Monday, August 22, 2016

Introducing TOP-SPREAD '17

Here at Top-Notch Machine, we have been working very hard to give you the all new TOP-SPREAD '17.  There have been some serious overhauls to many components after listening to our customers about what they need for their operations.  Here are some highlights.  Check out to learn more.

Hydraulic System

Our hydraulic company has been working very diligently with us to get what we were looking for.  Our hydraulic system has been simplified and upgraded to obtain maximum power for TOP-SPREAD.  We eliminated hoses, fittings, and extra components giving you more flow to both motors.

The noticeable difference is in the oil temperature.  This system runs the oil cooler which allows you to run longer and have full power.  Larger ports and hoses allow you to achieve over 400 more rpm.

Better Hose Routing

With the new hydraulic system, we were better able to route the hydraulic hoses so they are mostly covered and protected from the elements.  We also changed where the skid steer hoses attach so they are clear of the pinch points on your skid steer.

Safety Features

We have added several safety features including easier drive chain tension blocks and a hand screen to protect from inadvertent hands inside the machine.  We understand there are a lot of employees that operate TOP-SPREAD and want them to be as safe as possible on the job.

Pre Order Today

We are starting to deliver on the new '17 model, so be sure to Pre Order yours today.  Folks will receive their own TOP-SPREAD '17 on a first ordered, first delivered basis.  Visit with us or your TOP-SPREAD Dealer about any questions or to be placed on the order list.

Learn more and see videos on our website at

Do you want to be the first to hear about exciting announcements like these?  Sign up for Top-Notch Machine's e-newsletter!

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Meet Our Dealers

Have you met our TOP-SPREAD Loader Mounted Spreader Dealers?

G&G Cattle

Max Grady farms near Dunlap, IA with his dad, Jim.  They raise Angus and Angus cross feeder steers and heifers.  They utilize a combination of hoop buildings and pasture ground to raise their livestock.  They were our first TOP-SPREAD dealers and have been using their own on a Bobcat S650 for a little over a year.  Their skid steer has 2,690 lbs of operating weight and 23 gpm of hydraulic flow.  They use 5x6 round bales.

Max can be reached at (712) 216-0928

Tri-R-Ag Supply

Treven Howard custom farms near Ocheyedan, IA.  He also is a local NUHN dealer with Tri-R-Ag Supply in Lake Park, IA.  Treven has a Case 75XT skid steer.  This has an operating capacity of 2,200 lbs and 21 gpm of hydraulic flow.  They use 5x6 round bales.

Treven can be reached at (712) 330-3696

Schneider Farms

Matt and his dad, John, Schneider farm near Lone Tree, IA.  They raise show cattle in a combination of hoop buildings, dry lots, and pasture ground.  They also row crop and sell Dual In-Line hay trailers.  They operate their TOP-SPREAD with a Case TR270.  It has an operating capacity of 2,700 lbs and 24 gpm of hydraulic flow.  Matt has an "in town" job working as a sales representative for Elanco and does quite a bit of traveling with them.

John: (319) 330-0744 or Matt: (605) 254-8277

Erosion Products, LLC

Jake and his dad, Jerry, have a small farm near the twin cities.  They also run Barber Construction and sell other erosion control products to construction folks as well as individuals from their office in St. Bonifacius, MN.  They use a Bobcat 650 with 2,690 lbs of operating weight and high flow hydraulics.  They have the larger model of TOP-SPREAD, the 1064, to process both round and square bales.

Jake can be reached in the office at (957) 446-1505

Fencing Plus, Inc.

Bernie Birkenholz is located in Sheldon, WI.  They install fencing, clear brush, put in landscaping, work on roadway projects, and specialize in sand mine restoration.  They also use the larger 1064 model because they never know what kind of bales they will run across for their projects.  Bernie has been a dealer with us since January of this year.

Bernie or his wife, Lila, can be reached in their office at (715) 668-5466

Swartzrock Implement

Steve Swartzrock is our neighbor here in town.  They are a new dealer for TOP-SPREAD.  They offer a wide range of New Holland, KUHN, BRENT, and eXmark equipment among others.  With Swartzrock, we are able to offer the Lease to Own Program that has been a tremendous help for our customers.

