REVIEW: Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake

By: Jaiden Drought

Presented by

Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review The transport wheels are further back than the centre to give stability on the road. Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review
Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review An aerial view shows just how much the designers have thought outside convention. Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review
Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review PTO speed guide Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review
Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review The 1515 CD Profi during the unfolding phase. Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review
Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review All major functions are done automatically to avoid any mistakes. Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review
Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review The hook ensures the rear rotors sit safely when in transport mode. Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi rake review

Farmers and contractors will be thrilled with Lely’s new rake, which offers stability and manoeuvrability in even the most challenging conditions. JAIDEN DROUGHT reports from New Zealand.

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I recently headed in to the rolling hill country of South Waikato to check out a machine that may not be Kiwi-made, but is right at home on the rolling hills of New Zealand: the Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi four-rotor rake.

The Lely Company was founded in 1948 and is the only company in the world to offer complete range of products and services from harvesting to automated feeding systems, barn cleaners and robotic milkers and is well established in over 60 countries and employs more than 1500 people worldwide.

Before the concept of the Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi was developed, the Lely engineers had one main objective: to do away with the traditional central frame.

Cue the ‘mood room’, and a number of men performing some outside the box thinking; the result was a triumph of innovation over convention.

 

Frame and unfolding

Hibiscus -1515-CD-Profi _CSO1448

As you drive into the paddock you unlock the machine where a padlock paddle indicates to the driver that the rotors are ready to be unfolded.

Then when you want to lower the rotors you select this on the monitor and this indicates for you to move forward.

As the machine moves forward, the chassis is pushed outwards by the two large central rams while the transport wheels remain parallel to the tractor through linkage rods.

Once the beam is out as far as it needs to go, the rotors are lowered to the headland position and then hydraulically extended to the pre-set working width, all is done automatically.

Two rotors are suspended from each chassis beam, the front outside and the rear inside.

As the machine spreads open, the 550/45- 22.5" transport wheels are wide apart (minimum of seven metres) which means both contour following and stability is excellent.

The monitor will ask if you want to lower the rotors, you tick yes and the computer lowers the rotors to the previously selected outside working width and inside swath width.

 

Power and rotor

Lely -Hibiscus -1515-CD-Profi _PTO-guide

The machine runs in 540rpm and should only be run at around 390rpm as the grass needs to be moved into a swath not thrown.

The clutch protected long main driveshaft sends power to the raised central gearbox, then sent out to a secondary box on each main beam and finally to each rotor.

Some other machines on the market use hydraulic systems to run the front two rotors to get around long drive shafts which often limit working width.

Because the Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi moves most the machine out with the rotors the driveshafts stay fairly straight even with the generous contour following of the 3D heads and as such this should not be seen as a disadvantage.

On the flagship Lely Hibiscus1 515 CD Profi the front rotors have 11 single piece tine arms while the rear rotors have 13.

The tine arm shaft is part of a modular construction held by ball bearings, which run in a sealed cam track with durable grease and all (including the housing and bearing) can be individually removed by three bolts.

The rear rotors fold into each other to achieve a narrow 2.9m transport width, while a height of less than four metres means there’s no need to remove tine arms between jobs.

While in transport position the rear rotors can be lifted by an additional 300mm, giving 780mm more ground clearance.

Rotor tilt and tine height are adjustable from the in-cab monitor.

 

Tines

Hibiscus 1515_6

Lely Hibiscus rakes are fitted with four double tines (called Ro-tines) and are designed to work on an angle behind the tine arm rather than directly below.

This prevents the tine from dragging the crop across the ground, instead the crop is lifted gently which reduces the amount of soil picked up and also places less strain though the rotors.

 

Controls

Lely -Hibiscus -1515-CD-Profi _controls -monitor

One very handy feature of the Lely rake was the adjustable cam track.

The main reason for adjustment is to allow the rake tines to let go of the crop for perfectly square shaped swaths, which is ideal for baling in particular.

The Lely Hibiscus 1515 CD Profi comes standard with the E-Link Pro control box with a colour touch screen, although it is also ISOBUS compatible.

The monitor is very easy to use, after being shown once how to use it I would be confident to jump in the machine tomorrow and operate it without any issues.

They key to this is the fully automated operation with a monitor that asks you to confirm the particular tasks you want to carry out.

The rotors can be individually lifted quickly and simply over a water trough for example.

Adjusting working width, swath width and headland functions are also very straight forward.

The monitor also has the ability to store certain settings, for example one setting may be a working width of 15m and a swath width of two metres for a forage harvester and a working width of 13.4m and swath width of 1.2m for a baler as another, which can be saved and quickly selected depending on the job.

Other 

 

The verdict

This is a very clever rake where designers have thought outside conventional methods to achieve something which is very stable on rolling terrain.

This coupled with a very simple and easy to operate fully automatic touch screen monitor which together with the 3D rotor heads and adjustable cam track should tick all the right boxes for most operators, given there are only two currently in the country you had better get in quick.

HIts

  • Unique frame design makes it exceptionally stable on hills.
  • Transport wheels are placed slightly towards the rear of the machine to increase the weight on the tractor to improve road travel.
  • Adjustable cam track.
  • Simple and intuitive monitor combining both menus and touch screen functions.
  • No need to remove tine arms for transport and sucks in less than 3m wide for road travel.
  • Folding and unfolding is all done automatically as well as regulation of oil pressure to ensure smooth rotor movements.
  • Can be run with or without load sensing (power beyond).
  • 3D contour heads follow rough ground very well.

Misses

  • Folding and unfolding does takes around 15m - 25m to complete, which is speed dependent.

Don't miss the comprehensive review in the March issue of Farms and Farm Machinery magazine, on-sale February 18.

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