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Profile: Rata Power Claw

Farm Trader takes a closer look at the the NZ-designed and made Rata Power Claw, which is proving popular both here and in Australia

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Power claw, farming, Rata, Grappler, agricultural

A New Zealand business specialising in grapples and attachments is making some solid waves in Australia. Used for everything from land clearing to working with silage, Rata’s Power Claw is making its mark around the country.

There is barely a farmer worth the title in Australia who doesn’t have at least one tractor of some description, even allowing for differences in size, power, and application.

And it’s probably just as fair to say that each of those tractors has at least one, but more likely two or three, attachments: a fork of some description, maybe a stick rake, and a bucket – these days most likely a 4-in-1.

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The Power Claw has been most popular is in land clearing jobs

But for New Zealand agricultural machinery manufacturer Rata Equipment, there were plenty of Aussie farmers who weren’t content to stop there.

Rata sales and marketing manager Sam Searle says the company had been importing different attachments to Australia for some time before they noticed a spike in demand for grapples.

“We weren’t pushing them – farmers would find us online and say ‘Hey, I really like this, can you get one to Australia?’” he says.

“We started importing them formally in February 2020, but we had been bringing them over off and on in years before that; in Australia, there has been nothing like it in the market until now.”

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Power Claw can both rake and clamp

In New Zealand, Sam says, the multi-purpose attachment of choice is typically a grapple, and he adds that they are fairly common across the US.

“Where you can get a grapple locally in Australia has typically only been waste workers or civil contractors, and even then, still not really along this grapple rake style. It’s just due to culture and what has been made available over the years,” he says.

What makes the Power Claw different, Sam says, is that it can both rake and clamp, combining the stick rake and the 4-in-1 bucket into one attachment.

“The Power Claw can grapple la​​rger items and more irregular-shaped items than a 4-in-1, thereby doing a better job as well as streamlining the workflow by removing the need to change attachments,” he says.

Where the Power Claw has been most popular is in land clearing jobs – such as clearing up after storms or bushfires – a stick rake would most often drag unwanted debris along the ground and a 4-in-1 would struggle to grip any object that was slightly round.

“Whereas with this, you can just rip it out of the ground, speed along, and then your job’s done,” Sam says.  

However, he adds that the Power Claw is useful for more than just rocks and branches, saying it can be used to pick up “anything”.

“Farmers frequently use it to handle silage or multiple conventional bales at a time,” the company says.

“They have also been known to replace the roll of a silage buck rake as they can use it to move silage around on a stack when making it.”

The Power Claw is available in standard widths of 1.6, 1.8, and 2.4 metres, though custom widths are available and range in weight from 390 to 550kg.

All Power Claw tines are made from 16mm thick AR450 grade high-tensile steel, which Rata says is around 50% stronger and 10% lighter than the 20mm tines on the 350 grade steel used in other grapples.

Sam adds that the extra strength tines and the abrasion-resistant steel help the Power Claw handles everything from rocks to silage.

“The higher tensile grade of steel means you can push around rocks and rip roots and it is not going to bend or splay,” he says.

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The attachment can handle everything, from rocks to silage

The tines interlock to provide improved grip and come equipped with an additional reinforcement bar that sits above the ground when raking, helping to provide dirt flow but ensure branches and other trash are collected.

The Power Claw is designed with a rounded base that leads up to the back frame, helping to provide extra leverage when trying to prise rocks out from the ground.

It also incorporates a flat section along the base for easy raking, with rounded tine points selected to ensure the rake does not dig into the ground too much.

Sam says the Power Claws can also be made with any different hitch, though the company stocks models with Eurohitches because they are the most commonly requested.

“We can make them to suit virtually any tractor or telehandler or skid steer. Today, most tractors have got quick hitches, and they are either the Euro-style or something else,” he says.

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