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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II

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Shaler

02-14-2021 18:22:58




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I always thought these were a model of simplicity for spreading manure. No slop running out the back, no apron chains to break, and so on. I guess you had to periodically shorten the flail chains if they stretched out too long? Or adjust the big drive chain that went from the PTO to the flail shaft drive line. Nothing a 12 year old couldnt handle, right? Today, in my area these spreaders are non-existent. My dairy farmer neighbor has soupy freestall manure I could get off him if I had a tank spreader to handle that material. Problem is I only need about 20 loads a year and cannot justify any of the 'modern' v bottom spreaders, etc. So the question is, what caused the demise of the tank flail spreader?

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derwen1959

02-21-2021 06:28:54




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
I am in uk
When I worked at IH dealer in the 70's the main spreader which sold was the barrel spreader or rotaspreader made by Howard and they were everywhere but have gone out of fashion in recent years



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showcrop

02-21-2021 05:14:40




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
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NY 986, Lastcowboy bought that spreader from me. I liked it especially for pen pack because of the way it broke it up. I would always pull ahead slowly until it got to throwing it well, then shift up a gear or two for 90% of the load and it came out evenly.



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NY 986

02-21-2021 15:52:09




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to showcrop, 02-21-2021 05:14:40  
It would break up the packed manure well but even with going slow then shifting up as I did with the 4010 it still was not what I would call very even. It did the best job with the manure from the free stalls mixed with bedding. Not saying it was a terrible spreader but the Knight side discharge spreaders were a step up but the cows were gone by that time. I'll say that the Starline would outlast a conventional apron-beater type spreader. I thought that the neighbor's IH 540 with upper beater did a pretty good job with similar manure.

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NY 986

02-21-2021 16:19:01




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to NY 986, 02-21-2021 15:52:09  
My experience is similar to Tom's as he related down below in part 1. The "heaviest" part of the unload was when the spreader was over half empty when the flails would move more material per minute. As the flail works further away from the rotor it catches more inches linear-wise as it completes one revolution of the rotor. Pen packed manure in terms of volume was quite minor in comparison to the free stall pitchings and the alley way slop for us. The Starline definitely had considerably more positives than negatives. It certainly did not rot out as fast as some other spreaders did.

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lastcowboy32

02-21-2021 04:09:40




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
Some pictures of a load from yesterday and the spread pattern.

The moguls in the field are the result of clearing a path to spread with the loader. This year, we're right at the border of being able to spread, with respect to hanging the spreader on snow.

But, in my mind, the spread pattern is pretty nice, when you consider the clumpy pen pack and manure/long bedding that we spread.

PS. I DID get a little overzealous with the loader, I buried the shaft a little too much. The load still spread, but it required me to stop and move a chunk of ice about the size of two concrete blocks that the loader picked up with the manure pile.







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NY 986

02-20-2021 08:10:56




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
We have a Starline spreader that was used during the dairy-young stock days here. Dad put a piece of plywood on to extend the deflector which greatly helped unwanted splash. It has a decal on it that indicates to not fill the ends above the rotor so the chains will start immediately. Material is slow to discharge at the beginning then becomes heavy resulting in an uneven pattern. Especially with pen packed manure which I spent loading many days this time of year by fork. As Tom said most were built for small volumes of material. If I were farming during the 1970's and had the money I would own the flail spreader for the free stall and have something like an IH 540 with added beater for pen packed manure.

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lastcowboy32

02-19-2021 08:31:23




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
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Exactly. The point where they fasten to the shaft is where I watch. The new chains that I've installed, I've tried out using little clevis thingies... AKA a "Screw Pin Anchor Shackle"... I like them for being balanced around the mount, as opposed to hanging from one side.



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showcrop

02-19-2021 06:36:49




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
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The chains will wear the most where they attach to the shaft, so it isn't hard to keep after them. I think that I used some 5/16 where I should have used 3/8. I just put a note in my phone to remind me to send those weights to you.



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lastcowboy32

02-19-2021 06:24:38




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
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That "thrown chain" issue IS in the back of my mind.

I recently started counting them.

