Spread pattern problems on spinner spreaders
Always consult the operator’s manual before making adjustments to a spreader. Begin by examining the spreader for mechanical issues such as heavily corroded or missing parts. Second, check for bent components such as the flow divider on double spinner models or a bent spinner support frame.
To check the spread pattern, obtain a pattern test kit. A pattern test kit will contain catch pans with dividers that fit in the bottoms of the pan. These dividers are in place to keep particles from bouncing out of the pan. Set up a test course on a level field with one pan in the center of the course that will be straddled by the spreader; the rest of the pans should be evenly spaced in a line perpendicular to the direction the spreader will travel. Use at least 10 pans for the effective spread width with additional pans placed beyond the effective spread width so any material thrown beyond the intended spread width will be collected. Many test kits use a series of tubes where material collected in the pans is placed for easy visual comparison – be aware that visual inspection can be misleading if fertilizer particles are not of uniform size. Weight of material collected from the pans will typically be a more accurate measurement.