Occasionally, as well as our normal mechanic work, we also get the opportunity to do some fabrication work. Since we strive to be a full service agricultural shop we repair many types of equipment. Some examples of fabrication include repair of silo blowers, silage wagons, even manure spreaders.
The Calhoun spreader was a project for my own use on the farm. Years of use with nitrates and improper cleaning had almost rendered it beyond repair. Calhoun was a division of United Farm Tool which is no longer in business, so purchasing replacement parts was not an option.
A complete tear down was done, adding wood braces where needed to allow for measurements. We carried all sheet metal parts to a local shop that sheared and bent the basic shapes of needed pieces. All the holes and notches were carefully measured and cut using a plasma cutter. The main gearbox, which lies underneath the spreader was completely consumed by rust. Luckily, the sliding collars within the box were still usable. Sheet metal was used to fabricate a new box and support. All parts were cleaned, prepped and painted before assembly. In addition to new bearings all the hardware on the funnel was replaced. The effort and time turned a useless piece of equipment into a valuable asset for the farm.
Recommended cleaning procedure for your spreader includes a complete wash down after each use and coating with a light oil film or diesel fuel. Most fertilizers are oxidizers which attract moisture and promote rust. Maintenance is not only critical for your tractor but also your equipment.