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View Full Version : Brockwood Stall Shi*fter - anyone have one?



AppJumpr08
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:10 PM
They look interesting! (http://www.brockwoodfarm.com/index.html)

Anyone seen one in action? I was talking to someone today who had, but I'd love to get more than one opinion!

Ghazzu
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:18 PM
I've never seen the sense in them.
Looks like it would take more time and effort to move the damn thing around than to pick up a pitchfork and muck the stall...

MistyBlue
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:26 PM
The last place I boarded in had one of these. The BO was always looking for a faster easier way to do 20 stalls.

I used to help do stalls in the mornings for fun.

I did one side of the aisle and he did the other. I beat his stall sifter thing every time. (it was the same model as the one you listed)

It does work well in sifting and fluffing up the bedding.

But it's really no faster. You have to sweep a big clean spot in the stall to park the thing over, otherwise you're just sifting clean bedding onto dirty bedding.

Then you place a muck bucket or wheelbarrow next to it to catch the manure. So the spot you swept has to be big enough to fit that too.

Then plug it in and fork or shovel the bedding into the top of it. So you're still lifting all the bedding, just not shaking it. You have to work around the shaking machine and the muck bucket/barrow.

When all the bedding has gone through it, you still have to pick up and dump the wet spots. You can't sift those or you just redistribute urine into the clean bedding.

You unplug it and wheel it back out of the stall and then use your fork to spread the cleaned bedding back around again.

Then you're finally done and can move on to the next stall. It only sifts through a stall as fast as you can shovel the dirty bedding onto the top of it and it's not low, so you're lifting dirty bedding higher than normal.

And there's stall prep for all the sweeping/moving the dirty bedding to park the machine and poop-catcher on.

I can do 10 stalls in the time it takes that machine to do 5 or 6. It's a lot slower overall. But if you have a shoulder issue or something that shaking a fork hurts, it might be a help maybe.

Otherwise I'd say don't waste yoour money or time on it.

AppJumpr08
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:29 PM
I can do 10 stalls in the time it takes that machine to do 5 or 6. It's a lot slower overall. But if you have a shoulder issue or something that shaking a fork hurts, it might be a help maybe.


This is my issue. My shoulders are absolute junk. At 29. :no: Joint supps, and constant pain.. I'm waiting 'till I have health insurance ( :lol::sigh: ) before I investigate, but... they are sore as hell most of the time.
Even if it takes the same amount of time as I do now, it seems like there would be less wear and tear (and I could set up my stall cleaning failure hubby with it when I'm gone/can't do stalls and they'd still end up cleaner than they do now.. )

Somermist
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:30 PM
I've never seen the sense in them.
Looks like it would take more time and effort to move the damn thing around than to pick up a pitchfork and muck the stall...

This.

JackandMo
Jan. 1, 2011, 07:31 PM
From the website, ***Total time to complete horse stall cleaning 5 to 6 minutes. Average time with manure fork is 17 minutes in a 12 x 12 horse stall bedded 3 inches deep with sawchip/shavings.


Um, what kind of slow people take that long to clean a freakin' stall?
I can clean FOUR stalls, dang near spotless, in less than 10 minutes.
I am anal about stalls too. I'm so anal I'm known to get on my hands and knees for inspection!!
In under 20 minutes, I can also turn out said four horses and prep stalls with hay and fresh water too!!!

Is that thing a joke?!!

MistyBlue
Jan. 1, 2011, 08:04 PM
This is my issue. My shoulders are absolute junk. At 29. :no: Joint supps, and constant pain.. I'm waiting 'till I have health insurance ( :lol::sigh: ) before I investigate, but... they are sore as hell most of the time.
Even if it takes the same amount of time as I do now, it seems like there would be less wear and tear (and I could set up my stall cleaning failure hubby with it when I'm gone/can't do stalls and they'd still end up cleaner than they do now.. )

Then yes, it will save wear and tear on your shoulders from shaking the fork.

However, it might bother your shoulders to do the extra prep work and especially lifting the dirty bedding so high to get it into the shaker. IIRC that shaker was a bit over waist height on me. I'm short but it was probably a good 3' tall at the platform where the dirty bedding goes.

About the same height give or take if you take a muck bucket and put it on the floor open side down, then stack another one on top right way up. Try that if you have 2 muck buckets (or put a muck bucket on a hay bale) and scoop full forks of bedding into it and see if that seems to bother your shoulders. It would stink if you buy one and the higher heavy lifting hurts.

I know how it feels though...both my shoulders are crap too. :sigh:

I found using pelleted bedding and a basket fork means I can pick out the dirty stuff better without scooping up tons of clean bedding too. It sifts better so less lifting and less sifting. And stalls done faster because it's easier to clean.

Too bad they don;t make self-cleaning stalls like they make self-cleaning litterboxes. ;)

caevent
Jan. 1, 2011, 08:06 PM
Our barn owns one and the stall cleaners won't touch it. :lol: It's loud, big, you need to drag an extension cord around to use it, plus a pick and wheelbarrow; it becomes way more hassle than it's worth!

