Farm shop has its own wash bay
A "wash bay" with a retractable vinyl curtain lets Dale Kitchens, Slaton, Texas, pressure wash pickups, tractors, and other equipment right inside his machine shop. When not in use, the 20-ft. high curtain pulls back, leaving the floor space open for moving wide equipment through the shed.
Kitchens' 60-ft. wide, 120-ft. long insulated shop/machine shed is divided into six 20-ft. wide "bays", each equipped with electrical and air outlets. The wash bay curtain is set up around one of the bays, suspended from a roller track hanging from the rafters. A 2-ft. wide, 6-ft. long floor drain is positioned over a6-ft. deep catch pit that collects dirt. A PVC pipe drains water into a smaller pit that empties into a septic system.
"It lets us keep our six pickups and nine tractors clean without getting anything else in the shed wet," says Kitchens. "I bought the industrial curtain and track system from a local manufacturer for $400. It was much cheaper than building walls around the bay and allows us to open up the full width of the building when we're not washing equipment. We use an air pressure cleaner outside the shed to remove as much dirt as possible before washing vehicles.
"The dirt catch pit has to be cleaned out about once a year."
Kitchens stores spare parts as well as seed and chemicals on pallets placed on shelves reaching all the way up to the 20-ft. ceiling. "It's a great way to organize and keeps everything off the floor. Makes our shop seem three times as big," says Kitchens. "It's also a great time saver because we don't have to waste time searching for parts. We keep parts for various types of equipment on separate pallets. For example, we sort cultivator sweeps and shanks by size and keep them on separate pallets so they're easy to find. When we want to install new sweeps we use our forklift to haul the pallet outside the building right to the cultivator."
Kitchens says one of the most useful tools in the shop is an above-ground electrohydraulic automotive hoist. "We use it to do much of our own transmission, brake, tire, and exhaust work as well as to change oil and lubricate vehicles," says Kitchens. "It leaves a clear area under the vehicle so we can remove parts from the vehicle with nothing in the way. The working area is much cleaner than in underground lift stations, which are under attack by the EPA because of leaking oil, and there's no need to tear up a lot of concrete. The legs simply bolt to the floor."
A 36-ft. long non-insulated addition on one end of the shed has a dirt floor and is used for equipment storage. A 30 by 60-ft. overhang for parking pickups and tractors is built onto one side of the building. Concrete pads surround the building to make outside work more convenient. Skylights help keep the interior bright, even when the sliding doors are closed.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Dale Kitchens, Rt. 1, Box 211, Slaton, Texas 79364 (ph 806 828-5843).
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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #6|