An award-winning invention

Allan Slater with the TracMac Raptor, a newly invented trailer to distribute large square hay bales and bedding straw, on-site at Farm World.

Taking 12 months to finesse his invention paid off for Allan Slater when he received the Best Technology and Innovation Award at Farm World this year.

The TracMac Raptor, an innovation to feed out hay and straw bales, was exhibited for the first time at any machinery show, during Farm World at Lardner Park.

The final prototype was completed in time for the March 22 to 24 field days.

The Raptor was invented by Allan Slater, of Trac Mac Farm Equipment in Gippsland, as a solution for a local dairy farmer.

“He wanted a trailer to feed large square bales in the paddock, and spread straw bales onto his calving pad and in his calf shed,” Allan said.

“My team researched what was in the market, and when we realised there wasn’t anything appropriate, we developed and built the TracMac Raptor.”

The Raptor is a hydraulic drive trailer designed to hold and simultaneously feed out two large square bales — each bale, eight by four by three foot.

The large square bales are placed on the machine on their side, making it easy to remove the baling twine.

Using a variable speed control valve, a unique twin ram push bar system pushes the bales into the rear-mounted horizontal rotor.

The rear-mounted horizontal rotor consistently and evenly breaks up the bales, distributing the hay or straw in a windrow feed pattern.

“The Raptor will break up the bale biscuit by biscuit,” Allan said.

“The windrow pattern of distribution reduces the damage done to pastures where large blocks of fodder are dropped on the ground, and reduces the amount of residue left after the livestock have eaten.

“Also, with its ability to feed the two bales together, this makes it a very quick and efficient way of feeding large square bales.”

The TracMac Raptor feeding out large bales. Photo: Allan Slater Photo by User

The Raptor can be used for distributing hay and straw. This creates a cost saving in machinery, as farmers look to straw as a viable alternate bedding material to sawdust and wood chips.

“The Raptor makes a very good straw applicator,” Allan said.

“By removing the windrow guards at the rear of the trailer, the unit will distribute a wide and even bed of straw, making it ideal for spreading straw on to calving pads or in calf sheds and herd sheds.”

Allan said the TracMac Raptor’s ability to perform both jobs with ease in a quick and efficient manner makes it a very versatile machine for many farming operations.

The TracMac Raptor took 12 months to develop to meet the need of a local dairy farmer and won the Best Technology and Innovation Award at Farm World this year.

“The whole system only requires one set of remotes to operate, using around 45 litres/minute of oil flow,” he said.

“This makes the trailer suitable to use with smaller utility-sized tractors.”

The TracMac Raptor is available only through Trac Mac Farm Equipment, at Drouin.