AppJumpr08
Jan. 1, 2011, 09:01 PM
MB - I already use pelleted bedding and the basket fork - Couldn't survive without them!!! I'm not sold on the whole sifter idea, but.. it looks interesting. I'd love to take one on trial and see for myself how one would work in my barn. I think the shoveling wouldn't be as bad as the sifting -but I'll give the lifting the shovel to the height you described a try before I give it really serious thought for sure. Thanks!
I really wish I could just take MSM and be all good... but. No luck. I keep hoping I can talk my vet into taking some xrays of my shoulders to get an idea of what's really going on in there... but am afraid that if I go to a human Dr it'll go on record and when I can afford health insurance, it won't cover the shoulder stuff...

MistyBlue
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:15 PM
Is it in your rotator cuffs?
Or more of an all over shoulder or upper back pain?

Massages can help a whole lot. And they don't go on your medical records. Have you tried that? I've been told by a few doctors that many times shoulder pain is eased by massage, even if the massage does nothing for the actual cause of the pain the shoulder muscles can become sore from the problem and the massage can ease some of the discomfort.

I bought one of those back massagers you set up on a chair. They're about $100. Not cheap, but worth it. This way I can massage somewhat when I feel I need it instead of making an appointment.

I also use a heating pad with good effect. I can either lay it on the back of the couch and watch TV while heating up the ouchy parts or sleep on it. Those thermacare heat patches for the shoulders are also a big help. :yes:

AppJumpr08
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:26 PM
I LOVE massages. They don't help much with the shoulder stuff though :no: Back stuff, you bet! Shoulders... notsomuch. I think it's rotator cuff issues... in the joint, in the center-top. Hurts most when I lift my arm up and sideways at the same time (pouring draft beers when I was a bartender would sometimes leave me close to tears - a cross between intense pain and a feeling of weakness as well). The shoulder pain almost goes away in the summer when 99% of the horses are out and I'm not cleaning stalls every day...
I need to ask my chiropractor if he has any suggestions too - they are very "whole body" minded at the clinic, and they may very well have some ideas.

I should try the Thermacare shoulder patches! Hadn't really thought of that. They are still a "newfangled" thing in my book... I keep forgetting they exist :lol:

cyndi
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:53 PM
I LOVE massages. They don't help much with the shoulder stuff though :no: Back stuff, you bet! Shoulders... notsomuch. I think it's rotator cuff issues... in the joint, in the center-top. Hurts most when I lift my arm up and sideways at the same time (pouring draft beers when I was a bartender would sometimes leave me close to tears - a cross between intense pain and a feeling of weakness as well). The shoulder pain almost goes away in the summer when 99% of the horses are out and I'm not cleaning stalls every day...
I need to ask my chiropractor if he has any suggestions too - they are very "whole body" minded at the clinic, and they may very well have some ideas.

I should try the Thermacare shoulder patches! Hadn't really thought of that. They are still a "newfangled" thing in my book... I keep forgetting they exist :lol:

It sounds like your rotator cuff. Cleaning stalls aggravates mine too - mine can never totally heal due to all the stuff I do that aggravates it. Physical therapy type exercises you can do yourself at home are the best way to help make it better - you strengthen the supporting muscles so they help more and you use the sore ones less. Google "rotator cuff exercises" and you can do them yourself at home - all you need is one of those wide elastic band things you can buy at most sports/outdoor stores. If I did my exercises every day like I should my shoulder would never hurt...

Luckydonkey
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:12 AM
A friend of mine that has a 20 stall barn had her hubby build 2 of these... they claim that they can clean faster, and they get more use out of their bedding- they use a mix of sawdust and pellets. One benefit is the noise it makes- the horses all are used to the crazy sound of the shaker as it is moved through the barn. Storage is an issue- or it can be, although they made theirs so that the thing can be left upright and stored rather than flat out and taking up a lot more room...

LauraKY
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:37 AM
Now if someone could invent a floor that would be safe and lift up, shake the manure out and dump it for me, (preferably on a conveyor belt that would dump outside in a dumpster or manure spreader, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

JackandMo
Jan. 2, 2011, 12:23 PM
Now if someone could invent a floor that would be safe and lift up, shake the manure out and dump it for me, (preferably on a conveyor belt that would dump outside in a dumpster or manure spreader, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

My tack guy's cousin works at a farm like this. The barn was custom built, and I want to say in SC at a WP barn.

AppJumpr08
Jan. 3, 2011, 07:58 AM
My tack guy's cousin works at a farm like this. The barn was custom built, and I want to say in SC at a WP barn.

Do you have pictures??

Thanks for the rotator cuff suggestions - I'll head to the store soon and get stuff to exercise with - the idea of being able to make the pain better is a great one!

carolprudm
Jan. 3, 2011, 08:20 AM
FWIW I have found the type of fork I use makes a HUGE difference. Once you use an aluminum handled ergonomic Dura Fork you probably won't go back to the wooden handled kind. I wish they had a better basket design though and because the aluminum handles have a slightly larger diameter than the wooden ones you can't switch them out

CatOnLap
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:27 AM
at one of the PMU farms I inspected years ago, they had a conveyor system at the back of the stalls and most of the horses had learned to step back and deposit their manure on it. Saved a lot of time. I was told it is in common use in dairies in Europe and the cows also learn to step back and splat on the conveyor.

You may wish to convert your stalls to a stall mattress- you know, a big rubber membraine is permanently installed over a soft mattress affair and you use minimal bedding, just enough to absorb the urine, which you scoop daily when you scoop the manure.

