Here at Holtwood Machine, our mission is to provide design and engineering services for manufacturing companies. One recent opportunity to fulfill that mission came when we were called upon to modify this standard chassis mounted trailer litter spreader. This machine was to be modified to mount onto a tri axle truck.
Not only was it to be mounted to a truck, the unit needed to have increased capacity yet still be loadable with a standard skid loader. Also, the payload needed to be unloaded quickly, simulating a dump truck.
Drawing upon the owner, Steve Fisher’s , 15 years of experience in the design and fabrication of agricultural equipment, our small team was up to the challenge. Some of the leg work was decreased because our client had already had us employ our 3D Solidworks capabilities to improve the manufacture and documentation of the standard machine. When a standard product is documented in a CAD system like Solidworks, not only does the quality and efficiency of manufacture of that product increase but any customization is significantly easier. Keep this in mind if you manufacture a standard product that could have a broader market as a customized product.
To increase the capacity of the machine it was simply lengthened to match the length of the truck frame. The height of body was increased to bring the capacity to the desired volume. In Solidworks, a 3D model is created and form, fit and function can be visualized. The motion of the various parts can be simulated. Also, stress analysis can be performed on individual pieces reducing the risk of part failure.
From the 3D model, fabrication and assembly drawings can quickly be created. As a part of our services, we also can directly export documents to various fabricators such as laser cutting houses and sheet metal fabricators. We have our own in house machining centers and can provide 3 axis CNC Milling and CNC lathe turning.
With the increased height the sides were now too tall to be loaded with a standard skid loader. A hydraulically controlled side panel was designed to solve the problem. This design combined a functional knowledge of hydraulic mechanisms with laser cut parts for a professional look.
To enable the machine to quickly unload, the rear of the unit was redesigned. The standard machine contained a conveyer which worked in tandem with a metering gate for restricted unloading. This is a necessary feature when spreading compost. The redesign retained this feature while allowing the entire rear panel to be lifted out of the way when quick bulk unloading was desired.
The result is a nice looking piece of equipment that functions properly the first time. No prototyping or modifications required.