William Warwas, a third generation cattle rancher and custom hay operator, relies heavily on his SR 112 GII SpeedRake from KUHN to meet his raking needs, specifically for grazer hay.
“Our grazer hay is a really heavy crop and my original brand of rake wouldn’t rake the heavy, grazer hay, but now with the SpeedRake from KUHN, I can,” he says. “The SpeedRake is capable of handling the heavier hay because of its specially manufactured adjustability. They (KUHN) really work to meet their customers’ needs.”
William Warwas operates Warwas Custom Hay Baling with his nephew, Joseph, in Yorktown, Texas, located approximately 75 miles southeast of San Antonio. With Joseph’s involvement, the operation is a fourth generation family farm, notes Warwas, who has been active on the farm his whole life.
“We run about 300 cattle on roam, along with our custom hay baling operation,” says Warwas. “For the baling operation, we make an average of about 9,000 round bales a year.”
Although the crop grown on their operation varies from year to year, the majority of their custom operation work is with coastal hay.
“We run a GMD 4050 TL hay cutter (mower), two SR 112 SpeedRakes and a GF 5202 THA tedder for our operation, all from KUHN,” says Warwas, who has been using KUHN equipment since 1988. “We have been using KUHN equipment since I graduated when I bought a KUHN 9-foot cutter and I wouldn’t go back.”
For Warwas, the decision to use the equipment came when his neighbor, William, a salesman for KUHN, talked him into trying out the brand.
“After testing out the equipment, we made the decision to purchase and have been with them ever since,” he says. “I wouldn’t really consider anything else. Their customer service is really reliable in my experience and their equipment is durable.”
The operation uses a KUHN GMD 4050 TL mower and continues to stay with that product because of its dependability.
“The best thing for us about the hay cutter is that you don’t need a big tractor to pull it. Besides that, the cutter also pulls easily, is a good size, and does a good job cutting,” says Warwas. “We also really like the adjustability of the cutter.
The GMD 4050 TL has a working width of 13 feet and has nine discs for grass and forage harvesting. The Optidisc cutterbar with differential spacing gives producers greater disc overlap for a better cut and higher productivity. In addition, adjustments can be made easily without tools using a special turnbuckle with a gauge displaying cutting height.
“For production with the GMD 4050 TL, we are typically doing about 11 acres an hour, which ultimately depends on field conditions, but is still pretty fast. With this equipment, we get a lot of hay cut down in a day.”
The machines most used on the operation are the SR 112 SpeedRakes.
“The rakes are great. We are on our third one right now and typically replace them every three years,” says Warwas. “They hold up really well and are low maintenance.”
The SpeedRake has a working width of approximately 23 feet, a minimum windrow width of 3 feet and a maximum windrow width of 7 feet. The mechanical rake arm flotation slot allows for easy ground following without a hydraulic float on the working tractor. The rear wheels also lift last to achieve properly raked row ends.
“One of the features of the SR 112 that we like the best is primarily the ease of the adjustments,” says Warwas.
The easy adjustments include the independent adjustments of both windrow and raking width to meet crop and pickup needs. This feature gives producers the capacity to rake at a steeper angle in thicker crops while still maintaining a narrow windrow. It also allows raking at a flatter angle for thinner crops and forming a wider windrow.
A simple selector valve also allows for fast and simple switching from field to road positions, cutting down on the travel time between fields. The raking side adjustment handle saves time with three positions for right-side raking, standard, left- and right-side raking, and transportation position.
“Our production is better with the SpeedRake. With the SR 112, we average approximately 60 acres per day without a problem,” says Warwas. “Despite a few minor breakdowns, the KUHN service team has always been able to get us the parts quickly without a problem.”
Warwas Custom Hay Baling continues to turn to the KUHN product line because of the strength of the materials used in the equipment.
“I would purchase KUHN equipment again because of their durability and customer support,” says Warwas. “Anytime there has been an issue, the service team is always able to assist and fix the problem quickly.”