A less expensive version is what we used to use- simply rubber stall mats over a bed of compacted and levelled sand, and minimal bedding. Again, using enough sawdust/pellets to absorb the urine- like only a few buckets full of sawdust. No shaking involved. We did that becausse the SO has a rotator cuff injury.

However as my old horse got older, he developed hock sores from lying down on the bare rubber and we switched to full bedding for him again.

seramisu
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:41 AM
I will be the voice of dissent here - I LOVE this thing.

Used to use it at the last barn I boarded at, where I did stalls to offset my board. I do stalls at my current barn too, by hand. The stalls at the old barn (with shifter) were always a zillion times cleaner than the stalls at the current barn.

The shifter doesn't take any less time, but it does a very thorough job and it cuts down a LOT on shavings waste. A good, thorough, conscienscious stall cleaner could do as good a job by hand, but.... I haven't met that many thorough stall cleaners =) At my current barn (sans shifter) I do stalls on weekends only and I'm forever trying to make up for the shoddy job the weekday stall-cleaner does. And the stalls always stink. Visited my old barn a couple weeks ago and was floored by how nice the stalls there looked and smelled. I'd forgotten what a difference the shifter makes.

Also it makes a much bigger difference for piggy horses who like to walk their manure through the stall. I'd even say it saves time on those stalls. But neat horses who leave untouched piles for you - no need for the stall shifter.

Moral: If you do your own stalls every day and you know you do a good job, then you probably don't need one. But if you're hiring help, I'd think it's a worthwhile investment - saves shavings and ensures thorough cleaning.

It's probably not good on your shoulder though. There's no shaking, but you do have to lift from half to all the shavings in each stall (depending on how messy the horse is) up into the shifter every time. It is a lot of lifting.

Sparky
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:49 AM
Is there room in the average size stall for the sifter, the muck bucket and a horse? Or do you have to park the horse somewhere else while it's stall is being cleaned?

MistyBlue
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:04 AM
No, definitely not room in the stall for muck bucket, shifter machine, human and horse.

However, it would be suicide to try to use the machine in a stall with the horse in it. :eek: Even if the horse doesn't mind the sound (and it's loud) and the entire machine shaking...it could cause a massive injury to the horse if the horse got too close to it.

It would only be used when the horses are out, no cleaning stalls with the horses in with the machine.

(and yep, I do clean stalls when the horses are in too, but I don't have/use a machine :))

shakeytails
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:42 AM
From the website, ***Total time to complete horse stall cleaning 5 to 6 minutes. Average time with manure fork is 17 minutes in a 12 x 12 horse stall bedded 3 inches deep with sawchip/shavings.


Um, what kind of slow people take that long to clean a freakin' stall?
I can clean FOUR stalls, dang near spotless, in less than 10 minutes.
I am anal about stalls too. I'm so anal I'm known to get on my hands and knees for inspection!!
In under 20 minutes, I can also turn out said four horses and prep stalls with hay and fresh water too!!!

Is that thing a joke?!!

No kidding! I've got 5 in the barn and it takes me all of 15 minutes to feed and clean stalls, and that's when I'm not in a hurry. Add another 15 minutes for feeding the outside herds grain (they have round bales) and topping off the big water tanks.

Liscar
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:33 PM
No kidding! I've got 5 in the barn and it takes me all of 15 minutes to feed and clean stalls, and that's when I'm not in a hurry. Add another 15 minutes for feeding the outside herds grain (they have round bales) and topping off the big water tanks.

Sorry to be off-topic, but... really guys, I need one of you all to come to my house and show me what the hell I'm doing wrong!!!! Takes me MINIMUM 45 mins to clean 3 stalls/add water/hay. I'm VERY anal with them, so it usually is 10 mins per stall at the very LEAST (but usually more). What am I doing wrong? I hate that it takes me forever!!!

Sparky
Jan. 3, 2011, 04:56 PM
Liscar, you're doing just fine. Don't know what a stall that took 3 minutes to clean would look like after a couple of weeks, but I can guess :lol:

katie+tru
Jan. 3, 2011, 05:46 PM
Liscar, you're doing just fine. Don't know what a stall that took 3 minutes to clean would look like after a couple of weeks, but I can guess :lol:

People that pick that fast end up stripping the entire stall every week I'd guess. Otherwise you'd end up with a stall bedded in tiny, dry pieces of poo. :/

JackandMo
Jan. 3, 2011, 07:45 PM
LOL

Naaaaaaa, I just work fast and efficient.

My stalls are stripped MAYBE once a month. I can typically go 1-3 months inbetween complete strips.

I don't have mats, which I think make stalls messier and harder to clean.

I do "strip" the top layer and add fresh shavings weekly. There is NO poo in my stalls leftover.

I also bank my shavings, and I don't have super thick bedding except on the sides and back.

I clean my three stalls to my friends one, and hers, with mats, are far grosser than any three of mine. It does take me a little longer to clean her stall - she has mats, and her horse pretty much poos everywhere!!!

FORTUNATELY, my horses are pretty neat in their stalls. If they were messier, I imagine it would take a lot longer to clean them. Jack poops against the back wall, and nowhere else. Moe poops along the back and one side. Pony poops in the back half of the stall and lays down in the front half. I'm amazed that he never lays in it!

I LOVE cleaning stalls. It's some sort of weird therapy for me. I enjoy it and refuse to allow anyone to help me.


