New Holland my very favorite - built to last ! Have two Mill Creeks ~ one old one came with the property seemed ok didn't last long but as I stated was old to begin with so we purchased a new Mill Creek - ~ bad idea = sitting in the shed = filmsy and not worth the effort to use ~ always breaking down parts are very fragile ~ IMHO
Are you sure that the old one cannot be fixed? I am using one from the 50's that sat in my farm neighbor's yard for 20 years. We replaced the main bed chain for about $350, sprayed a lot of PB Blaster and Kroil and it works fine. Any of these new units will run $1500-2500 plus depending upon their size. I like the gauge of steel on the old units just the way I like the gauge of steel on my 97 GMC pick up. New ones today are made of tinfoil, but of course they get fabulous fuel economy.
Ours died last week too. A huge, elderly 175 Gehl. Chains shifted out the side, DH not sure if it's something he can fix.
In addition to the ones mentioned, check out Conestoga. Not promoting it, but it is one that seemed interesting for the price. We are going to try and take a look at one this weekend. This hand-spreading in the snow is getting old. Wish we didn't have to spend the $$ for it right now.
Last edited by BellaLuna; Mar. 2, 2010 at 04:31 PM.
If the chain is all that's wrong with it, I'd just replace the broken link. Everyone I know who has owned a spreader for any length of time has broken a chain from overloading it. Usually, it's from trying to spread composted manure that has turned into dirt. They aren't really made for spreading dirt.
Of course, the chain will at some time rust out anyway, but it's no big deal replacing it. The chains just fold together and usually you don't even need tools. The worst part is having to shovel out what's in it with the broken chain.
After getting quotes, I am gob-smacked at pricing for a new one. It has been death by parts. In the last year, I have replaced the floor, sprocket on the apron chain, new inner tubes in the tires and a few links on the chain.
Yesterday, I ordered the new apron chain assembly. It's my last "olive branch" of friendship. I am hoping to get a few more years out of it, but it's getting to danged expensive to keep maintaining (and time consuming to source really old components).
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.
I bought a used Millcreek 25 recently for $450, and hired a hauler to bring it from Indiana to NY, so total cost of about $700. Had to buy a tube for one tire, and replace a cable a couple of months later, but it has been a great buy! We can clean the whole barn of 13-14 horses and on a good day, spread it only once, if they've been in more or the stalls are dirtier then we might have to spread it twice....I LOVE IT! However, hubby decided we had to buy a new 4-wheeler and traded his old one in, so there went any savings! LOLOL
Depending on the number of horses and your work habits you might want to consider a NewerSpreader.
I have 10 horses and the larger model with beater. It takes two loads to spread one day's worth of manure if they are in overnight. Or I can take 2 loads down to the manure heap so spreading it doesn't take any longer and I like the fact that it grinds up the manure and drops it straight down rather than flinging it out the back. It takes about a 100 yard pass to spread a load.
I bed with pellets. The NewerSpreader would probably work with shavings but not straw. My horses don't waste hay, either.
I never leave bedding in the spreader over night. It gets dumped immedietly or left in a muck tub.
I pull it with a golf cart, previously used an old riding mower, since deceased.
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My dad sells & services Millcreek spreaders occasionally, and they are awesome! Big money for a new one, but a great investment if you take care of them right. Buying (gently) used is a great way to save.
The newer models have a spray in bed liner and dolly wheel so you can roll them right down the aisle as you muck, no lifting or tractor required.
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Depends on the number of horses. Little ones are OK for 2-4 horses, but 10 or more require full sized machines and generally are PTO driven. We bought a Kuhn through John Deere dealer and it has worked well for 3 years except for eating a belt a year.