History of Development of the Stall Cleaning machine
I invented the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter, in 1996 then I filed for patent protection and first demonstrated it to the public in April of 1997. Our research shows it is the first commercially available stall cleaning machine in the world.
Over the years, I have continually improved the Stall Shi*fter making it a little better with each evolutionary step. I always like to think this current model is the best yet and even though it may be I continue to find ways to make it more reliable or cost effective. Here is the story of its development.
The original Stall Shi*fter was a belt driven machine with a 48″ screen. It was a wooden frame model and any part on it could be purchased locally if a repair was needed. I still have customers today using stall cleaning machines built in the first few years of production.
One of my earliest model original motorized Stall Shi*fters underwent a 2-year evaluation for John Lyons at his ranch in Parachute, CO. A very favorable article published in the December 1999 issue of Lyons’ Perfect Horse Magazine summarizes the results of the test. It reads:
“..we tested this product extensively, and found that using it saved time, effort and shavings…. we found the dirtier the stall, the more you see the advantage over hand-picking. We found we ended up with a cleaner stall..”
After about 5 years, my wife convinced me I should build a stall cleaning machine that was easier for the ladies to move around the barn so I made some modifications and built her what we called the Little Shifter. It was a complete change in body style and drive mechanism. We changed to an all steel, laser cut and baked on powder coated enamel finish. The motor we selected was the only one available on the market that would run at nearly the right speed, a Leeson 340 rpm right angle gear motor.
Some customers who had the old style wooden stall cleaning machine bought the new Little Shifter and observed that the new design had a lower throughput than the original 48″ screen with belt drive so I made some design changes and added a 48″ screen option with a variable speed motor. The angle of the sifting screen was adjusted by lowering the output screen roller. We duplicated the efficiency of the original wooden model using a different method of applying an angle to the screen and even though it worked very well the screen was being driven in a plane at a slightly obtuse angle to the crankshaft and this caused the tie rod ends to wear prematurely which introduced play in the drive train.
I discontinued building the variable speed stall cleaning machine in late 2009 because the difference between the 340 rpm fixed speed and the maximum rpm of the variable speed motor was not cost effective. A 17% increase in speed resulted in about a 2% increase in time saved and the additional wear on the drive trains more than doubled the spline failure rate. It was my judgment that this was not cost effective for the customer so I went back to the original belt and pulley drive mechanism set at a fixed speed of ~ 400 rpm, the optimum speed. I incorporated the strong points of both machine types, the original Woody and Little Shi*fter. I eliminated the DC gear motor the main source of machine failure.
When tie rod ends wear normally the drive train gets a little looser and louder in operation, but there is no longer a weak link between the motor and the drive because there is a belt that absorbs the shock introduced by the slight amount of play in the rod end. The motor is a higher horsepower; the gear motors were 1/4 hp and 1/6th hp. The newer fixed speed motor is a 1/3 hp. The cost of building the crankshaft drive assembly makes the cost of the motor and drive assembly together almost exactly the cost of the single unit gear motor.
The new stall cleaning machine design allows replacement of only the discrete components on the rare occasion one fails. This would be a motor, belt, flange bearing or crank, all of which are non-proprietary and can be replaced with local purchase. The whole idea of the hybrid machine is to increase reliability, lower maintenance cost and maintain the optimum sifting capability. I still offer the 15-day free trial and the three-year limited warranty.
I know this is a long explanation, but I hope this information helps you in your decision. I am anxious to build a stall cleaning machine for you and get you automated. A Shi*fter will pay for itself in just a few months in a 10 stall barn. We now offer only one model, the Deluxe Hybrid Woody shown here at $2249.00.