Noone can clean a stall like me!! :)

AppJumpr08
Jan. 4, 2011, 08:37 AM
Thanks for all the thoughts! I have several rototillers in the barn... if everyone were as neat as the two geldings I have who poop in one pile and don't ever step in it, I wouldn't even consider the shifter... but... lots and lots of poop flakes to be had in my stalls! I think the shoveling wouldn't be as hard on me as the scooping and shaking - there are so many more repetitive motions with that. We have rubber mats over gravel, so the stalls are fairly "soft" but I would never go with a sprinkle of bedding... been at barns that did that, and while I appreciate that it works for them, it's just not something that I want for my own barn.

Auventera Two
Jan. 4, 2011, 10:58 AM
It takes me about 1 hour, 15 minutes every night to clean 6 stalls, re-bed as needed, do hay, water, blankets, feed the chickens and cats, throw down hay for the next day, sweep the aisle, etc. About 15 minutes of that is hooking the filly up to her leg icing machine and rotating her on and off of it twice. I also pick 3 of the stalls every morning (filly on stall rest, and the run-in stalls for the 2 gelding boarders.) I spend 30 minutes in the mornings.

My horses are all clean for the most part and aren't stall trashers but I still take the time to pick up just about every little manure ball possible. They lay down and sleep at night and when it's 5 degrees, those errant little manure balls are like sleeping on rocks. And I rarely have to "strip stalls." I clean them thoroughly enough every day that I just add 1 or maybe 2 bags of new bedding a week, and stripping almost never happens.

Sometimes my dad helps me with barn work, and yeah he can clean a stall in 3 minutes, but it looks like a stall that was cleaned in 3 minutes ;) In other words, not impressive.

I agree that I also love cleaning stalls. It's my exercise and I don't like sharing the task with anyone else. I take longer than I probably need to, but I just like being in the barn.

MistyBlue
Jan. 4, 2011, 11:45 AM
I do some of my best thinking, idea pondering and planning while stall/barn cleaning. :yes:

AppJumper...give it a try on the lifting the bedding and see how that feels.

Also try the Thermacare heat pads. Seriously helps me quite a bit with the shoulder pain. (look for the generic ones to save a few bucks or else check online for printable Thermacare coupons. When they have coupons they're good ones. Like a few dollars off.)

Maybe try calling boarding barns around you to see if anyone has one? Or call the company and ask for referrences of people near you that they've sold to? Hopefully someone close by has one that they'll let you come check it out, see how it works.

Long Spot
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:04 PM
Am I the only one wondering if the OP might have had a wee little typo on the title, resulting in a bit of a funny name that needs a star?

Oh the difference transposing two little letters can make!!!!:lol:

AppJumpr08
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:13 PM
Am I the only one wondering if the OP might have had a wee little typo on the title, resulting in a bit of a funny name that needs a star?

Oh the difference transposing two little letters can make!!!!:lol:


That's what the company has named their contraption - no typo on my part :lol:


MB - there's a farm in NH that has one and I'm hoping to go and check it out at some point - I don't want to make a financial commitment like that until I actually *see* one in action :)

Another poster suggested I try some Surpass - so I'll buy some from my vet the next time I see her and try that route as well.

Harry Hopkins
May. 22, 2011, 05:06 PM
No, definitely not room in the stall for muck bucket, shifter machine, human and horse.

However, it would be suicide to try to use the machine in a stall with the horse in it. :eek: Even if the horse doesn't mind the sound (and it's loud) and the entire machine shaking...it could cause a massive injury to the horse if the horse got too close to it.

It would only be used when the horses are out, no cleaning stalls with the horses in with the machine.

(and yep, I do clean stalls when the horses are in too, but I don't have/use a machine :))


I can do 10 stalls in the time it takes that machine to do 5 or 6. It's a lot slower overall. But if you have a shoulder issue or something that shaking a fork hurts, it might be a help maybe.

But you can't get them nearly as clean and you waste bedding.

MistyBlue, with all due respect you have given some incorrect, derogatory and misleading information about the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter.

It could be dangerous to clean a stall with certain horses still in the stall but I have one customer who has 200 box stalls cleaned daily. She owns 3 Stall Shi*fters and she tells me most of them are cleaned with the horses in them. I don't recommend doing this for legal reasons but people should know their own horse’s temperament and can make that decision for them self. The Stall Shi*fter is not loud and noisy if it is maintained properly.

When you use words like loud and quiet and noisy it is best to reference them to something people can relate to. Normal conversation has a noise level of 60 db. The lowest limit of urban ambient sound is 40 db. A used well maintained Stall Shi*fter has a measured noise level of about 50 db when you are standing right next to it.

I invented the Stall Shi*fter 15 years ago and have sold about 700 of them. I build and test all of them personally and I have cleaned thousands of stalls in the process. My customers are my best advertisement and I have thousands of satisfied Stall Shi*fter users. I have Shi*fters in every state of the union including Alaska and Hawaii. I also have them in Puerto Rico, Germany, England and every province in Canada except New Brunswick.

Every single claim I make about the Stall Shi*fter on my web site is backed up by customer data and documented in unsolicited testimonials. No product satisfies everyone for a number of reasons and that is why I offer my product with a 15 day money back free trial and put a two year limited warranty on it. I sell about 50 machines a year, 1 a week, and over the almost 15 years of building them I have received product returns of 2%. I have many customers with 2, 3 and 4 machines.

