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A Guide to Spread Patterns

©2010 Newton Crouch Inc. - This information is the property of Newton Crouch Inc. and is loaned confidentially to our customer for his sole use. It must not be used in any way detrimental to our interest or shared with outside parties.

A newly purchased unit has not been tested for a spread pattern.

It is now the user's responsibility to test this unit with the materials to be spread along with the operator for acceptability. A quality spread pattern results in an economical, effective use of your spreader.

Conditions Affecting Your Spread Pattern Test

· · · · Your equipment should be in good working condition. The test area should have short grass and be as flat as possible; no rolls, dips, or bumps in the wheel tracking area. There should be as little wind as possible. If wind is present, drive into the wind. Do not let the wind hit your pattern from the side. You must have a qualified driver for your equipment. Operator must know RPM range of truck to correctly produce required gallons per minute to support spinner RPM'S. Check your spinner speed and direction. Verify swath. Spinner speed varies with swath.




Dimensions should be checked on unit, use dimension sheet. (see next page)

Material MUST BE uniform product in size and weight. Record its lbs./cu ft. and condition. Check dishes and blades ­ Only use blades manufactured by Newton Crouch Inc


Dishes are Level

Place a rigid bar across the top of both dishes.

The bar should touch the dishes on the outer edges evenly.

Dishes have Correct Spacing

25 ½" center to center

Dishes & Blades Installed Correctly?

When standing directly behind the spreader facing the chute screw, your left hand is the left side of the spreader & your right hand is the right side of the spreader.

Left Dishes & Blades go on the left side of the spreader

Right Dishes & Blades go on the right side of the spreader

When standing directly behind the spreader facing the chute screw, the upper edges of blades should point in the direction of your fingers when your thumb is pointing up. Old dishes were either right or left only. New dishes are for either side..

Blades should be on 90° bend and straight across. The front of one blade to the back of the other.

Center Dishes Below Chute

Reach down through top of chute with a straight object

These measurements should be equal

ALL these measurements should be verified at the beginning of each spreading season.

Chute Information

· The chute scale is required for various materials and changes rates over different swaths to help the operator do a good spreading job. · The chute is moved in and out by the crank.

Always measure from the front end of the chute slide.


Chute settings shown on the separate decal located on the back of the spreader or on a separate sheet are based on test data collected by Newton Crouch Inc. These settings are approximate and will vary for different materials, conditions, and blades.

Verify by spread pattern

Gate Information

· · · · · The gate controls the amount of product, usually measured in lbs/acre that is being spread over the swath. Move gate up and down using the gate handle Never set the gate below 1 ½ inches. Gate measurement is from the spreader floor and set by looking straight in. Set the gate according to the rate chart for the corresponding lbs/acre

Gate settings are based on a material that weighs 65 pounds per cubic foot on old charts

Conversions to different weights can be found at the bottom of the rate chart

Spinner Dish Blades

· Carbon steel blades require different chute setting than stainless blades.

Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel LOOK very similar.

Carbon Steel Stainless Steel Carbon Steel

If you are uncertain about the type of blades on your equipment use a small magnet.

A magnet will stick to carbon steel only NOT 304 STAINLESS

Equipment Needed for Testing

· · Density Scale SM-DS50895 for weighing your material in pounds/cubic foot. Should be done before EACH load as product weights can vary even in a single shipment. · Nine collecting trays (14" x 20" & 4 3/4" deep) with a grid baffle in the bottom of each. The grid helps to keep the particles from bouncing out of the collection pan


· A funnel helps pour the material from the collection pans into the test tubes.

Nine test tubes of a small diameter ­ cone bottom tubes & a rack to hold the test tubes makes a line comparison job easier. MS-TESTTUBEKIT


Tachometer for testing RPM'S. For safety consideration, a strobe type is available as an option. SM-11765T57

· A 100 foot tape, or marked rope to help place the pans an equal distance across the swath. Always be sure pans are in a straight line.

