Depth adjustment is on the rods and there is a pre-selector with a lock-off device for quickness. Set at the lowest depth of 45mm, this machine uses Sisis’s contra-rotating principle to tackle the severest of thatch problems and it leaves clean, continuous slits to assist water and air absorption. A top dressing could be incorporated at this stage. At a shallow setting it still fetches out a terrific amount of thatch.
The Rotorake 600 is easy to start: check the engine isolator switch is in the “on” position and that the gear lever is in neutral, put the choke on and pull the recoil. For safety reasons, and to ensure the operator can’t walk to the front of the machine while it or the tines are moving, an operator presence control (OPC) lever must be activated before transport or reel drive is selected. A quick-action lever mechanism changes the unit from transport to operating mode and there are six forward gears so speed can be matched to conditions.
The Rotorake 600 also has a reverse gear, which is unusual for this type of machine but it means you don’t have to lift and haul it round at the end of a run. Once you break with your instinct, it is useful in manoeuvring the unit. In any case, the tester finds the machine to be well balanced. “It’s a big-engined machine but the engine is sitting over the wheel so the front end can be lifted with little pressure on the handlebars. It’s easy to spin and turn the unit,” he says.
The drive wheels are within the width of cut so previously removed material is not smeared, even following rain. It also means you can work right to the edge of the sward. The handlebars are easy to adjust — there’s no excuse for not being comfortable.
The 13hp Kubota engine packs a terrific punch. We can tell from the noise of the engine that it’s no effort to rip through the ground. One tester is impressed with the results. He says: “The blades are in and out fast so they don’t tear the surface to shreds. And there is no marking from the tyres.”
As usual with a Sisis design, the Rotorake 600 is tough. It’s heavily engineered and is well thought-out.
As standard, the unit is supplied with a reel of two millimetres thick, 25mm-long heavy-duty thatch removal blades. They are tungsten tipped and should last a very long time. Spacing between the blades can be varied — in increments of six millimetres — by altering the number of rubber spaces. A choice of other blades and a brush reel are also offered.
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletinsSign up now