When I posted on my web site that the average time to clean a 12 x 12 stall is 17 minutes with a mucking fork in 5 to 6 minutes with a stall shifter I backed up my numbers and qualified them on my web page. Your remarks about my machine were supported only by your very limited experience in one barn where you no longer board. I reject your comments because they are not representative of typical operation of 99% of the experiences my customers report.

Respectfully
Harry Hopkins
Owner of Brockwood Farm, manufacturer and inventor of the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter

CVPeg
May. 22, 2011, 05:59 PM
Mr. Hopkins - And with all due respect, that's exactly what this board is for - to express one's own experiences.

And if you read further, the writer you addressed suggested that the original poster call area barns to see if anyone had purchased them to try one out, or call the (your) company to ask for references of area buyers.

I do commend your inventiveness - anyone who takes a novel and useful idea to its completion has my respect.

But your sensitivity in having your invention criticized, with an attack citing incorrect, derogatory, or misleading information, or decibel measures, doesn't do much for marketing your product.

There are Ford vs. Toyota lovers, Coke vs. Pepsi, and the donkeys vs. the elephants. Appreciate your allowing earnest conversation with varying opinions and experiences.

Schatzi09
May. 22, 2011, 06:01 PM
I also have to say I LOVE my Shifter! (Same model named here) I have a 12 stall barn - all ranging from very neat horses to Merry Mixers! I NEVER have to strip my stalls! I can bed my stalls deeply and still know I can get them clean and ammonia free in just a few minutes' time! It takes all of 3 minutes to find and remove the wet spot and then pull the rest of the sawdust out of the way. Roll the machine in, turn it on, and start shoveling! Even my non-horsey BF can clean stalls to my specs in a short amount of time.

I've also used the Shifter when my horses were in their stalls - I have outside runs attached so the horses are really outside - but they don't mind the sound and actually watch with curiosity - much like the cats that watch the auto kitty litter cleaners!

I am very anal with how clean my stalls are. There is no way someone can pick my stalls by hand and get them as clean WHILE STILL KEEPING 99% OF THE CLEAN BEDDING IN THE STALL! It saves tons of $$$$ in sawdust (or pellets) yearly.

KrazyTBMare
May. 22, 2011, 06:16 PM
Ive never seen such a thing. Pretty cool idea, esp if you have MESSY horses. My boarders gelding can grind up a stall pretty well. SOMETIMES my mare will. My gelding poops in one pile in the corner and doesnt mess with it. But I have worked at barns where the majority of the horses were pigs and just ground the poop into tiny pieces. In that situation, this thing would be invaluable.

It takes me approx 45 mins to clean 3 stalls, dump/scrub/refill water buckets, sweep the bedding back from the front wall where the hay/feed are, blow the aisle, make up feed with supplements, dump said feed, get the 3 horses in, throw out evening hay, make up breakfest, and lay out am hay. And thats in the 97+++ degree humid FL weather. I think the amount of time it takes one to do stalls is highly dependant on the size of the stalls, the type of bedding used, how messy the horses are, if they PEE in the stalls (mine dont, sometimes the boarders gelding does), and the equipment used to clean said stalls.

MsM
May. 22, 2011, 07:01 PM
One place I boarded had a similar effect with no electricity involved.

They made a big rectangular screen with wooden edges. Take fork, weheelbarrow with screen stored on top and enter stall. Pull back bedding along a relatively clean wall. Put screen at a 45 degree angle against the wall. Pull out bedding in front. Now go through rest of stall and fling any questionable bedding onto the screen. Poop rolls down and shavings go though. Obvious poop piles and wet spots go directly into barrow. Sift rest of bedding, pick up resulting poop pile, fluff and go.

Worked well especially for the cleaners who otherwise would only "find" the big poop piles. They tried putting the sreen above a wheelbarrow or muck bucket but felt the extra effort to throw all the bedding up that high was not worth it.

MistyBlue
May. 22, 2011, 10:02 PM
But you can't get them nearly as clean and you waste bedding.
Yes I can get them as clean and I never waste bedding. That's a pet peeve of mine, I abhor throwing out good bedding. My manure pile has zero bedding in it. :winkgrin: (I toss the urine soaked pelleted bedding in a separate pile)


MistyBlue, with all due respect you have given some incorrect, derogatory and misleading information about the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter.
The information I gave was from my personal experience with this product. I have no idea how my experience and opinion is incorrect.

It could be dangerous to clean a stall with certain horses still in the stall but I have one customer who has 200 box stalls cleaned daily. She owns 3 Stall Shi*fters and she tells me most of them are cleaned with the horses in them. I don't recommend doing this for legal reasons but people should know their own horse’s temperament and can make that decision for them self. The Stall Shi*fter is not loud and noisy if it is maintained properly.
As you just stated, legally it's not a good idea to recommend using it with a horse in the stall. I stated the same thing. I fail to see the difference.
I've seen a horse requiring stitches due to spooking into the machine while it was in the stall with that horse. Horse eating hay, got halter caught on feeder, overreacted and backed/spooked hard and fast. Sliced it's hind end enough to require stitches. Horses are unpredictable and I'd not recommend someone using a large cornered hard piece of equipment in the stall with a horse. Any equipment. I also wouldn't recommend a standing saddle rack placed in a stall with a horse or tack trunk or a tractor rake.
If a client of yours has a large barn and prefers to take chances with her horses/boarder's horses safety then that's her prerogative. If a horse acts like a normal fight/flight animal over seemingly nothing (like they usually do) in a confined area with a running machine and gets injured...I hope she knows that med insurance might not cover that. Convenience should never come before common sense or safety, IMO.

