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Home > History of Development > Technology Through Time > Soil and Agriculture > Haying > Tractor Haying > Sweep Raking

Technology Through Time

Sweep Raking

A tractor-powered combination sweep stacker at work.Sweep rakes also had to be totally modified for tractor operation. The sweep rake, or hay sweep as it became known, was mounted on the front of the tractor. A single person could therefore fill the sweep by driving along the windrow or collecting piles left by a dump rake, and quickly transport the hay to the stack. The tractor-mounted sweep was ideal for use in combination with an overshot stacker. The hay was easily deposited on the stacker forks, and the tractor operator could back up and quickly go for another load while stacking was in progress. These tractor-mounted sweeps were designed with a larger capacity than horse-drawn units, and furthermore, were dual purpose: they could collect either hay or grain stocks.

Farmers could buy tractor-mounted sweeps from Alberta machinery dealers from the 1920s through the 1940s. Their potential, however, was not widely recognized until the Alberta Department of Agriculture promoted them by publishing plans for building homemade ones during the Second World War. Standard Iron Works of Edmonton also produced a kit for farmers to build these combination sweeps. These sweep rakes represented a major saving in labour because with them, stacking required only three people: one to drive the tractor, one to drive the team operating the stacker, and one to build the stack.

Judy Larmour. Making Hay While the Sun Shone: Haying in Alberta Before 1955. n.p.: Friends of Reynolds-Alberta Museum Society and Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism, Historic Sites and Archives Service, 1992. With permission from
Friends of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum Society



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