When it Come to Manure Spreaders, Not All Steel is Created Equal

What is the best material for a manure spreader built to last? 

For anyone who owns horses or livestock, manure is a big part of the job. It’s everywhere, it’s constant, and it has to be dealt with. There are countless forms of manure management– from push spreaders, small wagons, to the big wood, steel, or plastic options. For those who need something heavier duty to keep up with the amount of animals on their property, it can be difficult to figure out what spreader will save you time and work while breaking up clumps and spreading the manure evenly so your end result is a healthy pasture. Not only that, but what manure spreader will last longer than a few years? Because finding the “perfect” tool doesn’t help you in the long run if you have to replace it every two years. So how do you get the right tool that will last?

What you Need to Know About Manure Spreader Steel

Some may know that it’s the urine in the manure that causes corrosion and wear on a manure spreader far more than the clumps of manure solids. Urine is acidic, so as it sits on metal surfaces it can accelerate corrosion. On a function level, this can cause your machine to corrode and, over time, stop working as well or altogether. On an appearance level,it makes your tool look worn out and run down.

How Much Rust on a Manure Spread is Okay?

Well, that depends entirely on the steel you are working with. It’s no secret that wood or plastic manure spreaders are not going to hold up longer term. But when animal owners buy a steel manure spreader, they want it for the long haul. A common, and often cheaper, material used in attachment manufacturing is mild steel. Typically in a manure spreader you’ll have a galvanized steel (to resist some corrosion) with a powder coat. The powder coating protects the steel from that acidic urine. 

However, the problem with this route is, powder coating can get scratched. And when that coating is compromised, urine seeps behind it, so even if you cover up the scratches, there’s already corrosion happening behind it. This can cause your manure spreader to rust from the inside out. 

This is why ABI always recommends COR-TEN steel on manure spreaders. COR-TEN is a weathering steel, which means the top layer of the steel can take acidity, weather, and other damage without issue. The catch? Because weathering steel has a sort of sacrificial layer of protection, it doesn’t look pretty. So it will last for years and years to come but without any coating, it will look like it’s about to fall apart. 

Our solution? Easy, we add a coating that looks sleek and works better than the standard powder coating. With an epoxy liner, you get scratch and corrosion resistance, plus it’s slick so the manure doesn’t stick to the machine. And even if it does get scratched, because of the better steel behind it, it won’t rust through.

Is A Stainless Steel Manure Spreader the Best Option?

Stainless steel doesn’t rust, and stays looking shiny. Because of this, for many it can seem like the best manure spreader option. If that’s the case, why not just buy the fully stainless steel manure spreader? Well, there are two things to consider if you are looking at going with a completely stainless steel option. 

First: the price. Stainless steel is expensive. So buying an attachment like a manure spreader made out of stainless steel is going to be a huge investment. 

Which brings us to the second thing to consider: is it worth it? Let’s say you’re willing to pay top dollar if you need to. The thing is, you don’t need to. What you do need is stainless steel for the hardware that keeps the spreader turning and working. Which is why ABI uses stainless steel where it counts. Stainless steel on the rest of the machine is fine if your goal is to have a shiny, silver attachment. 

At ABI, we’ve engineered our manure spreader to be tank tough. From the steel, to the epoxy liner, to the poly floor–everything is built to get the job done the way you like for years and years to come. And to look darn good while doing it. 

Whatever your manure management needs are, find the spreader that’s right for you. View our full line here or speak to an expert at 877-788-7253. 

One Comment “When it Come to Manure Spreaders, Not All Steel is Created Equal”

  • Donald Carniato


    My P50 is still going strong and in good shape after 7 years of continuous use. It handles our 18 horse farm reliably day in and out. Only two repairs which we did ourselves. The only complaint I have is ABI doesn’t provide an accurate parts diagram or break down and reassembly diagrams. One of the repairs involved replacing a broken apron chain sprocket and that involved disassembling the “clock works”. It would have helped immensely if we had an accurate “exploded” diagram of the unit.

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