Product Focus: Rata Power Claw

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Its designers say Rata’s Power Claw is the Kiwi-made Swiss Army Knife of attachments: letting you push, grab, clamp, carry, grapple and rip with one device

 

The extra strength tines and abrasion resistant steel makes the grapple robust and adaptable 

 

There is barely a farmer worth the title in Australia that doesn’t have at least one tractor of some description – even allowing for differences in size, power and application.

And it’s probably just as fair to say that each of those tractors has at least one, but more likely two or three, attachments: a fork of some description, maybe a stick rake, and a bucket – these days most likely a 4-in-1.

But for New Zealand agricultural machinery manufacturer Rata Equipment, there were plenty of Aussie farmers who weren’t content to stop there.


Check out our 2017 story on the Rata Versatile Grapple here


Rata Sales & Marketing manager Sam Searle tells Farms & Farm Machinery that Rata officially began importing the Power Claw, alongside popular equipment like bale clamps, hay haulers and aeration equipment, in February last year.

"When we had imported Power Claws to Australia before then, it often came with the comment: ‘We’ve looked all over the internet and could only find you guys and other manufacturers in the US with something like this’," he says.

"Really, until February 2020, there has not been an attachment like the Power Claw available for farmers in Australia."

In New Zealand, Searle says, the multi-purpose attachment of choice is typically a grapple, and he adds that they are fairly common across the United States.

"Where you can get a grapple locally in Australia has typically only been waste workers or civil contractors, and even then, still not really along this grapple rake style… it is just due to culture and what has been made available over the years," he says.

 

The Power Claw can pick up anything, from rocks and branches to multiple bales and silage

 

What makes the Power Claw different, Searle says, is that it can both rake and clamp – combining the stick rake and the 4-in-1 bucket into one attachment.

"The Power Claw can grapple larger items & more irregular shaped items than a 4-in-1, thereby doing a better job as well as streamlining the workflow by removing the need to change attachments," he says.

The Power Claw has been very popular for land clearing or cleaning up after bushfires, where Searle says a stick rake would require you to push and tumble stumps over a distance "like a hand with no thumb". A 4-in-1 used here would also struggle to grip any round objects once they get too large as well as picking up dirt, he adds.

"Whereas with this you can just rip it out of the ground, speed along and then your job’s done," Searle says.

However, Searle adds that the Power Claw is useful for more than just rocks and branches, saying it can be used to pick up "anything".

"Farmers frequently use it to handle silage or multiple conventional bales at a time," the company says.

"They have also been known to replace the roll of a silage buck rake as they can use it to move silage around on a stack when making it."

The Power Claw is available in standard widths of 1.6m, 1.8m and 2.4m, though custom widths are available, and range in weight from 390–550kg.

All Power Claw tines are made from 16mm thick AR450 grade high tensile steel, which Rata says is around 50 per cent stronger and 10 per cent lighter than the 20mm tines on the 350 grade steel Rata says is is used in other rakes, grapples and similar products on the Australian and New Zealand market.

 

A flat section on the base ensures the rake doesn’t dig into the ground too much

 

Searle says that the extra strength tines and the abrasion resistant steel help the Power Claw handle everything from rocks to silage.

"The higher tensile grade of steel means you can push around rocks and rip roots and it is not going to bend or splay," he says.

The tines interlock to provide improved grip and come equipped with an additional reinforcement bar that sits above the ground when raking, helping to provide dirt flow, but ensure branches and other trash are collected.

The Power Claw is designed with a rounded base that leads up to the backframe, helping to provide extra leverage when trying to prise rocks out from the ground.

But it also incorporates a flat section along the base to make for easy raking, with rounded tine points selected to ensure the rake does not dig into the ground too much.

Searle says the Power Claws can also be made with any hitch, though the company stocks models with Eurohitches because they are the most commonly requested.

"We can make them to suit virtually any tractor or telehandler or skid steer," he says.

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