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He's Happy With Hil Drop Down Floor
Seventeen years ago, we reported on a "drop down" floor designed and built by dairy farmer Merle Schwartau that allowed him to turn his tie stall barn into a milking parlor with the flip of a switch (Vol. 3, No. 6).
Schwartau's 240-ft. long barn alley lowers 28 in. at milking time in about 3 minutes. As the floor drops down, it opens a series of Milker's Nooks between stalls for easy access.
"We're very satisfied with it," Schwartau, Red Wing, Minn., recently told FARM SHOW. "The only work we've done on it involved routine maintenance, which is typically not too expensive.
"For example, hydraulic hoses need to be replaced about every five years, which costs $1,000 or $2,000. Likewise, main hydraulic supply pipes have been replaced with hoses. Also, pins that the floor hinges on have been replaced with stainless steel because the originals were rusting.
"The biggest expense so far has been replacement of the sheet steel floor, a process we started in 1995, also because of rust. That'll end up costing about $5,000."
The barn, which was built with the help of Agromatic Equipment, Fond du Lac, Wis., and Voth and Larsen Industries, a local construction firm, cost $400 per stall, or close to $40,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Merle Schwartau, 29232 Cty. 53 Blvd., Red Wing, Minn. 55066 (ph 612 388-2010).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3