When you use words like loud and quiet and noisy it is best to reference them to something people can relate to. Normal conversation has a noise level of 60 db. The lowest limit of urban ambient sound is 40 db. A used well maintained Stall Shi*fter has a measured noise level of about 50 db when you are standing right next to it.


Unfortunately I don't have the ability to measure actual db levels in my day to day experiences. I do know if one was running and I wanted to say something to the person using it, I had to raise my voice quite a bit to be heard. To me that = noisy. To you, maybe not. Just a difference in opinion.

But thank you ever so much for the incorrect, derogatory and misleading insults of my personal experience and personal opinions on your product.
With all due respect...not the best consumer relations response. IMO of course. ;)


MsM, that's not a bad idea!

ayrabz
May. 23, 2011, 06:26 AM
My barn owner has a homemade version, and they love it. I will admit, these stalls are always very clean, and yes, they must save quite a bit on sawdust.

However, I wouldn't want one. The very nature of this thing breaks down the shavings to very very small dusty particles. Large fluffy shavings won't work, so, sawdust is used. Since its sifted over and over, and less sawdust thrown out, the sawdust is broken down and 'kept' (yes, a savings, I admit) much longer and in a much dustier form.

I worry about heaves.

Badger
May. 23, 2011, 07:37 AM
I board at a barn with one and much prefer using it to the old fashioned way. Leaves the stalls so much cleaner, fluffs the small screen shavings, definitely minimizes waste, etc. And is easier on my shoulders.

There is no way I would clean using the shifter with horses in the stall. Just because some people do it does not make it ideal horse management. Some people keep horses in barbwire paddocks too.

The machine IS loud. I wear noise canceling headphones and listen to books on tape through on my iPhone and mucking becomes a pleasant experience.

Different stalls take different amounts of time depending on how much shavings there is to shovel through the screening ( one boarder pays extra to pile the shavings in his stalls and twice as much shavings takes twice as long to clean. Turnout, stall prep, shifting, hay, water, lunch graining, and aisle sweeping takes 2-1/2 hours for 7 stalls. I'm guessing prep/shifting is about an hour of that, or 8 minutes each. IME it is great for thoroughness of cleaning, easier on the cleaner's body, and minimizes shavings waste. I can clean a stall manually in the same time, but not nearly as thoroughly.

Harry Hopkins
May. 23, 2011, 10:18 AM
[QUOTE] But thank you ever so much for the incorrect, derogatory and misleading insults of my personal experience and personal opinions on your product.
With all due respect...not the best consumer relations response. IMO of course. [QUOTE]

It was not my intent to insult but to state an opposing view supported by 15 years of experience and thousands of very positive owner comments. Your opinion is unlikely to be changed but when stated publicly on a forum such as this it changes from personal opinion to public opinion. I not only stand behind my product but I speak up for it and when it is depicted negatively I try to set the record straight.

Stall Shi*fters get noisy, over 60 db, when they are not properly maintained. The connecting rod ends wear and require an occasional drop of oil to reduce the wear. When they are allowed to wear too much they need replacement. When a shi*fter gets loud enough that you have to raise your voice to be heard it is telling you it needs to have the rod ends replaced. Customers who apply a drop of oil to the rod ends before each daily use get many years of service from them before new ones are called for. All machines require lubrication, if they don’t get it they wear out and they get noisy while doing so.

The Stall Shi*fter isn’t for everyone but if you are a barn owner or a stall cleaner with an interest in keeping your stalls as clean as humanly possible in as short a time as possible while at the same time reducing your bedding usage and relieving the discomfort of tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, then it is a viable option for you. The initial investment of cash is quickly recovered in savings realized on bedding, labor, time and pain.

Barn owners and managers have a different set of priorities than boarders. Equine professionals know that clean stalls are healthy stalls. Orderly appearance, safe, healthy environment and professional management are key factors in attracting and keeping clients and reliable staff. A Stall Shi*fter can often be a means to that end.

While you may think that my response was an insult it was never intended to be. Business is a risk and consumer relations are important. When I see my product represented in a negative light I can either let it be or change the light. If I do nothing someone may walk away with a wrong conclusion. You are an influencing voice on this forum, a schoolmaster; I understand your dislike for being disagreed with as you should understand my dislike for seeing derogatory and misleading statements made about my product.

Harry Hopkins
May. 23, 2011, 10:37 AM
I board at a barn with one and much prefer using it to the old fashioned way. Leaves the stalls so much cleaner, fluffs the small screen shavings, definitely minimizes waste, etc. And is easier on my shoulders.

There is no way I would clean using the shifter with horses in the stall. Just because some people do it does not make it ideal horse management. Some people keep horses in barbwire paddocks too.

The machine IS loud. I wear noise canceling headphones and listen to books on tape through on my iPhone and mucking becomes a pleasant experience.

