Productive Shop Checklist

March 5, 2024
Productive Shop Checklist

Adapted from Tom Bechman: Farm Progress

You spend lots of time prepping machinery. What about your farm shop? Do you get it ready for spring and summer?

Dennis Lee, farm product line manager with Morton Buildings, believes time invested in making sure your shop is 100% field-ready is time well spent. He advises inspecting key systems in your shop after a long winter.

Lee ticks off 10 areas worth checking inside your shop to make sure it is ready for a heavy workload:

1. Inspect compressed air systems. If you have a leak in an air hose, fix it now. "You don't want to chase down leaks in a high-volume, compressed air system when you're trying to fix something and get it back to the field," Lee says.

2. Consider upgrading lighting. If your shop was built before LED lighting, consider changing out light fixtures and bulbs to pick up efficiency, Lee notes.

3. Address heating problems now. The furnace won't work correctly when you turn it on next fall if it wasn't functioning properly the last day it ran. "Address issues you have now — don't wait until fall," Lee says.

4. Make heating and cooling upgrades. Likewise, if heating worked OK last winter but you want a more efficient heating system, investigate and act now, Lee says. Maybe you have forced-air heat but you want radiant heating. "Radiant heaters tend to be more efficient versus forced air," he says. In-floor heating systems are efficient, but if the floor is down, it's too late for in-floor heat.

5. Maintain uncluttered computer space. If clutter accumulated in your office or server room for computers, clear it out, Lee says. This should be clear, clean space, and not littered with trash or items that should be stored elsewhere.

6. Consider high-volume fans. Walk into any shop or building with high-volume, hanging fans in summer or winter, and you know how much they help move air, Lee says. If you don't have them yet, consider adding them now. If you have them, make sure they're operating correctly.

7. Keep floor drains functioning properly. You have only one best time to install floor drains: before the building is built, Lee says. If you have floor drains in an existing building, make sure they function properly.

8. Consider epoxy floor coating. People who finish concrete floors with epoxy coating love how much easier the floor cleans up, Lee reports. "You can upgrade an existing floor with epoxy coating, but if you do, the secret is taking appropriate steps to clean the floor first," he says.

9. Check fire extinguishers. Are they where they should be inside the shop? Have they been properly inspected and recharged, if necessary? Are employees trained to use them correctly?

10. Make a master check list. Before the summer workload hits, make a list of everything in the shop that needs servicing, repairing or upgrading. Then check them off as you complete them, Lee says.

Productive Shop Checklist (jpg; 365KB)

Field Crops

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Upcoming Events

2024 Aurora Farm Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

August 1, 2024
Aurora, NY

The annual Cornell Field Crop Research Field Day will be Thursday, August 1 at the Musgrave Research Farm, Aurora, N.Y. The program features walking and hay wagon tours in the morning and afternoon. 

View 2024 Aurora Farm Field Day Details

2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm

August 19, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm
Cropseyville, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Zack and Annie Metzger will be our hosts. They have run this 200 year-old small diversified farm for 8 years. They process their poultry in a 20C kitchen, where they produce value-added products like sausage and dehydrated chicken feet.

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2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm

August 20, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm
Mountaindale, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Brett and Sara Budde will be our hosts. They raise slow-growth organic broilers on their diversified farm in large flocks on woodland pasture. Their birds are processed into whole birds, parts, and chicken sausage.

View 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm Details


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