a prototype hay rake that had many show goers stopping for a second look. Known as the Reiter Respiro, this model made its first public appearance at that event.
Designed with a nine metre (29.5 foot) working width, the version of Respiro on display builds on the technology the fledgling Reiter Company introduced two years ago. That’s when it introduced a three-metre rake using the same overall concept, but it was built to be mounted on the front linkage of a tractor.
“That (three-metre version) has been on the market for two years,” said Tobias Reiter, standing beside the company display. He added that his father, who is an engineer, came up with the design for the Respiro when working for a competitor (whose display was just a few feet away in the same pavilion), but management at that brand dismissed it. The senior Reiter then resigned and formed his own company to build and market it.
The trailed rake on display is designed to work together with the independent front-mounted section. The trailed implement uses two of the same three-metre sections, one following on each side of the tractor. The combined working width that combination offers will make the Respiro attractive to producers with a large number of acres to cover.
To be as gentle as possible on the material, the Respiro uses draper belts, which help minimize leaf loss. But the most unique part of the rake’s design is the small diameter pickup. It uses a bent-back design on the pickup teeth, which Reiter says allows it to leave rocks and unwanted debris in place on the ground. But that shape still allows for efficient lifting of material and keeps it clean. And with the front-mounted section, it prevents the tractor from driving over the hay before it’s windrowed, which further helps improve feed quality.
The trailed Respiro will go into production in 2018 and will initially be marketed in Europe, but Reiter says once it has been established there, they intend to look at other markets, including North America.
The nine-metre Respiro will retail for 107,000 Euros (about C$161,000). And Reiter says there are plans afoot to build a 14-metre (46 foot) model in the near future.