Speak to one of their sales folks at (641) 228-5714

James River Equipment

Ben Erskine is our first East Coast Dealer.  They are Virginia's leading John Deere dealer from tractors to smaller equipment as well as hosting an exemplary service team.  They make seeing a TOP-SPREAD in person just a little easier for our folks 1,000 miles away.

Give Ben a call at (504) 337-3057

Our TOP-SPREAD Dealers would be happy to talk about your operational needs and would enjoy a visit from you.  Check out our Dealer Locator to see which one is closest to you.  Don't see a dealer close to you?  Give us a call!  You can buy direct from our shop or you could be the next TOP-SPREAD Dealer.

Visit with Steve or Emily at Top-Notch Machine (641) 228-1101

Check out more info on our Dealer Tab.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Planning - Completed (sort of)

It seems like every September we are scrambling to have everything ready for the fall.  Well, I am determined this year will be different.  

Here are my big To Do List Questions:

1. Will your herd/acres be growing this year?  Staying a similar size?  Decreasing to focus on a different area?

2. How much space, feed, bedding, and manure storage area do you need per head?

3. Do you have the equipment to efficiently complete your chores and harvest?

4. Do you have the staffing necessary for crunch time?

5. What was difficult last year and how can you improve it?

6. What are the large scale projects you were putting off until "nice weather?"

7. Is everything in good working condition for constant use?

8. Have you talked with your vendors to line up everything you need?

We try to apply these same concepts in our business to make the fall go as smoothly as possible for our farmers.  Our maintenance list is short and easily completed with one person to have your TOP-SPREAD ready for heavy use.

We also make ordering your own TOP-SPREAD a breeze.  Our schedule fills up fast for fall deliveries and we want to make sure you have yours when you want it.  We highly recommend putting your order in now for those fall deliveries to secure your date.

The process is simple: choose your model and accessories, place an order with a small down payment, and have your TOP-SPREAD delivered the day you want this fall.

I recommend choosing a date before you will actually need it.  That way, you are able to practice and not feel any pressure.  You will also have a nice bedpack started for your livestock.

Start your TOP-SPREAD Order process now by sending me an email.  I can help you find the right solutions for your operation at the right time. Again, that's

Thursday, June 23, 2016

One Person Operation

It never fails, you always have 8 things that need to be done at once and you're the only one around to get them done.  That's when TOP-SPREAD comes in.  No longer will it take two people to apply bedding for your livestock.  There is no need to have someone else load bales into your equipment with a skid loader.  No need to have someone open and shut gates for each pen.  No more pitching out material from a processor.

The TOP-SPREAD Advantage:

Our front side tines are welded in-house for extreme durability.  We have tested them for pressure and weight capacity to exceed any general use and normal wear.  These are what assist in one person material loading.  The machine tips at a 90 degree angle to load your material all from the seat of your skid loader.  Cut-out holes in the floor of TOP-SPREAD allow you to see the material you are loading.

Check out this video to see how it is done!

No more going into each stall and shaking out bales for bedding.  Just drive down your drover's alley or along the back side if you have open sides and blow right over your fences.

Need to grind hay for your feed mixture?  Just raise TOP-SPREAD above your wagon so you can see your scale and process in the amount you need.  No need to hire someone to grind for you.  You can also lower the deflector door to process into bunks or along fence lines and in windrows.

These features allow you to Save.  Save Time.  Save Labor.  And Ultimately Save Money.

To view other great features of TOP-SPREAD, visit our website at


Check out this FREE ebook on 5 Ways TOP-SPREAD Saves.

Are you looking for a better way to bed and feed your livestock at an affordable cost?  Call or send us an email today!  We would love to fit you with a solution for your operation.


Be sure to stay in the loop with all Top-Notch Machine events, deals, and stories.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Find Your Opportunity

We are always asked the question:  Do you have any dealers in my area?

