At Ranch Rite, we’ve got hay fever year-round! One of our favorite pieces of equipment is the Hay Tedder. The tedder is a necessary instrument when harvesting hay grasses including Bermuda, Timothy Hay and Orchard Grass or similar crops used for feed for horses, cattle and other livestock. It’s used a day or two after cutting in order to greatly reduce dry time by up to 30%, providing quicker turnaround and improving the quality of the product. Delays in harvest can lose protein, valuable supplement for livestock during the winter months. We know the small family farmer is short on time and the hay tedder helps you stay ahead of the weather, specifically rain. Nothing is worse than wet hay left in the field! We joke that the best way to ensure its going to rain is to cut your hay crop. A wet crop promotes mold growth forcing you to scrap the grass. Continue reading for tips on how to set up a hay tedder.   

When to Ted

How long you wait to ted depends on your climate, the crop, and preferred moisture content. We recommend giving the hay enough time to wilt and dry out some on top. Generally speaking, this is about one day after cutting. You need to give it enough time to dry slightly before you turn over the greener hay from the bottom. Don’t wait too long, though. You could lose leafage if the grass is too dry or brittle when you run the equipment through the field.  

How does the Hay Tedder Work?

To dry the hay, the tedder baskets rotate downwards tossing the hay backwards. It does not rake the hay into windrows, instead fluffs the hay improving drying time and increasing yield. Rotor speed and forward drive speed should be selected for each individual job, since there are large variations in the nature and properties of different crops.  

What size of Tedders are there?

The tedder comes in varying sizes and can be categorized by the number of “Baskets” or “Stars”. Stars, because each rotor has 6 arms resembling a star. At Ranch Rite, we offer 2 and 4 basket tedders with working widths from 10 feet to 19 feet. The 4 Basket Tedders feature folding arms to reduce the width when going through gates. The size you will need depends on the amount of hay you cut and size of fields you have. A minimum of 15 Horsepower is needed for the 2 Basket and 22 HP for the 4 Basket.

2 Basket Hay Tedder4 Basket Hay Tedder

Assembling the Hay Tedder

Whether you are thinking about purchasing a hay tedder or you’ve recently purchased the implement for your next harvest, you may be wondering how difficult it is to setup up the equipment. Well, you’re in luck, because we’re here to let you know with some basic tools, you can be up and running in no time! When you order from Ranch Rite, the tedder will be delivered partially assembled. Just follow the steps below or make sure to check out our how-to videos if you’re one of those visual learners or just want to see the Ranch Rite Hay Tedder in action.  

Tools needed: 

  • Outer Snap Ring Pliers
  • Sorted Punches 
  • Pry-Bar
  • Dead Blow Hammer
  • Metal Hammer
  • A Few Friends

Uncrating Process:

Always be sure to check the boxes for damage incurred during shipping and any missing parts. 

Most of the time we send the guards strapped to the back of the pallet and the PTO shaft banded to the top. 

Open the crate and layout the parts for a visual inspection. Below is a list of what should be included:

  • Main Frame
  • Tongue or Axle Assembly
  • Supply Jack
  • Hydraulic Cylinders and 3 Line Hoses (4 Basket Tedders)
  • Tilt Adjustment Handle
  • PTO Shaft
  • Guards (3 for a 4 Basket Tedder / 2 for a 2 Basket Tedder)
  • Left & Right Hand Axle Bars (8 for a 4 Basket Tedder / 4 for a 2 Basket Tedder)
  • Left & Right Hand Tines (48 for a 4 Basket Tedder / 24 for a 2 Basket Tedder)
  • Tire / Wheels (4 for a 4 Basket Tedder / 2 for a 2 Basket Tedder)


Assembly Instructions:

