What makes the PLOWRAKE revolutionary?
The forward and backward manipulation of landscaping substances such as dirt, gravel, sand, and snow in a quick, efficient, and time-saving manner has not been accomplished by any single device meant for a pick-up truck or tractor on the market today, hence the PLOWRAKE™ is unique and "revolutionary." Regular plows are designed to push substances forward. Prior to the invention of the PLOWRAKE, when a plow operator wanted to pull a substance backward, they could only use the plow blade in an awkward "back-blading" motion to pull a landscaping substance backward, i.e. manipulating substances in the opposite direction that the plow was designed to push it.
Often this offers poor results and takes time. In order to move the substance in the other direction, a plow driver would have to turn the truck or tractor around, reposition the vehicle and prepare for another attempt with the plow in the other direction, which takes even more time. On a farm or landscaping job, time is money.
Here is an example that may be helpful to visualize the situation. If you were to spread peanut butter on a piece of bread you might load a butter knife with peanut butter, spread it across the bread and find that you have a little peanut butter on the left side and a lot on the right. You would simply take the knife and spread the peanut butter backwards. A truck or tractor is not that easy to work with and the plow, as mentioned earlier, is designed to push substances forward, not bring them backward. the PLOWRAKE eliminates the awkward, convoluted, and time-consuming repositioning of the truck and tractor and inefficient "back-blading."
The PLOWRAKE's design allows the vehicle operator to hydraulically lower tines of the raking portion, called clam shelling, put the vehicle in reverse, and rake the material with control and ease, quickly and conveniently. You could rake in reverse a few feet and then move forward again and plow the substance, or rake 50 feet depending on the job situation. You may need to repeat this operation a number of times to attain the results you require.
The major time savings is in the ease of the changing of direction process; as quick as changing gears from the driver's seat. Not only does the PLOWRAKE save a lot of time with this new option, the raking process is by far a more effective, efficient way of grading landscaping substances. The PLOWRAKE tines, like a large comb with curved steel teeth, can be positioned to let a little substance or a lot of substance to be deposited while the truck or tractor is traveling in a reverse direction. The tines can extend a few inches below the raised plow blade or many inches below the raised plow blade, and it's all controlled from the truck cab. As for getting close to a foundation, fence, etc., traditional plows are not designed to pull substances backwards, only to push them forward. While you might try to bring soil, gravel, and snow back with a plow blade, you will do it with it with a good amount of difficulty and the blade does not permit you to safely get close to foundations or fences without possibly damaging the foundation, fence, or other structure.
Does the PLOWRAKE fit onto a truck, anything else? What mounting system or hydraulic controls does it use?
Yes, the PLOWRAKE can fit on a truck or tractor. As for the mounting system and hydraulic controls, the PLOWRAKE fits on a truck just as one would mount any normal plow. The prototypes have used a standard plow mount on a truck and used the existing hydraulic unit to operate it. While the PLOWRAKE is a unique tool, it is designed to take advantage of existing truck mounting and hydraulic systems. the prototype needs no special attachments. This device could be mounted on a tractor or skid steer. The PLOWRAKE would be manufactured to mount in a way that is common in the marketplace.
How do the hydraulic controls work and how many hydraulic lines are there?
The "in-truck-cab" hand controls of the hydraulic system work as follows: There is one lever that controls up and down as well as right to left angle. The up and down lever raises the PLOWRAKE up and down just as in a regular plow. What was the left and right plow angle controls now raise and lower the clamshell action of the PLOWRAKE's tines. The hydraulic lines that cause a normal plow to angle left or right now are attached to the pistons of the PLOWRAKE for the clamshell motion control. Typically there is no need to angle the PLOWRAKE so this does not create a problem or deficit in its effectiveness. When a PLOWRAKE is ready for market, once it is manufactured for public purchase, it will be made for the convenience of the truck and tractor owner so it can be attached just as a regular plow will be attached.
Could you detail the hydraulic controls?
The hydraulic controls for the PLOWRAKE can be utilized with a standard plow control set up if a vehicle had a hydraulic plow system from a normal plow. The PLOWRAKE takes advantage of existing hydraulic control systems and therefore anyone who has a plow on a truck or tractor could purchase a PLOWRAKE and start working with it. Typically in a plow control from the cab of a truck, you lift the control lever up and the plow blade raises. Conversely, lower the plow control lever down and the plow lowers or drops. The rake tines are controlled by the left and right direction of the control lever, which clamshell the tines down or up. More advanced plow hydraulic controls that offer a third option that splits a normal plow in the middle to create a forward wedge would allow the PLOWRAKE to angle to the left or right.
How much does the PLOWRAKE sell for?
The general thought is that the PLOWRAKE would be priced at a premium of around 125% or slightly higher of a normal plow. Since the PLOWRAKE's expanded ability and versatility can do so much more than an ordinary plow a contractor could make back their investment in the PLOWRAKE with a handful of landscaping jobs and then reap the profits of its effort and time savings qualities for years after the initial purchase.
The designer of the PLOWRAKE is looking to license the patent-pending PLOWRAKE to a large company that will manufacture and market the new tool worldwide. Woody Harding designed and built the PLOWRAKE and uses it successfully during the course of his stump removal and re-landscaping business. As shown in the available DVD, the PLOWRAKE can dependably do the work that two or more manual laborers would be doing and complete jobs faster with a quality yet unattained in the landscaping business today. On the farm or ranch, this device can be mounted on a truck or tractor and work very efficiently doing any number of jobs.