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Tanker Spreaders Clean Lagoon Out Fast
When Leslie Johnston and sons, Mason, Ill., decide the time is right for hauling manure out of their hog lagoon, they make things happen fast with huge home-built spreaders.
They wanted the biggest equipment possible in order to take advantage of the hauling "window" that comes up after bean harvest and before corn harvest, which is when the ground is usually firm enough for spreading. Both of their big spreaders are pulled by 4-WD tractor.
The newest of the tankers has a capacity of 6,600-gal. and was built from a salvaged semi fuel tanker. It's equipped with a folding gravity-fed boom that spreads manure out over a 24-ft. width. The front end of the tanker is carried by a semi-truck dolly with a fifth wheel that they call a "yard dog". A total of 16 wheels support the weight of the spreader, including the spreader's tandem axles and dolly wheels.
The Johnstons' older tanker carries 4,200 gal. and also mounts on tandem truck axles. "We originally rigged it for 12 wheels, but we normally don't need that many. Eight will do it, but we can add extra wheels if ground conditions call for them," says Leslie.
The 4,200-gal. spreader shoots manure out the side through a big 9-in. pipe. "We think our rear folding boom is an improvement," says Johnston.
Gates open and close on both tankers by way of hydraulic power. There are also gates on the undersides of the spreaders in case they're needed for cleanout.
"When everything goes right, we can spread 6 loads per hour with each tanker. That's when dumping nearby. We don't add any extra fertilizer on ground going to corn, except for nitrogen. Actually, we've found we can overdo manure spreading. When we spread 3 or 4 years in a row, we test the soil so as not to overdo it," says Johnston.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leslie Johnston, Mason, Ill. 62443 (618 238-4318).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3