  1. Check the timing on the Main Frame Assembly:
    • Lay the main gearbox assembly on it’s top with the output shafts on the rotors facing up.
    • Knockout the roll pin and throw away the spacer that’s used for shipping. 
    • Pickup and turn one of the rotors to align one of the 6 grooves in the rotor with the cross shaft of the main gearbox assembly (The outer gearbox is filled with grease. Be sure not to allow anything to enter the gearbox.)
  2. Attaching the Axle Assemblies:
    • Place the axle assembly over the output shaft of the rotor gearbox. The tip of the axle should point away from the center of the machine.
    • Sometimes it takes a little more effort to get the axle assembly past the O-ring of the axle. Use a Dead Blow Hammer to tap the top of the assembly. Be careful not to hammer past where the holes align on the assembly and the gearbox. It can be difficult to lift it back out of position. 
    • Drive the set pin into leg with a Metal Hammer to attach it to the rotor, sealing the gearcase.
    • Repeat on the remaining rotors.
  3. Install the Wheels:
    1. Attach the wheels in the following order- large cap, wheel, small cap 24mm nuts
    2. Remember to keep the large disc of the wheel on the inside of the axle and the little disc on the outside, so you don’t want to trap the valve under the disc. 
    3. Also, do not tighten the axle nuts too tight. You could lock up a bearing if too tight.
  4. Turn the equipment over:
    • We use three men in the shop to turn over a tedder. Or you can use a forklift or tractor help. 
  5. Attach the Tongue Assembly / Tow Bar:
    • Locate the two brackets on either side of the center gearbox. This is where you will attach the tongue assembly. Insert and fasten a cotter pin into one side of the long attachment shaft.
    • While holding the tow bar in place, pass the attachment shaft through both sides of the tow bar making sure to pass through both brackets as well. Fasten a cotter pin on the second side of the attachment shaft.
    • Locate the upper attachment bracket for the manual adjuster arm. Pass the adjuster arm through the bracket, securing it with a cotter pin.
    • Using the small attachment shaft and 2 cotter pins, connect the adjuster arm to the lower attachment bracket next to the center gearbox. You may need to adjust the angle of the tedder slightly while attaching the lower end of the adjustment arm.
    • Attach the Supply Jack / Parking Stand to the Tongue Assembly with the provided pins
  6. Attach the Outer Legs to the Main Assembly (4 Basket Tedders):
    • Ask your friends to hold the outer leg while you attach to the drive shaft. 
    • Use a screwdriver or lineup pin to help lineup the holes for the pin. Drive pins on each side of the drive shaft with a Dead Blow Hammer. Be gentle to guide it in. 
  7. Attach the Rotor Arms / Tines:
    • The arms are directional, so pay close attention to which ones you’re assembling. There is a picture on the outside of the gearbox that shows the tine directional. Attach the tine that is bent in the same direction as the picture.
    • There are 6 Tine Arms per Rotor Hub.
    • Push the bolt, lock washer, and flat washer through the hole closest to the end of the arm. There are threaded holes under the hub in the center. 
    • The second hole of the Arm should line up with the hub cover outside hole. Install the bolt pointing down. Repeat for all tine arms. 
  8. Install the Hydraulic Cylinder and Lines (4 Basket Tedders):
    • Pin the base of the cylinder to the main assembly. Keep the lock in the stored position facing out towards the machinery. 
    • Attach to the shaft on the outer end with provided pins
    • 3 hoses are included. Attach the shorter lines from the center of the equipment out to the outer legs. The longer hose runs from the center of the implement up the tongue assembly.
    • Install the lanyard (we provide plenty of rope). Tie it to each arm and run back the tongue assembly. You want to be able to pull them at the same time while you’re on your tractor. 
  9. Attach the Safety Guards:
    • The wider side of the guard faces towards the front of the machine. 
    • A middle guard is included on the 4 Basket Tedder to span across the center portion of the implement. Secured by two bolts. 
  10. Install the PTO Shaft:
    • Line it up with the drive shaft at the main assembly. Pull back the quick release and give it a good push until it clicks in place.  

Remember to keep all pivot points greased and check that all bolts are tightened before each run!  

For more information on how to set up a hay tedder, check out the manuals and videos for the HT-10 and HT-20 Tedders: