Hydraulic vs. Bifold
If big is beautiful, the farm shop of Ross Farms nestled in the Red River Valley (Fisher, MN) is a strong contender for Miss America honors!
Three years in the planning, this behemoth is 120 feet wide by 100 feet long (12,000 sq. ft.) with 22-foot sidewalls and a ceiling height reaching 28-feet tall! Inside, another 2,500 sq. ft. available space from a 25-foot by 100-foot second floor storage area!
Five Doors A Winner: "Our final plans for a shop with five doors was probably our best decision. You just don't know how convenient it is to have multiple doors until you get your shop up and running," related Jim.
"We have a 47-foot Concord air seeder and wanted a door big enough so this rig could be pulled directly into the shop without being concerned about wiggle room. Thanks to that 60-foot door, getting in and out with big equipment is a piece of cake," related Jim Ross.
He also offers some plain old farm shop logic. "So often if you build doors just wide enough to fit your machinery, sure as shooting eventually you're going to hit it one side or the other. Or you buy bigger machinery. It's just nice to have doors big enough so you don't need to jockey to get your equipment in."
Their shop office is big, 24-foot by 14-foot and includes a huge conference table which functions as the information center for neighbors who enjoy their morning coffee at the Ross shop.
Jim likes it too saying, "This morning coffee session is a good thing. I think it's really important that farmers communicate with each other. I don't want them to farm alone." This shop, with three zones of floor heat, also has five work bays, each 25' x 25' and one even equipped with a hydraulic hoist so oil changes are now a 'stand-up' procedure. There is also a metal working bay, a tool mechanic bay, a high-pressure wash bay, and a fifth bay for any special 'pick-up' work.
Hoisted up into those 26-foot high rafters hangs his 'fun plane,' a splashy little red and white ultra-light powered by a 447 Rotex engine.
"Sure, it's mainly for fun but it does serve a useful purpose too. You see all your mistakes when you cruise over your fields at just a couple hundred feet. So between my tax man and myself, we've figured a way to justify this little bird," smiled Ross, who likes to keep a little humor into his business end of agriculture. Why the Schweiss doors? "We liked the engineering design of a bifold. No problems with ice and snow. Also it gives you a bigger opening since there's virtually zero loss of head space. These lift-strap units are quiet, sturdy and dependable. They're just very good doors."
For more information contact Schweiss Bifold at 507-426-8273