Different stalls take different amounts of time depending on how much shavings there is to shovel through the screening ( one boarder pays extra to pile the shavings in his stalls and twice as much shavings takes twice as long to clean. Turnout, stall prep, shifting, hay, water, lunch graining, and aisle sweeping takes 2-1/2 hours for 7 stalls. I'm guessing prep/shifting is about an hour of that, or 8 minutes each. IME it is great for thoroughness of cleaning, easier on the cleaner's body, and minimizes shavings waste. I can clean a stall manually in the same time, but not nearly as thoroughly.

Hi Badger,

Thank you for the positive comments. If you tell your barn owner to call me I can take care of the noise issue.

Paz
Harry

Harry Hopkins
May. 23, 2011, 01:15 PM
I also have to say I LOVE my Shifter! (Same model named here) I have a 12 stall barn - all ranging from very neat horses to Merry Mixers! I NEVER have to strip my stalls! I can bed my stalls deeply and still know I can get them clean and ammonia free in just a few minutes' time! It takes all of 3 minutes to find and remove the wet spot and then pull the rest of the sawdust out of the way. Roll the machine in, turn it on, and start shoveling! Even my non-horsey BF can clean stalls to my specs in a short amount of time.

I've also used the Shifter when my horses were in their stalls - I have outside runs attached so the horses are really outside - but they don't mind the sound and actually watch with curiosity - much like the cats that watch the auto kitty litter cleaners!

I am very anal with how clean my stalls are. There is no way someone can pick my stalls by hand and get them as clean WHILE STILL KEEPING 99% OF THE CLEAN BEDDING IN THE STALL! It saves tons of $$$$ in sawdust (or pellets) yearly.

Thank you for the positive comments Shatzi. With your permission I will copy this unsolicited testimonial and add it to my web page of customer comments.

Once a Stall Shi*fter is part of your cleaning program you become dependent on it and simply don't want to be without it. It is not possible to clean a stall with a fork as clean as with a Shi*fter. A 10 x 12 stall bedded about 3" deep takes me 5 minutes and that includes removing the wet spot and re-spreading the bedding. I use quick pick fine shavings or green saw chips from a log mill as bedding. The Shi*fter removes everything larger than a kernel of field corn and it aerates and fluffs the bedding in the process.

Paz

Harry

MsM
May. 23, 2011, 07:22 PM
The attitude and hard sell regarding this product has really turned me off of ever wanting to try it...

Harry Hopkins
May. 24, 2011, 09:57 AM
The attitude and hard sell regarding this product has really turned me off of ever wanting to try it...

As I said earlier, it's not for everybody. :)

spacytracy
May. 24, 2011, 10:16 AM
Agreed! Its not the product, its the salesperson attitude and the "with all due respect" thing. Ugh.

Harry Hopkins
May. 24, 2011, 12:14 PM
The attitude and hard sell regarding this product has really turned me off of ever wanting to try it...
MsM,
I am not posting here to sell my product but to set the record straight. There may be some potential customers posting and reading these posts and I want to be sure that they have accurate information about the Stall Shi*fter, that is all there is to it. I occasionally do a Google search for the words Stall Shifter because I am interested in where the name will turn up.

I found a reference here on Chronicle of the Horse 12/25/2009 and I registered to respond to a question about building a Stall Shi*fter. Someone was looking for plans to build their own and I offered myself as a source for those plans. I used to sell a kit for those who couldn’t afford my pre-built model and who were handy enough to build their own. I sold many of those kits but I also sold the plans for a pittance.

Here is a quote from the thread mentioned above the topic was “Has anyone made their own Stall Shi*fter?”

These things are the best invention ever.

The barn I am at now has one they got from an estate sale. The BO has a neck injury that makes stall cleaning tough. Having done stalls the "normal way" for 15 years at least I was VERY skeptical but the manure shaker saves so. much. bedding. and keeps the manure pile to a minimum. It is awesome.

Supposedly they are built with a lawn mower motor, if that helps at all. We were saying the other day how they really can't be *that* hard to build, if you can weld and do the electrical stuff....

PS I can get measurements and take some pics of the one we have at our barn, if you want.

The majority of the people who post and read these horse related forums are not current potential customers for the pre-built model but a few are. Generally speaking horse enthusiasts with one boarded out horse are not good prospects. Barn owners who board those horses are good prospects.

It is important to me if someone asks a question about my product on this or any other forum that they get accurate information. I do all I can to make that information available on my website. 80% of my sales come from my website; found with a Google search for “horse stall cleaning”.

Even though I have a copyright and a registered trademark on the name Brockwood Stall Shi*fter” many people consider any machine that automatically separates manure from bedding is a stall shifter. It’s much like people use the word Kleenex to describe any tissue in a box. Sometimes people will be talking about another product (and there have been a couple of them come and go) that is home built and call it a stall shifter. All I am trying to do is make sure that my product is understood and not confused with a knock off or a home brew.

My attitude is a positively to bring accurate information where there is question or doubt. When I built my first prototype 15 years ago I had no idea that I would be creating a whole new market and a small retirement income for my wife and me. I am proud of my invention and I know it has helped many hundreds of people financially and physically. The very first machine I sold is still in operation daily and the folks who own it wouldn’t be without it.

I appreciate the comments that have been posted here, positive and negative, because the conversation itself brings more awareness and offers an opportunity to educate consumers. If my posts have come off as hard sell with an “attitude” that is an issue I will work on.

LovelyBay
May. 24, 2011, 04:44 PM
Sorry Harry,
But after reading your responses on this thread I wouldn't want to do business with you either. Something just rubs me the wrong way. I'm glad you want to promote your product, but this isn't the way to do it, at least not here.

