FAQ’s: Standard Rakes
What widths do the Rakes come in?
1.5metre, 2metre, 2.5metre and 3metre.
The 1.5m and 2m sizes are normally used on Arenas up to about 60m x 40m, the 2.5m works well on large jump Arenas, as the width is still reasonably easy to maneuver around jumps. The 3m unit is for very large arenas, we have supplied some to Equestrian Centers with 90 x 90 Arenas.
What do the Rakes weigh?
A 1.5m Rake is about 120 kg, the 2m about 140kg, the 2.5m about 150kg, and the 3m about 160 Kg.
Why steel wheels?
Steel wheels don’t bounce over hoof marks like large rubber tyres do. Steel wheels don’t go flat, won’t perish in the sun, and have a very wide face width, to stop them sinking into a soft surface.
What sort of wheel bearings do you use?
These Rakes all have full sized Trailer type hubs and stubs, the same as you will find on car and boat trailers, caravans or horse floats.
What size, and type, is the Tow coupling?
As standard we supply a quality coupling to fit a 1 7/8” tow ball, but we can fit a 50mm coupling, or a simple pin type coupling, to suit the available tow vehicle.
What do I need to pull a Rake?
Virtually any modern Quad bike of 350/ 400cc will pull the 1.5m Rakes with no problems at all. We use a 250cc 2-wheel drive ‘quad’ towing a 1.5m Rake on our own arena, with no issues.
Several 1.5m Rakes have been sold to clients with Ride-on Mowers.
The 2m Rakes work well with 400cc + Quads, or ‘Side by Side’ type vehicles.
The 2.5m and 3m Rakes usually need a big quad (500cc on more), or a Side by Side, or Ute.
One thing to check is the width of the Tow vehicle available. It is always best to have a good bit of the Rake out past the side of the vehicle, especially when using the side blade.
Some of the bigger quad bikes are now 1.2m (or more) wide, which may mean it is easier to work with a 2m Rake, the ends of which can be more easily seen while riding, rather than the narrower 1.5m wide Rake. This is especially applicable when using the side blade attachment.
Where are the Rakes made?
All the Kiwi Arena Rakes are made in New Zealand, from New Zealand and/or Australian steel.
What do you do to stop the Rakes rusting?
All the steel is sandblasted.
We then either apply ‘Thermo Plastic’ which is plastic powder melted onto the steel, completely sealing it against the weather, or Zinc rich paint, and a Top coat of sealer, is applied. This Zinc paint method is the same as used on road bridges, and the like.
These two coatings are among the best available.
You may here sellers talk of ‘Powder Coating’, or ‘powder painting’. These are simple, quick, cheaper systems, which do not provide the long lasting protection of either the Thermo Plastic, or Zinc paint methods we use.
Do I need to put it in a shed?
A Kiwi Arena Rake can be left out near the riding arena for ease of use, we even have clients who have purchased an older quad bike, which is dedicated to the Rake work, saving the job of hitching and unhitching the rake to the Main quad bike, or compact Tractor.
However, while you can leave the Rake outdoors, any machinery will last longer if kept under cover, and a Kiwi Arena Rake is no exception, so if you do have a shed available, that’s better.
Are the Rakes easy to put on and off the towing machine?
Yes, they have been specifically designed to be easy to attach, we have many female clients who have given us compliments about how easy the machines are to hitch up, and adjust.
How many tynes are there?
The 1.5m wide Rake has 12 tynes, each with 2 fingers down into the sand, so 24 individual fingers fluffing the sand.
The 2m unit has 16 tynes, each with 2 fingers so 32 individual fingers fluffing the sand.
The 2.5m unit has 20 tynes, so 40 individual fingers into the sand.
The 3m unit has 24 tynes, so 48 individual fingers into the sand.
Why so many tynes?
The tynes fluff the sand/mix, and start the levelling process. These machines all have 1 finger into the surface every 60mm or so.
This spacing means the surface gets a very good stir with each pass of the Rake, and the closeness of the fingers means the depth setting can be keep to about 25mm most of the time.
This leaves the surface fluffy and stable, but not overly deep.
Can the tynes be easily replaced if worn?
Yes, each is individually fixed to the Rake with a single bolt, you can replace an individual tyne, or the whole set.
Can I have rubber in the surface mix?
Yes, but the rear blade needs to have the angle adjustable feature fitted.
On some rubber / sand mixes the standard angle for the rear blade is too steep and the rubber won’t slide under easily, turning the Rake into a bulldozer. To counter this, we lie the blade down to a flatter angle to let the rubber pass under, but still get as much levelling as possible with the blade.
Can I use the Rake to drag back in the surface material, that builds up against the Arena edge boards?
As an optional extra a bump wheel and/or Side Blade can be fitted.
The Side Blade is one of our most loved features, no more shoveling material by hand!
The Bump Wheel runs along the timber edge board, stopping damage to either the Machine, or the Timber.
The Side Blade is lowered and used as a grader blade, to pull surface material from against the timber, back onto the working track area.
Depending on the amount of material to be moved, it is simply a matter of running around the Arena perimeter a few times to pull the material in as far as required.
Which side is the Side Blade on?
If the Rake is to be used with a Quad we fit the wheel and side blade to the Left, as it is much easier for the Rider to look over their left shoulder when operating the quad.
We also fit it to the left for use with a Side by Side truck (i.e. Polaris, Mule) as the driver is on the left hand side, but for use with a compact tractor, or Ute, we fit the Wheel and Blade to the Right side.
How easy is it to learn how to adjust the Rake?
These machines are designed to be very simple to set, with only 2 adjustments.
You can set the blade and tyne depths separately. Every surface is slightly different so the balance between how much work the tynes do, and how much material needs to be levelled with the Rear blade, is simply found with a few minutes of trials on site.
What happens if I want to take the Rake off the Arena and park it, or put it in the shed.
Once the balance between the tynes and rear blade have been set and locked, the front winder can be used to raise both at the same time, so they are clear of the surface, then the Rake can be easily moved. This means that the settings are not disturbed, so using the rake next time is simply a matter of winding the front winder back down, once the rake is on the surface, ready for use.
We say 10 turns up to get it off, 10 turns back down to work.
What are the serrations on the bottom edge of the Rear levelling blade for? And is the size of the serrations important?
The serrations have two main purposes, the first; is to continue to mix the surface ingredients, and to finish the levelling, which was started by the tynes, and second; to aid the cushioning effect of the surface. The fact you get a great looking surface is a bonus!
We have designed the size of the ‘vees’ in the blade to be a very specific size, we do see other machines that have big vees, but these tend to leave very large ridges in the surface, which we believe are too hard on horses’ leg joints, particularly fetlocks.
Will the levelling blade wear out?
The levelling blade is made from 5mm thick steel, we have machines that are many years old and the levelling blade is still fine. Compare the 5mm thickness to others, most are only 3mm thick.