The Rata Blog

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In the field with Rata: Success stories from farmers

Posted by Casey-lee Cranston on Apr 25, 2024 3:24:00 PM

"Game Changer". Path of the Horse director Dean Mighell with his Power Claw.

Quality service and a product that exceeded all expectations has one customer singing the praises of Rata Equipment's Power Claw.

They say every cloud has a silver lining. For Dean Mighell, director of Victorian 
equine therapy charity Path of the Horse, the silver lining from the damaging storm 
clouds of June 2021 was that it introduced him to the “best piece of farm equipment 
I’ve seen”. That product was Rata Equipment’s mid-range Power Claw, which caught 
Mighell’s eye as a solution for managing fallen trees, but which has far exceeded 
his expectations. Path of the Horse’s story provides an interesting example of the wide market for  agricultural products such as the Power Claw.
Based in Trentham, north-west of Melbourne, Path of the Horse works with veterans, emergency service workers, community groups and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. Its work is led by Mighell, who is not only a registered psychotherapist but also a National Australian Equine Therapist of the Year recipient. “Path of the Horse is a charity that was founded to assist veterans who were being medically discharged, most with post-traumatic stress disorder,” Mighell says. “I’m a psychotherapist and I have 10 beautiful equine assistants assisting me in the process, who are just masters of helping people calm and self-regulate.” While not a traditional farm in terms of its output, the charity’s needs are still similar to those of any large landowner. Path of the Horse’s property is bordered on all four sides by state forest – making fallen trees a regular occurrence. Mighell counted 47 big trees which fell during the June 2021 storms that hit much of Victoria, and the regularity of this occurrence is highlighted by another two eucalyptus trees falling just last month and crashing through fences on the property.
Rarely does a catch-all solution reveal itself, but the Power Claw has provided just that for Path of the Horse. “Since we got the Power Claw, we’re able to not just pick up the logs we cut into lengths and manoeuvre them to split and stack them, but also using the facility on the front to bunch up all the rest of it for burning off has been a blessing,” Mighell says. “It’s not just picking up logs and stumps and moving them, it can grab just about anything. “I use it for all the rest of the rubbish that comes down with the fallen trees and I use it to spread out old hay bales for my horses. “We depend on feed on our paddock and clear space for the horses. They love their tree cover, but the reality is that we’ve also got to deal with falling trees.” The simplest way of describing the Power Claw’s general purpose would be to call it a substitute for the four-in-one buckets which are ubiquitous on Australian farms.
Rata says its regular feedback from customers is that the Power Claw’s versatility makes it the ideal replacement for buckets – and Mighell’s experience is no exception. “I haven’t put my four-in one bucket back on the tractor since I put the Power Claw on,” Mighell says. “Once it was a nightmare to deal with fallen trees, but now that job has become a lot easier and a lot faster. “It’s just a tough, robust, effective bit of kit - it’s exceeded my expectations to be honest.” Rata Equipment was founded in New Zealand over 40 years ago and develops a wide variety of tractor and telehandler attachments, including multiple sizes within the Power Claw range. Path of the Horse uses a mid-range Power Claw, which is designed for tractors between 45hp and 75hp, along with small loaders. This mid-range Power Claw is available in two widths – 1.5m and 1.8m – with the units weighing about 270kg and 300kg respectively. Rata’s standard Power Claw – the largest model - is designed for tractors larger than 75hp, plus telehandlers. The company also offers a compact Power Claw for tractors between 25hp and 45hp, and this model recently benefitted from a redesign which added a new folded-plate back frame. Standard features across the Power Claw range include the tines being made from AR450 grade high tensile steel to ensure maximum strength and durability, plus interlocking tines to help with grabbing everything from large logs to a single stick.
The new Power features include and are not limited to;
  • Protection for the hydraulic ram hose ports
2023 Power Claw Ram Ports
  • Protection for the hoses in the 3rd service
    2023 Power Claw Hose Protection

  • Guarding for the tractor radiator and bonnet against sticks protruding

2023 Power Claw Stick Protection


  • Serrated grips to hold slippery logs better

    Mid Range 2023 Power Claw Teeth (1)
Rata has also grown its presence in Australia during recent years, adding Bronson 
Crick as sales and operations manager of its Ballarat facility. Having a full-time presence within Australia has allowed Rata to devote more time to specific customer needs on this 
side of the Tasman, while Crick’s engineering background also proved valuable 
for Path of the Horse during its purchasing process. Mighell is full of praise for Crick and the 
wider Rata team during what was an unconventional purchasing process, saying 
“they deserve every bit of praise they get”. “We put a feeler out because the Power 
Claw looked like it would be really useful and they looked well made,” Mighell says.
 “The difficulty we had is our tractor was all we could afford years back, and it 
proved to have a completely different way of attaching.
“There were countless calls and emails as Bronson and I, and the engineering team in New Zealand, did the specs to get it to fit. “It wasn’t a straightforward attachment but they just put in so much time and effort - measured, re-measured, did the drawings, swapped them back and forward. “I reckon it would be the most difficult Power Claw project he’s probably ever had, but he was great to deal with and nothing was too much trouble. “If you wanted good customer service and support, you just couldn’t ask for more than what I got – I can’t speak more highly of Bronson and the team.” Fast forward six months of “pretty 
solid work” by the Power Claw on Path of the Horse’s property, and the only thing exceeding Mighell’s satisfaction with his customer experience is his satisfaction with the unit itself.
“It hasn’t had an easy life in the last six months and there’s not one thing that’s even bent, crooked or non-functional on it - the quality of engineering is just outstanding,” Mighell says. “In terms of safety, we’re doing less cutting around a fallen tree, we’re moving that timber away and cutting it where it’s clear under foot. I don’t know how you put a price on those things. “With the time it’s saved and the value it’s given us, I reckon it’s paid for itself 
over and over. “I’m 61 and I reckon it’s the best piece of farm equipment I’ve seen. 
I’ll never be without one. It’s that good.” 



Farms & Farm Machinery Article

Topics: Material Handling, Tips, Hacks & How To's, Working Smarter, attachments, Product Explainer, Tractor Grapples