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Horse Owners Scoop Up New Manure Vac
As David Oberhofer watched a girl carry a heavy bucket and shovel to clean up horse manure in a paddock, he started wondering if he couldn't come up with an easier way to do the job.
  The Australian created a business, Greystone Vacuums, and started manufacturing and selling his Paddock Vacs less than two years ago in Australia. Sales were so strong that Oberhofer came to the U.S. to set up a second plant in Las Vegas. The first Paddock Vacs just came off the U.S. line this spring.
  Horse owners must regularly clean up manure because it harbors parasites and worms that can infect horses and because it kills the grass.
  Oberhofer says 80 percent of his customers are female between 35 and 55 years old, who have been cleaning up after their horses for a long time and now have more disposable income.
  "This is her toy for the farm," Oberhofer says. "It gives her time back."
  Paddock Vacs are sold through agents across the country. Agents take a new vacuum to potential customers and demonstrate how it works. In most cases the agents leave without the vacuum, having made a sale, Oberhofer says.
  One lady recently bought two, he notes, one for herself and one for the veterinarian who saved one of her expensive horses from a parasitic illness.
  The vacuums are simple to use, he notes. A riding lawn mower, ATV or small tractor pulls the vacuum. The operator pulls up to the area with manure, takes the 5-in. hose in both hands, places it over the manure and sucks into the unit. Paddock Vacs come in two sizes; the smallest holds about three wheelbarrow loads and the largest five to six wheelbarrow loads. When it's full the vacuum is parked near a manure pile, unlatched, tipped and dumped.
  The vacuum works on dry or wet manure, and it doesn't pick up small surface items such as rocks, Oberhofer says. The long hose can also be used to clean out a stall. The unit can be cleaned by vacuuming water through it from a water tank.
  Cost for the Paddock Vac with a 45cc engine is $2,990. The larger Maxi Vac, an 80cc model, sells for $3,990. All units come with a one-year warranty.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Oberhofer, Greystone Vacuums USA, 6683 Schuster St., Las Vegas, Nevada 89118 (ph 702 791-3111; cell ph 702 592-3344; david@greystonevacuums.com; www. greystoneusainc.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #3