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HOW TO OPERATE THE SURF RAKE



How to Operate the SURF RAKE in the best way for your beach’s specific conditions:

When operating the SURF RAKE, it is important to understand the four major adjustments the operator can make to maximize the performance of your SURF RAKE on your beach. This video first explains these variables and then shows you how adjust them to clean the most commonly-found beach conditions.

I. Explanation of the Variables:

An operator of the SURF RAKE has four variables to control to ensure efficient and effective beach cleaning:

-The height of the moldboard
-Conveyor belt speed
-Ground speed of the tractor
-The height of the machine, as determined by the tractor’s three-point-hitch and draft control.

The height of the moldboard controls how deep the tines dig into the sand. If the moldboard is raised, more of the tines’ length will be exposed, and you will get a deeper clean.

Conveyor speed can be varied to maximize performance for different beach conditions and the material to be removed. Typically a higher conveyor speed is used on drier sand and when removing very small material, while a slower speed may be selected for wet beach conditions or when only larger material is to be removed.

The tractor’s speed can be varied to match beach conditions or optimize machine performance. On a particularly dirty beach or when doing a deep, thorough cleaning, a slower speed may prove best, while on a lightly littered beach, higher speeds may be preferred.

The operator will need to regulate the draft control as the contour of the beach changes. In general, the draft control will be adjusted so that the SURF RAKE is carrying a small mound of sand in front of the moldboard or so that it is skimming the surface. These positions will be described further in the next section.

To learn how to make the actual adjustments of these variables, please see the individual videos that pertain to each subject.

Adjustments for Specific Beach Conditions:

The most common beach cleaning condition is soft, dry sand. For initial cleanings, you may want to clean deep and thoroughly. To do so:

-Set the moldboard at a high setting (4-6”)
-Use maximum conveyor speed by revving the engine speed high (aprx. 2200-2500 RPM)
-Use a slow ground speed by putting the tractor into one of its low gears. This allows you to keep the engine rotations high to speed up the conveyor belt, while moving forward slowly.
-Using the draft control, lower the SURF RAKE into the sand, so that a small pile of sand travels in front of the moldboard. Do not let sand spill beyond the width of the moldboard. This creates a level cleaning area for the tines, and it also ensures that all of the tines penetrate deeply and evenly for the whole width of the machine.

Using these settings on dry sand will effectively remove small debris like bottle caps, cigarette butts, shells, glass, stones, and rocks to a maximum depth of 6” bellow the sand’s surface. When a beach is lightly littered and free of debris, the operator may choose to increase the ground speed, maximizing the beach area covered.

When using the machine to remove large surface debris; such as, seaweed, cans, or pieces of wood, or when you want to avoid disturbing the sand, try the following settings:

-Raise the moldboard up to its highest position.
-Use a slow conveyor speed (aprx. 1200-1500 RPM)
-Adjust the draft control so that the moldboard skims the surface of the debris, allowing the tines to scoop it up and onto the conveyor.

The ground speed may be varied, depending on the size and density of the material being removed. After the bulk of the material is removed, then use the first settings described for dry sand to thoroughly clean bellow the sand’s surface.

The last of the common beach conditions to be cleaned is when there is a modest amount of surface debris, as typically found at the tideline. Under these conditions, the moldboard can be set to remove the surface debris and penetrate the sand to remove buried material. The speed of the tractor and conveyor can be adjusted to match beach contour and the materials to be removed.

-Set the moldboard to a lower setting so that the tines do not dig quite as deep-- approximately 3 inches. Then clean like it is dry sand, with the small mound of sand in front of the machine.

It is critical to note that at no time should you pick up sand. If you are picking up sand, you can do one or all of the following:

-Lower the moldboard incrementally--for example from 4 to 3 inches.
-Reduce the conveyor belt speed
-Increase the tractor speed.

These settings should ensure that you can effectively remove both small and large debris on wet or dry beaches quickly and efficiently.


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