We currently have three dealers plus ourselves in the state of Iowa: G&G Cattle, Tri-R-Ag Supply, and Schneider Farms.  All three are farmers who use their own TOP-SPREAD and are very knowledgeable about the equipment.  Our second group falls into our referral program.  Every TOP-SPREAD customer is automatically enrolled.

*Edit: We have added three more dealers.  Erosion Products, Fencing Plus, and Swartzrock Implement.

As farmers, we have to find different avenues to produce revenue in our operations.  We believe in creating an opportunity for you to do so with your TOP-SPREAD purchase.  Not only does it save you money, it can also make you money.  If you refer a friend, neighbor, or person at the grocery store that results in a sale, you earn a referral fee.  If an inquiry mentions your name that results in a sale, you earn a referral fee.

Simple as that.

Other Avenues to Earn Income on Your Farm.

Get Started:

  • What are your strengths/education/talents?
  • What resources (land, animals, people, etc.) do you have?
  • What is a need in your area?
  • How can you fill that need with your talents/resources in a unique way?


  • Fixing Equipment
  • Selling Equipment/Structures/Livestock
  • Selling unprocessed farm goods (herbs, veggies, eggs)
  • Selling value added products (baking, crafts, industrial art)
  • Teaching classes or giving farm tours
  • Consulting for other farmers
  • Event Planning
  • Custom Farm duties for others
Don't forget to check with your free state resources for small businesses and the regulations.

Find Your Opportunity.  Make it Count.

Have more ideas to add to this list?  Please share in the comments or share on Social Media.       
Want to starting earning additional profit with TOP-SPREAD?  Call us today: (641) 228-1101.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Connecting Farmer To Consumer

This has always been a challenge, but it has transformed rapidly in the last year.  Consumers have incredible access to all kinds of information both accurate and not-so-accurate.  This is where we need to step in.  Those in the farming industry need to make their story heard and share it with as many consumers as possible.  Letting them know the amount of planning, time spent painstakingly caring for our animals and crops, and the research put into improving our methods.

When each of us shares our farm story, consumers have more accurate details about the products they are purchasing and have a better connection to what they eat.  Right now activist groups have an overwhelming hold on the available information for consumers.  Putting inaccurate information into their hands paired with graphic pictures leaves a large impression on consumers.  We can and should fight this.  This is our way of life and we need to present this to the public.

Good News!  
There are many avenues for farmers to get involved:

Social Media:  Make accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your farm.  Post real-life images of life for your livestock and most importantly, you.

Join Conversations about Food and Farming:  Folks like +AgChat work to connect consumers, farmers, and everyone together to discuss hot topics in today's industry.  Be sure your voice is heard in an accurate and respectful way.

Advertise:  Have an event coming up?  See if your local paper will cover it.  Did you win an award?  Be sure to brag about it and show others what real farming looks like.  Do you know what company your beef or dairy products go to?  Promote them and share this information.

Interact:  Talk with consumers.  Answer their questions and don't assume they know everything about the industry.  Consumers need to be educated and desire knowledge about what they are putting in their mouth.  This can be at the grocery store, in the airport when someone sees your plaid and work boots, or visiting with your elected officials.  All of these places have an impact on the perception of farming.

Reach out:  Most companies are more than willing to share farm stories (especially if you use their product.)  See if they will attend an important event or feature you in some of their literature.  The more your story is seen and heard, the more positive impact you will have for the industry.

What's YOUR Story?

We'd love to hear and chat with you.  Comment below or come visit with us on Social Media.


Check out +AgChat and others like them to start getting involved today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Loss of Gain Due to Mud

Have you seen the forecast?  Did you see a 5 in front of that temperature?!  We can finally get outside to complete those tasks we have been putting off and maybe even do something enjoyable.

Temperatures warming up also bring challenges.  Not only does it flare up my allergies, it also brings the looming threat of mud.  Melting snow, a thawing ground, and manure create a headache for most everyone.

Moving equipment, keeping livestock areas clean, and even getting yourself across the yard become a challenge.  These conditions affect livestock as well.  Kansas State University conducted a study to find how different levels of mud at temps between 21 and 41 (our current temps this week) affect cattle.