NCI sells the Complete Spread Test Kit MS-727638

Testing Procedures


· · · · · · · · · · ·

Perform a general visual check of your unit per your Maintenance Checklist in your Equipment Book

Check all bolts and set screws Check hydraulic hoses for wear spots & leaks Check tie down bolts on Truck units Check drive wheel air pressure Check the condition, placement & alignment of all blades Verify chute settings are correct Adjust chain idler as necessary Check all filters ­ return line, suction line Check hydraulic oil level Check conveyor tension Check all bearings- front roller, rear roller, jack shaft & drive wheel

With the general maintenance inspection complete, your are ready to proceed with the 2nd step of spread pattern testing


Choose ideal location ­ Flat, clean, low grass, no bumps in wheel tracking area. Area should have a 150 foot run minimum (50 feet before pans & 100 feet after pans).



Choose direction. It is best run into wind.

Choose speed to run spreader. Test with driver to maintain correct level of speed. Operate power unit at correct RPMs to produce sufficient oil flow to operate spreader. (Check your RPM window of operation). Do not change gears over test area. Test with uniform material in product size and weight (suggest DAP), no dust. Lighter materials (UREA & Ammonia Nitrate) will not test over 50 feet in most circumstances. Fill density cup to top. Even off. Do not pack. Make sure you fill the cup the same way each time you perform a reading. Using slide to level density cup, read pounds per cubic foot. Adjust gate accordingly.




Lay out 9 pans on the optimum location considering the wind. The center pan should be identified by a color or flag. The object is to straddle the center pan and no adjacent pan to come into contact with the tires of the spreader. Distance is measured center to center. Therefore, center-to-center of pan, number 1 to 9 is the swath width. Additional pans may be used to test for the effective swath width. 9 pans yield 8 spacing.

Swath 60 ft Center 60 / 8 Distances Pan Center to Center ( 90" )

50 ft

40 ft

50 / 8

40 / 8

( 75" )

( 60" )

8. 9.

Collect tubes, left to right. (Pan 1 far left, 5 center, 9 for right), Corresponds to direction of travel. Evaluate spread to determine what, if any adjustments can be made to improve the spread pattern. Classify collected spread into one of the six types.

A Newton Crouch Inc. spreader at optimum performance should produce a flat top or oval pattern. However, a NCI unit can also spread a pyramid, if set to do so.

Use this worksheet with your test

Desirable Spread Patterns

Flat Top


Newton Crouch Spreaders are designed to give the Flat Top or Oval Patterns


· ·

The oval is the best overall Spinner speed and chute placement are the most critical adjustments that will change a flat top pattern to oval

Undesirable Spread Patterns




Correcting a Spread Pattern

You can improve the "M" pattern by making one or more of the following adjustments 1. Move the chute in toward the body (lower numbers) 2. Decrease spinner speed to fill in behind the spreader 3. Move the spinner blades in the opposite direction of the spinner rotation (Limited adjustment ­ adjust only one pair at a time

Correcting a Spread Pattern

The "W" pattern may be caused by the same condition that cause the "M" pattern, except a heavy band of material is applied in the center in addition to the bumps on the left and right sides. The heavy application in the center of the swath may be due to an improperly adjusted chute and/or material divider or other leaks permitting the material to fall directly on the ground behind and under the spreader. You can improve the "W" pattern by making one or more of the following adjustments:

1. 2. Locate the cause of the heavy application in the swath center. Try 1, 2, and 3 adjustments from the "M" pattern section.

Correcting a Spread Pattern

The "Lopsided" left or right patterns may result if the twin spinner spreaders are operated with improperly adjusted material dividers directing more material to one side than to the other. Operating on slopes and hillsides without an effective material divider may also cause a greater amount of material to the lower side than to the upper side. You Can improve the "Lopsided" pattern by making one or more of the following adjustments:



Make sure the material divider is in the center of the bed chain to evenly distribute the material. Try 1, 2, and 3 adjustments from the "M" pattern section.

Correcting a Spread Pattern

There are a few generalities that may help correct your pattern: 1. As a chute is moved to the rear of the spreader, material is taken from the center of the pattern and placed more to the outside of the pattern. 2. An increase in spinner speed (RPM) will take more material from the center and put it farther to the outside of pattern. Note: Excessive rpm's will cause the material to be thrown up into the air or beaten into dust, causing a poor pattern. 3. Advancing the outer tip of the spinner blade in direction of rotation will take some of the material from the center of the pattern and move it farther to the outside. Only adjust one set of blades at a time.

