2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Spreader Makes Manure Business Profitable
The huge, custom-built 40-ft. spreader is pulled by a 500 hp, 18-speed diesel truck. It'll spread 1,000 tons of manure a day, and is the main profit driver for Smith's farm-based business called Corral Cleaners. Smith's loader tractors are all equipped with scales for recording the actual tonnage being applied to the land. Smith also offers a GPS mapping service, so farmers have concrete data that shows where the manure was applied.
The gargantuan 5th-wheel tri-axle trailer was a custom-built project. The three axles are steering axles, built in Germany and shipped to Texas where the trailer's chassis and frame rails were built.
Since the axles pivot, the trailer doesn't "cut over" when the truck turns a tight corner. Instead, it stays in the truck's tracks, allowing the huge unit to turn on a dime.
"The chassis alone cost $100,000, and the truck was on top of that, plus the spreader box was another $75,000," Smith says. "The advantage is that one truck and one operator can carry twice the load as one of our tandem axle truck-mounted spreaders. One engine, one less operator, and less fuel is a major benefit in today's labor market. Each load covers a half mile-long strip of land."
The spreader box was made by W. McKee Manufacturing Ltd. in Red Deer, Alberta, and they did the final assembly of the whole unit.
Smith's complete corral cleaning business includes two tandem truck spreaders, three tri-axle truck-mounted spreaders, two end-dump trucks, 2 big Deere loads with 4-yard buckets, and the massive 40-ft. 5th wheel trailer spreader.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Smith Corral Cleaners, Box 5757, High River, Alberta, Canada T1V 1P3 (ph 403 652-8965).
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