I haven't had the problems with spray of liquids or mishandling of solids, and I've spread some very chunky pen pack and tangly manure/long bedding mixes.

Pretty much, if you leave a little room for the chains to unfurl by not burying the drive shaft... no problems.

Knowing what direction the wind is blowing and adjusting accordingly is part of using any spreader. Heck, old apron and beater spreaders without tailgates will literally throw chunks at you at the end of the load... since the bottom of the beaters rotate toward the operator.

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Dan in North Houston

02-17-2021 16:03:18




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
Haven't seen one of those in about 55 years. I remember the local slaughterhouse had one parked in back, they used it to hold the blood and manure and who knows what else. We used to pass it on the path back to the favorite fishing hole. I still remember the smell!



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tomstractorsandtoys

02-15-2021 17:34:07




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
The end of them for my dad was when the forage harvester picked up a chain that had been lost the winter before. Scratch one full set of chopper knives. For me it was just to small. The box spreader was hauling twice as much per trip and like Randy said they splashed a good bit of manure in every direction. I added an extra piece of metal to the front for a deflector. Tom



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rrlund

02-15-2021 06:36:24




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
I had a New Holland. When I spread slop with it, I had to wear a rain coat. That thing threw slop everywhere. When you loaded it with anything solid, you had to leave both ends empty to give the chains someplace to run out and get the load started. There was no apron to break, but that's about the only good thing I can say about them.



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lastcowboy32

02-15-2021 04:13:11




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
PS... If you think about it, the apron and beater spreader evolved right out of "horsepower". With a ground drive design, it's very easy to align sprockets to move an apron and turn beaters, since your power is coming off of a drive sprocket right there on the side of the spreader.

Going off on a little tangent. It reminds me of a little history piece that I watched that said that the rail width of the first railroads was determined by the width of a horse's behind.

Something about reusing the same chassis width that followed the ruts made by Roman chariots and had been in use in Britain for millennia.

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lastcowboy32

02-15-2021 04:04:13




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
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They fit a certain niche. Ours seems to be about the right size to handle the daily needs of 20 cattle, 8 goats some chickens and such with one load. Or, it could handle a 40 cow diary probably with a couple trips a day.

The thing is, 40 cow dairies have gone the way of the dodo.

The design doesn't scale up to the sizes needed by monster farms. If you make the tank larger in diameter, I imagine that you would need to spin the flails ever faster and faster to "stiffen" the chain sufficiently. Making it longer becomes cumbersome after a while; and now you have the issue of making the flail drive shaft strong enough to span ever longer spans, while driving even more flails.

Really small farms and hobby farms often back the manure spreaders right into the barn and load them by hand, which these machines don't lend to very well.

My starline barrel spreader will also make a tractor grunt. Our ford 3000 is strained pretty badly to run it. But it could run an old apron spreader of equivalent capacity pretty easily.

But, for our oddly sized farm, where we have to go through snow, and where we need to drive the spreader out the "good" driveway to get to meadows across the road. And where we load with a loader or with a high loading dock and wheelbarrels. And where we have a 60pto horsepower tractor to run it....

The simplicity, non leaking, ability to handle wet or dry manure and the boat shaped "hull" works very well for us.

There probably just aren't enough small farms like you or I.

Now, if someone could market these barrel spreaders to the horse crowd... you would see a comeback... there are a few stables around here that the capacity would be just right for.

But... I've never seen a ground drive version... :-)

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showcrop

02-15-2021 04:03:14




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
I used to own Cowboy's Starline. I liked it mainly for how it would chop up pen pack for top dressing hay ground. I had to replace the chains, and I made up some replacement digger/weights, during the ten years or so that I had it. I spread a fair amount of slurry with it from the neighbor's lagoon also, but as AMF said, as dairys grew they needed bigger. Also being open front to back Starlines could have a surge problem on the road.

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Absent Minded Farmer

02-14-2021 19:51:55




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 Re: Barrel spreader/flail spreader part II in reply to Shaler, 02-14-2021 18:22:58  
Around here it was the dawn of the V tank & more people that hauled slurry. Also, greater capacity units made those flail jobs obsolete. I personally like them & wouldn't mind having one at some point.

Mike



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