Harry Hopkins
May. 24, 2011, 06:56 PM
I've tried to be honest and civil. I will not fail to defend my product and I've said all I can on this thread. You have your opinion and now you know mine. I will defend my product and support my customers. As I said earlier, Stall Shi*fters are not for everyone. They are great machines and it's no wonder so many people want to copy them. Imitation is the highest form of complement. Have a great day.

AppJumpr08
May. 24, 2011, 08:15 PM
I've tried to be honest and civil. I will not fail to defend my product and I've said all I can on this thread. You have your opinion and now you know mine. I will defend my product and support my customers. As I said earlier, Stall Shi*fters are not for everyone. They are great machines and it's no wonder so many people want to copy them. Imitation is the highest form of complement. Have a great day.

[Bolding mine]

but the thing is, you've insulted everyone else. I was a serious prospective customer - for real, and seriously.

But there's a difference between defending a product and defaming anyone who has had a different experience than the one you've had.


I'll hire someone to clean my stalls for me before I buy a product that is represented by someone who clearly doesn't understand customer service.


Sorry.

Dad Said Not To
May. 24, 2011, 10:02 PM
Publicly calling someone's stated opinion on a product "incorrect, derogatory and misleading information" is not a good way to win customers. A more tactful approach would be along the lines of, "I'm sorry that you seem to have had a negative experience with my product. From your description, it sounds as though that machine may not have been maintained properly, as it should be amazingly fast and nearly silent when working properly." Even "I'm sorry that you don't seem to like my product, but I have hundreds of unsolicited testimonials from deliriously happy customers on my website" would be preferable. It's never a good idea to publicly call past or potential users/customers liars, in however indirect a manner.

Harry Hopkins
May. 24, 2011, 11:07 PM
Publicly calling someone's stated opinion on a product "incorrect, derogatory and misleading information" is not a good way to win customers. A more tactful approach would be along the lines of, "I'm sorry that you seem to have had a negative experience with my product. From your description, it sounds as though that machine may not have been maintained properly, as it should be amazingly fast and nearly silent when working properly." Even "I'm sorry that you don't seem to like my product, but I have hundreds of unsolicited testimonials from deliriously happy customers on my website" would be preferable. It's never a good idea to publicly call past or potential users/customers liars, in however indirect a manner.

In retrospect I agree. Perhaps I should have said nothing. But I called no one a liar. An opinion is an opinion and I used poor judgement. Another lesson learned and I am humbled. There is no fool like an old fool.

fivehorses
Sep. 2, 2011, 06:45 PM
Ok, now I am intrigued by this machine...
I take Badger's and others opinions who have used the machine and like the cleanliness of the stall.

I am going to the website to check it out.

As far as customer service, etc, etc.
The owner defended his product imo. Just like MB has an opinion. Difference being that the owner of this business came on to state/defend a different opinion which as a biz owner, I don't blame him one bit.
I didn't find his post obnoxious or rude, etc.

But thats just my opinion.

As far as customer service...he suggested when he heard Badger's bo machine is loud to have the BO contact the business to fix it...what is wrong with customer service like that?

Appjumper, are you fricking kidding me...you really felt his posts were so awful now you won't even consider the machine? WOW.

WeDoItAll
Apr. 1, 2012, 07:42 PM
Anybody know what the difference is between the Woody Pet Green Machine stall sifter and the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter?

Any other thoughts from anyone who uses this? If you had several messy stall-keepers, and could get one of these (of either brand) for under $500, would you?

redhorse5
Apr. 1, 2012, 08:21 PM
We had a homemade version of this and just used it until it fell apart. I really want another one. I use pelleted bedding and this cleans is perfectly every time. The main benefit is that it removes the really small pieces that fall through a regular fork and even the smaller forks. We didn't use it every day but twice a week and it really saved on bedding. I had 20 stalls so it really made a difference in the cost of bedding.

cynthia bowers
Apr. 2, 2012, 05:40 PM
we have two of the Brockwood shifters...one an old wooden one that finally gave out and was replaced by our hunt barn commune with the newer metal battery operated model (this was at least six years ago) the original got rebuilt and now we have two...the best piece of equipment we ever bought. The owner, Mr. Hopkins has helped us with repairs and advice over and over through the years and has never been anything buy civil, plesant and generous with his time and expert advice. He has every right to be defensive with his patent and his product especially since it is a really really good product...it costs what a mid priced saddle does these days and will be used far more. We had a rocket scientist/engineer using ours this weekend and HE was impressed

Trixie
Apr. 3, 2012, 09:43 AM
Holy hell, looks like Harry the Brockwood guy needs some lessons in customer service. I wouldn't consider his machine, either - lord only knows how it's going to somehow become my fault if the thing breaks.


Your opinion is unlikely to be changed but when stated publicly on a forum such as this it changes from personal opinion to public opinion.

Actually, no. What I got from her posts was simply Mistyblue sharing her personal experience.


I understand your dislike for being disagreed with as you should understand my dislike for seeing derogatory and misleading statements made about my product.

She also wasn't "derogatory." There are better ways of handling things than to start accusing a reviewer of being "derogatory" and sharing "incorrect of misleading information" when all she did was again, tell us her personal experience.

I do think it's super funny when the alters come out to play, though.