· · There are limits to what each of these adjustments can do. They should not be expected to correct for


The most common problems that cause a poor spread pattern are:

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Poor material quality Poor judgment by the operator Material not able to meet swath width desired Motor mount bent Material leaking through and not being directed by chute Chute not clean in the front compartment along with the rear compartment Chute incorrectly set for dish/blade material Chute divider is not correctly set Improperly adjusted flow divider Spinner speed incorrect Power unit's RPM's outside operation window. Malfunctioning hydraulic components, pump, flow control, pressure relief valve, or wheel control Dishes and blades are installed incorrectly. Check hole pattern Dishes not centered under chute evenly Dishes are not level Dishes not turning in correct rotation - left turns clockwise and right turns counter clockwise Dimension not properly set on dishes Worn, bent, or cracked spinner. Installing blades manufactured by other company. Blades MUST be Newton Crouch Inc

Other Factors

Dish on left sits 33 ¼" above ground

Dish on right is at 41 1/4:" above ground

· Height of the spinners above the ground ­ varies with chassis height and tire size.

Continued: The most common problems that cause a poor spread pattern


· · · · · · · · · · ·

Rear roller not matching the rear roller cover plate, due from incorrectly installation of bearings or wear. Worn rear roller cover plate. Worn or missing front flap. Hole in the floor. Spacing of the swath. Spreading during high wind. When spreading hillsides, a flow divider must be used. Unit not clean of build up on blades, baffle, and dishes. Material dragged forward by conveyor. Wet material sticking to conveyor. Shifting gears or hard bump over collection pan area. Rotation of spinners same.


Accurate and uniform allocation of Fertilizer/Lime does not stop with a good spread pattern, but also requires:

1. Accurate metering - The gate and chute settings vary according to the four functions of drive wheel size, gear ratio, material weight and swath. 2. Proper delivery of material to the spinner ­ The chute must be adjusted to meet the circumstances. This is generally done by setting the chute scale in inches according to the desired lbs/acre varied by dish/blade material (carbon or stainless). To set the chute for corresponding lbs/acre, move the chute inward (toward the spreader) by turning the chute screw. Set the chute to the desired inch mark on the chute scale. 3. Uniform distribution across swath ­ This must start with highly uniform products in size and weight of all (N, P, & K) materials. Spinners should be constant, level, and in good condition. 4. Granular or prilled materials of uniform particle size will give the most even application. It is most desirable to select materials for blends of approximately the same particle size, density, shape, and moisture content to prevent segregation of materials in the spreading operation.

Allocation continued

5. Skilled and conscientious operators ­ Accurate spacing of swaths is essential and requires careful driving. Swath spacing should be the same as the effective swath width. A constant ground speed and/or operation window is important for a uniform application with our ground drive spreaders. In addition to driving, operators should study the operator's manual, and know how to calibrate the spreader for various materials and rates of application. They should give particular attention to cleaning, adjusting, maintaining, and repairing their spreaders. Spread patterns checked and adjusted when changing material or the rates of application. Remember, a heavy application of wet lime requires entirely different adjustment form a light application of high-analysis, free-flowing, blended material. When practical, spreaders should be driven around fields in a perimeter pattern to minimize the effect of variations in spread patterns.



Allocation continued

8. Maintenance, testing, and calibration of your Newton

Crouch Inc. spreader on a REGULAR basis will give you the best performance and return on your investment in your spreader and spreading materials.

Swath ­ The accuracy of the spacing of the swath is totally up to the driver. For our use, swath width will be measured from the center of the power unit's tracks to the center of the next set of tracks. The "effective" swath width should be determined by "spread pattern testing". Additional charts are available for different swath widths for a fee.

Your Equipment Book

NCI keeps records for each spreader or sprayer manufactured

These records are stored by serial number and will

have complete information on your equipment as built. It will not reflect any changes made by the purchaser or other alterations. There may be differences in replacement part numbers due to technical improvements or changes in vendors / vendor supplies.

· ·


Your NCI equipment book has important information for using your spreader Please consult your manual each year before start-up and storing your equipment

Thank you for choosing

©2010 Newton Crouch Inc. - This information is the property of Newton Crouch Inc. and is loaned confidentially to our customer for his sole use. It must not be used in any way detrimental to our interest or shared with outside parties.


A Guide to Spread Patterns

28 pages

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