Wide-Open Spaces

January 26, 2011 07:45 AM
Wide-Open Spaces

In five years, Wieland Farms added almost 800 acres to its operation. As the size of their machinery grew and their needs changed, the Wieland brothers decided to build a 95'x80' shop in the summer of 2009.

Daniel, Mark and Steven Wieland farm 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in Lone Elm, Mo. Daniel quit his off-farm job in 2009 to focus on farming. Mark works off-farm as a salesman at a farm equipment dealership, and Steven farms and operates a custom application business.

Their previous shop was a 35'x60' pole building with 13' side walls.

Additional height was their first priority when planning their new shop, built by Harlan’s Steel Buildings, a company in Versailles, Mo. The price tag: $115,000.

"Probably my favorite feature is the 18' side walls," Daniel explains. "We planned this building with wider and taller implements in mind. It’s designed so we can drive the combine in and bring in the header from the other overhead door. Right now, we have a 30' header, but if we get a 35', it’ll fit."

The door on the south wall is 24'x17', and the door on the west is 18'x16'. Both are electric overhead doors with remote control, fully insulated and featuring a single row of windows. Daniel prefers natural light, so there are 22 windows (including those installed in the doors) around the
perimeter of the shop.

Sixteen T5 fluorescent lights purchased from a company in Florida provide pure white light. Each 4' fixture has six bulbs with mirrored reflectors. "Very seldom do we need task lighting, which is nice," Daniel says.

The open work area provides space for equipment setup and maintenance, such as the Wielands’ recent project of building an anhydrous toolbar. "We had the toolbar and tongue built with the wheels and wings on in one afternoon," Daniel says.

Mark made two anchors from used railroad rails that are centered with both overhead doors. The anchors lie flush with the floor and can be covered with rubber strips for safety.

The floor is 6"-thick concrete with ½" rebar on 2' centers. Two outside aprons measure 30'x30' and 20'x 20'.

"I wanted big aprons to wash larger equipment outside," Daniel says. "I have a snow removal and lawn care business, so I wash those machines inside to use the floor drain. It’s like having a heated car wash."

The project area includes a lubri-cation station with gravity-flow bulk barrels. In the opposite corner is the welding area, with a 12' long, 3⁄8" thick metal workbench. This part of the shop also features a Millermatic 252 argon gas welder, and a workstation with movable, adjustable clamps.
On an adjoining wall is a 12' wooden workbench and light-duty service area. An internal window next to the bench allows Daniel to see into the office while at the workstation.

The office space is 16'x20' and features a kitchen and bathroom. Other amenities include a couch and a conference table. There is high-speed DSL Internet in the house, and a wireless router sends the signal to the shop. Daniel painted the exterior of the office to look like an old-time John Deere dealership.

Above the office is what is currently a playroom for Daniel’s son, Ben. "He needs a safe place to play in the shop because he loves being out there with me. It’s his lookout post, and he can watch us work on equipment."

The playroom has 3' walls all the way around. The centerpiece is a play table, which is painted to look like the family’s farm, and Ben’s toy machinery. In the future, Daniel will transition the area to store parts and smaller items, and one section of the 3' wall is removable to accommodate a pallet.

The office is the only area with air conditioning. The open area of the shop uses the cross-breeze from the overhead doors on the west and south sides of the building.

There is R33 insulation 9' up the walls and R14 from there to the ceiling, which has R19 insulation. Two tube heaters are mounted on the side walls and can be angled 45° down. Daniel keeps the shop at 50°F to 55°F in the winter.

The brothers ran all the electrical wiring under the concrete, which Daniel reports took a lot of planning. There are three junction boxes with five circuits apiece. Outlets are spaced every 8' and all are 20-amp receptacles.

The air system is outfitted with an 80-gal. air compressor. Daniel used ¾" tubing and special flanges to be able to drain the line at each outlet. There are three air hose reels: two for 3⁄8" hose and one for ½" hose.

The building has a 3-gal. water heater to save on heating the minimal amount of water.
Attached to the shop is a 35'x80' lean-to for storing grain trucks, tillage and other equipment on its gravel floor. It cost an additional $8,000 to build.

"You can pull something under roof without dragging dirt onto the shop’s concrete floor," Daniel says.

The lean-to features two motion-sensor lights. The exterior of the shop building has four electrical outlets: two in the lean-to and two on the south side.

The next building project that the Wieland brothers will likely tackle is a storage shed for chemicals and seed.

"All of our seed is bulk except some corn. We use a fork truck for seed and sprayer chemicals, which replaced having to keep a loader on the tractor," Daniel explains.

The Wielands are looking forward to setting up their new planter, which will be delivered later this winter.

Shop Snapshot

Wieland Farms, Lone Elm, Mo.

Building: All-steel, 95'x80'
Height: 18' at eaves
Floor: 6" concrete
Aprons: 30'x30' and 20'x20'
Insulation: Doubled on north and west walls; R33 insulation up to 9', R14 above 9'; R19 in ceilings
Heat: Two 40' infrared tube heaters mounted on sidewalls at a 45° angle (installed this past fall)
Doors: Two overhead fully insulated doors, 24'x17' and 18'x16'
Storage: 16'x20' overhead (currently used as playroom) and 35'x80' lean-to
Workbenches: 12' wooden; 12', 3⁄8" thick metal; Miller arc station with movable, adjustable clamps
Lighting: Sixteen 4' T5 fluorescent light fixtures with six bulbs and mirrored reflectors in each
Unusual tools: Caterpillar fork truck; cut-off saw mounted along wall for maximum cutting length; flush-mounted floor anchors


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