Monday, June 29, 2015

Barriers Save Our Work

Benefits of Barrier Creation

There are many benefits to applying a natural barrier in different situations.  Here are a few:
  • Retain/absorb moisture
  • Weed Control
  • Oil/Dust Control
  • Erosion Prevention

Barrier Application Methods and Materials

There are many ways to apply barriers using different materials.
  • You can use straw or fescue hay to spread a thin and even layer.
  • You use mulch in thick mounds or even coverage.
  • You can use material like cornstalks to create thick or thin areas.

Industries to Use Barriers

  • Livestock bedding, bunk feeding, or creating windrows
  • Mulching in landscaping, vineyards, and berry fields
  • Ground coverage for erosion and dust control for roadside management, construction, and oil wells.

Equipment to Apply:

People have been applying barriers by hand for centuries.  This is very time consuming and hard on us as people.  The next step up was to use a small machine that tears apart and shoots material.  These are sometimes attached to a hose for blowing material.  The next machine took a leap.  They are pulled with a tractor, and are very large and powerful.  This is nice when you have lots of space and need to cover a large area.  These are also on the pricey side.  So we came up with our own option.  Top-Spread bale processor attaches to a skid steer and is small enough to fit in barn alleys, but powerful enough to cover road ditches.

We invite you to connect with us on Social Media to discuss barrier methods or to share a story about your experiences.  We'd love to chat!           

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Fix it Yourself Agricultural Equipment

Farm Equipment

Here at Top-Notch Machine, most of us are life-long farmers.  As the old saying goes, "if you are using a piece of equipment, it will either wear or break."  We understand the rigor our equipment goes through and the need for simple equipment.  We designed Top-Spread to have as few parts as possible.  We know that if something does wear out or break, it will most certainly happen after hours and probably in the dark.  We also know that farmers are able to fix most anything themselves to get up and running again in no time.  We work to eliminate extra equipment needed to repair or replace any parts and make things faster for you.

Bearings, Bushings, and Chain

The first thing we did was have all of our nuts be universal.  You only need a 3/4" wrench to tighten or change anything on Top-Spread.  This is a tool you probably have on you all the time.  Next, there are only common sized wear parts on our spreaders.  This means you can find them at most any farm store, dealership, or in your own stock.

Common Wear Parts:

  • 4 1 1/2" Bearings for patent pending twin rotors
  • 67 heavy detachable chain
  • 5" cup knives
If you wish to have the same factory parts, you can order them from us as well.

Regular Maintenance is Key

The key to longevity with any machine is maintenance.  The bearings and bushings need to be greased regularly.  Running metal on metal wears out the parts much faster and will drag the machine.  Another maintenance task to check frequently is to tighten the apron chain to have about 3" of slack.  Loose chain is very likely to catch and break.  Additional Top-Spread maintenance tips can be found in the manual.  By performing these simple tasks regularly, you will increase the life of your Top-Spread and prevent unnecessary wear and breaks.

Check out More Top-Spread Specifications

Want to learn more details about our bale processor?  Check out our models and resources sections on our website.  Here you can view specifications, other maintenance details, and read our owner's manual where our one year limited warranty is described.

Interested in chatting with us about Top-Spread maintenance?  Leave a comment, connect with us on social media, or contact us directly at the shop by calling (641) 228-1101.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Soil Erosion Control No Longer a Fad

The Effects of Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion is the wearing away of soil from natural processes that are sometimes sped up by human influence.  This usually occurs on construction sites (structural or roadway) and farm ground.  This is because the earth is bare and is exposed to the elements such as water and wind.

Solid run off is the number one pollutant for surface waters.  This is responsible for many problems in the water.  When run off enters the waterways, it buries underwater vegetation directly affecting the entire food chain.  Suspended soil particles also clog fish gills and other water machinery.  Construction sites also use chemicals in their building and cleaning process that will enter the water through the erosion process.  This impacts all wildlife.

Soil Erosion Prevention

There are a lot of actions to take for soil erosion prevention.  Most of the these are work done to prep a site, adding wattles and logs to drains and high risk areas.  These procedures set you up for success during the construction process.  There are also necessary steps during and post construction to help prevent soil erosion.  One of those is to cover bare earth during the process.  This can be accomplished through spreading straw.  After construction, the addition of vegetation is vital.  Anchoring the soil with plant life prevents rapid soil movement and loss of organic material in the soil.

Erosion Control Products

Straw erosion control blanketing is a great way to maintain new vegetation once planted.  Seeds are usually dispersed through a pump and hose system.  To retain moisture and protect the new seeds from washing away or being carried off by animals, straw coverage is added.

The problem we see is folks don't have an efficient way to accomplish this.  When mulch is added to the hose and pump system, seeds don't have soil contact and therefore germination rate is lowered.  Some other folks use a small bale chucker, but these still require quite a bit of manual labor and small square bales are hard to find.  Top-Notch Machine provides a different solutionTop-Spread bale spreader attaches to a skid loader you already have on site and you can quickly cover the ground with no manual labor needed.  This also cuts down on time and material used.

Soil Erosion Prevention is no longer just something nice to do for the environment; it is also mandated across the board by almost every state.  The Federal Highway Administration provides guidelines for erosion control during projects.  Please visit your individual state sites for more information.

Be a part of the solution while cutting costs for your company.
Be sure to connect with us if you want to provide this solution, have questions/comments, or want to stay up-to-date on the latest news!