Monday, July 27, 2015

Things Never Go As Planned

We were ready. 

We had the right colors, all of our tools and paperwork packed, left early to beat the storm, everything you could think of to have.

Of course, something always happens. 

This time, we thought a bale would work and instead of being on the safe side, we didn't take part of the bale off the end.  So, we didn't get enough room for the rotors to get started and had to "bale out" some of the material.  Then it started storming and the wind picked up like crazy.  This wasn't the ideal way we wanted to show off our Top-Spread to an excellent customer.  But Joe and Mike were extremely patient with us as we got them up and running.  They showed us their incredible operation and had the perfect equipment to manage the Dairy Farm.

Sometimes, it isn't about everything going exactly as it should.  How often does that happen in real life?

Bumps are inevitable.  What matters is how we respond.

We made certain Top-Spread was going to work for them and got them up and running.  Giving more tips than they wanted and triple checking they have all of our contact information for questions.

In the end, the guys did great.  Check out Mike's first processed bale with Top-Spread.
 Do you have an experience where things didn't go as planned?  We'd love to hear about it!
Comment below, mention us on Twitter or share your story on our Facebook wall.   
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Monday, July 13, 2015

The Job(s) of a Farmer

We are a small production shop in Charles City, Iowa.  One great advantage is we all have many responsibilities and talents.  No one has just one job around here.  Most of us are currently farmers or grew up on a farm.  Everyone works hard to weld, assemble, machine, problem solve, clean, complete paperwork and inspections, talk with customers and suppliers, maintain shop equipment, process accounting, market, share our stories, and innovate new processes.  That's just some of what we do at the shop.  Then we go home to tend our livestock, maintain our property, repair equipment, go to a second job, and take care of our families.

We understand the many "job responsibilities" that farmers have.  How you may start your day by assisting in a birth, replace a transmission in a tractor, survey storm damage to your crops, and get your livestock fed, all before breakfast.

Because farming operates 24/7/365, we are always looking for the next thing to make us more efficient, faster, and more affordable.  These are all things we have in mind when discussing your processing needs.  We value the work ethic, schedule, skills, and budget of a farmer.  Social Media is making it easier for our farming community to share stories and communicate about what real life on the farm looks like. 

We'd love to hear and share yours. 

Comment, tag us on Facebook,

tweet @TopNotchMachine, send us an email, or give us a call.       
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Knowing Your Machine

High Flow vs. Standard Hydraulics

We always ask what type of skid steer you have.  This is so we can help you choose the best Top-Spread model to fit your needs.  Our biggest concern is hydraulic flow.

Hydraulic Flow

This is the most important piece of information.  Auxiliary hydraulic flow is what operates the whole machine.  There are two different types of flow options.  The first is standard flow.  This is what most people (including us) operate.  This ranges from 12-26 gpm on most skid loaders.  The second is high flow option.  These have larger tips and sometimes an extra relief tip compared to standard flow tips.  High Flow ranges from 25-35 gpm.

Our machines (the ones in our videos) all have 20 gpm of flow.  This is what we usually like to see.  Some of our customers operate with 16 gpm.  This is on the low end.  It will take longer to grind your material and won't throw as far, but will still process.  When customers have high flow machines, there is a substantial difference.  The machine grinds faster, throws material farther, and wears easier on the machine.  In a time difference, a 5x6 bale takes about 2.5 minutes to run through on standard flow.  High flow, you can grind that same bale in under 2 minutes.

Top-Spread works well on standard flow, and this is what most people use.  If we were to make a recommendation when upgrading your skid loader, be sure to get the high flow option.  It isn't that much more of an investment to get a lot more performance.  You are able to add high flow later, but it is expensive to switch out pumps, hoses, and tips.  We make our machine simple to convert.  If you upgrade, all you have to do is change the hydraulic tips and you are ready to go.

How Do You Find Out What Your Machine Has?

Wondering what kind of flow your machine has?  We find RitchieSpecs to be a pretty reliable site for information on most any piece of equipment.  It almost always lists hydraulic flow under specifications for each equipment model.  You can also contact your dealer and they will be able to tell you what type of hydraulic flow you have.  Or ask us!  We will be able to tell you.

If you would like to check out more specs on Top-Spread,

visit our Models Page to learn more.

Have questions about your hydraulics?  Post a comment or connect with us on Social Media.        

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