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Floating Spreader Built From A Three-Wheeled Floater
Five thousand hogs make a lot of manure and the Weers family farm operation near Diller, Neb., had a manure application problem.
  There were a lot of times we needed to spread manure on wet or even muddy fields just to keep ahead of it," says Brian Weers.
He was able to avoid compacting soils and tearing up fields by turning an Ag Chem Big A chemical applicator into a "super" floating manure spreader.
  I bought the Big A from a local co-op that was getting rid of surplus equipment. I paid $2,400 for it and sold the dry fertilizer box that was on it for what I paid for the whole machine," he says.
  He located a slightly damaged 3,500-gal. stainless steel milk truck tank to serve as the tank on his floating spreader. A small crack on top made the tank useless for hauling milk, but Weers figured it wouldn't make any difference for hauling manure.
  He knew that the weight of 3,500 gal. of manure would put a lot of pressure on his Big A, so he decided it needed an extra axle on back.
"To handle rough terrain adequately, we needed a tag axle that would allow the rear wheels to flex up and down," he says.
  To make what he wanted for the tag axle, Weers bought the frame and axle of a second Big A from another elevator for $1,000. He mounted the telescoping, flexing front fork from that behind the drive axle on his spreader. He added a truck axle to this and then mounted the rear floater wheels from the second Big A to complete the tag axle. Instead of springs for suspension, Weers installed air bags that he can adjust according to the load.
  There's about two feet of up-down flex in the tag axle so it really follows the field surface and terraces well.
  The tank I bought was three miles away from the farm, so I made a few trips back and forth to take measurements and build mounting brackets. When I had the floater together like I wanted it, a friend raised the tank up with a backhoe and I backed my machine under it. It went together easily."
  He also replaced the original hydraulic brakes on his floater/spreader with an air brake system. "I had to modify the sheet metal a little to mount the compressor, but there was a free pulley on the engine to power it," he says. He uses the compressor to inflate his suspension air bags, too, via a control lever in the cab.
  In total, Weers figures he has less than $5,000 in the machine.
  He's using a splash bar to spread the liquid right now. His machine came with a 391 Ford V-8 gasoline engine. To adequately handle a toolbar with injectors, Weers figures he'd need a bigger engine - and maybe a change in rubber on his drive axle.
  The Weers also use the floater spreader as a water tender for their field spraying equipment. "It's stainless steel so it's easy to clean. We just rinse it out and wipe it down on the inside and it's ready to haul spray water," he explains.
  Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Weers, 70995 578th Ave., Diller, Neb. 68343.

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #5