1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Hand-Cranked Car Wheel Manure Scraper
He saved the expense of installing electric-driven manure scrapers by making his own manually-operated "car wheel" scrapers.
"They're a simple, inexpensive way to scrape out manure and saved me about $2,000 on the cost of electric-drive units," says McKay, who built the scrapers two years ago.
McKay's farrowing room is arranged with three rows of farrowing crates, with five crates per row. The ends of the crates rest on top of 8-in. high concrete curbs. He made three 6 1/2-ft. long, 4-in. high, 1/4-in. thick scraper blades, one for each row of crates. Each blade connects to a continuous stain-less steel cable that runs to a car wheel rim mounted on a steel pipe. The end of the pipe is welded to a 6-in. length of 2 1/2-in. steel tube that's free to slide up or down on a vertical 2-in. sq. steel tube. The 2-in. steel tube is lag bolted to the floor and ceiling next to a gutter. The cable wraps around the wheel rim and over a pair of pulleys that are bolted on near the bottom of the 2-in. sq. tube.
He welded four lengths of 3/4-in. steel pipe onto each wheel rim to serve as handles. Turning the wheel one way pulls the blade toward the gutter, and turning it the other way returns the blade to the back of the crates.
"The cable wraps once around the wheel rim and works like a clothes line," says McKay. "I can tighten it up by turning a nut on top of a length of redi rod that's welded to the 2 1/2-in. steel tube. The redi rod goes up through a steel bracket that's welded to the 2-in. sq. tube.
"I operate the scrapers about twice a week.Each blade weighs about 50 lbs. but all the manure is liquid so it isn't that hard to pull. The manure kind of comes down in a wave toward the gutter. From there it drops into a pipe and empties into a tank on the barn's lower level. The scrapers remove all the manure from the room, leaving it clean and virtually odor-free.
"I spent about $40 to build each scraper system. My biggest cost was for the steel tubing. I paid $2 per foot and $2 for each wheel rim."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry McKay, RR 6, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada N4S 7W1 (ph 519 462-2565).
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