They found, even being in dewclaw deep mud could have a loss of gain of 7%.  If you ADG (Average Daily Gain) is 2 pounds, 7% translates into almost a pound a week they are losing.  This quickly affects the whole herd.  In belly deep mud, there is a potential loss of 35%.  With the same ADG, that is losing almost 5 pounds a week in gain.  Reaching target ADG rates is one of the most common measures of herd performance.

Mud and waste management may seem like an avoidable chore that you put off until absolutely necessary to clean, but studies are continually showing the importance of a clean and safe environment.

We need to be diligent about scraping out pens, cleaning up our bed packs, and rotating pasture feeding locations.  These tasks paired with providing adequate bedding and solid paths for your livestock to walk on will give you a leg up on getting out of the mud.  Increasing your average daily gain and meeting your herd goals will happen when they have the environment to improve.

Of course I will plug in our own solution for this.  Top-Spread Bale Spreader spreads nice even bedding for your livestock without having to bring equipment into the pens.  You can drive along your bed pack or down your alley where the ground is more solid and not tear up your livestock area.  Taking every advantage you are able to when market prices are lower will give you the edge and may make the difference before prices pick back up again.  Not only will they reduce the amount of mud and waste your livestock is exposed to, it will aslo save you on bedding material costs.

Check out more ways to Save on Bedding by downloading your FREE copy today.

Come chat with us on Social Media and share your experiences with mud.


Visit our website to learn more about Top-Spread benefits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Special Announcement for Bobcat Owners!

Do you have a Bobcat Skid Steer?  
Are you tired of running wiring harnesses through your cab to run other attachments?  
Guess what?!

We have the solution for you!

Top-Notch Machine is now offering a Bobcat Computer Adapter for our electrical cord.  This means you are able to plug right into your 7 pin plug by your hydraulic hook ups and use the bottom half of your toggle switches on your joysticks to run your apron chain.  The best part?  You can wire most 2 function attachments with this adapter and a 4 pin Deutsch Plug.

Are you a current Top-Spread Customer wishing to switch to this adapter?  Been thinking about ordering your own Top-Spread, but the wiring harness is holding you back?  Get on the list for our first set of orders and have yours up and running in no time.

For only $475, you can be harness free and use the switches already in your Bobcat.  You can use this same adapter for other attachments with two functions.  Your adapter comes with the wire needed for your Top-Spread.

Call Emily at 641.228.1101 to place your order to be included in the first set!

First order closes on Friday February 12th at 3pm.

This is made possible by the technology from Skid Steer Genius.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bale Processor Material Savings

Thinking about how to make your operation more efficient?  How can you save money and time this winter?

This is a question we are frequently asked, "How will Top-Spread save me?"  In reality, there are many ways; saving labor time and cost, versatility in equipment, etc.  Today we will focus on one aspect:

Material Savings

Most of our Top-Spread Customers report a material savings of 25-50% depending on their bedding preferences.  For folks with a hoop building, this is like going from one bale per pen to one bale for every two pens.

This improvement is because of several reasons.  When you shake out a bale with a skid steer, you lose the whole outer frozen shell.  It just lays there in a pile and doesn't absorb anything.

When you shake out a bale, not all of it gets aired out.  When you use a processor, it creates a more fluffy bedding stretching your material more efficiently.

The other advantage is that Top-Spread actually sizes the material.  This means your material has fresh cut edges for better absorbing material.  Think of it like this.  When you get a bouquet of flowers and cut off the bottom inch of stem, the flower is able to better absorb the water.  This is the same for bedding.  When your bedding does a better job of absorbing waste, you need to add less material at a time.

Here are two simple examples of savings:

Say right now you use 8 bales to bed one building twice a week = 16 bales per week
The average corn stalk 5x6 price is $40 = $640 per week on bedding
If you bed year round (to keep math simple) that's 832 bales or $33,280 per year on bedding.

25% Savings:

6 bales to bed one building twice a week = 12 bales per week
$480 per week on bedding
624 bales per year or $24,960
You Save: 4 bales or $160 per week and 208 bales or $8,320 per year!

50% Savings:

4 bales to bed one building twice a week = 8 bales per week
$320 per week on bedding
416 bales per year or $16,640
You Save: 8 bales or $320 per week and 416 bales or $16,640 per year!

With Material Savings like that, your Top-Spread will pay for itself in no time!

Check out other ways Top-Spread saves by downloading your FREE copy of our ebook.

Want more information?  Check out our website!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sick of Frozen Bales?

Thankfully the ground has finally become frozen.  Less mud = less problems.  This also means for the vast majority of us that store our bales outside, our bales are frozen also.  This creates endless difficulties with bedding for your livestock.

  • Removing net wrap off frozen bales is impossible and you have the battle wounds to show for it.
  • You have piles of bedding that are next to useless in frozen clumps around your pens or in your bedpack.
  • You waste a LOT of bedding making up for that frozen shell you can't shake out.

Top-Spread is your solution.  Here is How it Works:

Top-Spread has sharp cup knives to tear away at your net wrap.  When the bales are frozen like now, most of the net wrap will be chewed up and spit out.  Some will still end up on your rotors to easily clean off with a sharp knife.  The bottom part will slide across the bed of the machine and land in one pile to pick up at the end.

That frozen shell?  Top-Spread processes it and disperses it out to mix with the dry bedding.  This makes for a nice layer for your livestock without frozen clumps in one big pile.

This adds up to save you bedding material.  By effectively using your entire bale, you decrease the overall amount you need to spread for your bedding.

Want to see for yourself?  Here is a video of a test at the shop with a frozen bale.

Have you signed up for all of the latest news from Top-Notch?

Do you have a rough experience story with frozen bales?  Chat with us on Social Media.


Want to learn about more Top-Spread Features?  Head over to our website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bale Processor for Skid Steer

We all love our skid loaders.  We scoop, pull, haul and do a lot more with them than what is probably recommended.  We push our machines to the max to squeeze every productive drop from them.  To be realistic, skid loaders are just really expensive motorized shovels.

That is, until you add the right attachments.

Here are our 5 Favorite Skid Steer Attachments 
for everyday use:

Standard Bucket

This is the go to for most any project.  There are many variations for the standard bucket; material loader with a flat front or construction bucket with rock teeth, and now they make combination buckets that can be used for several different jobs.  We put our material bucket to use from cleaning out barns, pushing snow, hauling material, just about anything we can't or don't want to do by hand.

Bale Spear

This one is obvious.  We need to move bales around.  Collecting them in the field, placing them in storage, taking them out of storage, and moving them to the location needed.  Bale Spears make this an easy possibility.  This is one of the simplest attachments that saves an incredible amount of time and equipment.

Pallet Forks

We can't say enough about pallets forks.  We use them to carry pallets of feed, move equipment, and lifting equipment to work under (we know this is not recommended and no one ever does this!)  They always seem to be available and you can make them work for a lot of jobs.

Grapple Bucket

The grapple bucket is on everyone's wish list.  Not everyone has one, but everyone wants one.  They make hauling odd shaped material easy.  From trees and logs to large rocks and cleaning up bed packs, the grapple bucket is a giant leap from teetering material across your standard bucket.

TOP-SPREAD Loader Mounted Spreader

Time to toot our own horn: our favorite is the TOP-SPREAD Loader Mounted Spreader.  It is a round or square bale processor for your skid steer.  This takes shaking out bedding with your bale spear or dumping feed with a bucket look old fashioned.  With a processor, you can bed and feed all from the seat of your skid steer.  Grinding up material and spreading where you want are huge benefits.  And guess what, you don't have to start up a tractor and are able to fit in your alleyways.

Never heard of a TOP-SPREAD?  Check out more info on the 
to learn more about them and see how they can make your chores a breeze.

These are the 5 attachments we recommend everyone has in their equipment line-up to make everyday tasks easier and elevate your skid steer to reach its full potential.

What are your go to skid steer attachments?