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Yearning for a new shop

Years of working in cramped conditions in a drafty wooden
shed had Brad and Terri Minor yearning for a new shop. "It was a fine
building for its time," Brad recalls. "But our equipment outgrew that

All that time, Brad was making plans for a new shop to
accommodate the family's growing operation near Rutland, South Dakota. The
family kept a folder with the best shop ideas they saw in farm publications.
"That was my design book," Brad explains. "My family and
employee, Mike Carroll, were the design team. We put ideas down on paper until a
plan was created that we all liked."

That planning became an 80x126-foot structure with many
features that won the Minors the Best Shop Design category in Successful
Farming magazine's Top Shops (TM) contest.


Lost in space

What strikes you when first entering the Minors' shop is its
spaciousness. The structure was built with 18-foot sidewalls and a raised truss
with a 22-foot peak. "This provides 18 feet of clearance for the overhead
doors," Brad says.

This cavernous interior readily houses the farm's largest
equipment. The family had considered walling off the end of the shop for cold
storage. "We held off on that, and I am glad we did," Brad adds.
"We've since found we needed that extra space. We discovered that a nicer
shop encourages us to do more repairs and fabrication at home."

The shop's spaciousness is made more useful by great
illumination. The ceiling was finished off with white metal sheeting and then
wired with 34 high-pressure sodium lights.


Feature attractions

The Minors are still adding finishing touches to their shop.
Some of the outstanding features already in place include:

An automotive hoist and a drive-over work pit located near
lubricant storage. "The pit has fluorescent lights and electrical
plug-ins," says employee Matt Carroll. "It also has a tank for waste
oil. We installed a line under the floor that leads to an outdoor waste oil
tank. We use air pressure to blow the oil to the outside tank."

A room on the storage loft that houses the air compressor
and power washer. "It is insulated with 6-inch batt insulation to absorb
the noise," explains 11-year-old Mike Minor. The compressor and washer are
on rubber mounts attached to 3/4-inch plywood false floor. Styrofoam board, 2
inches thick, is sandwiched between that false floor and the loft's 3/4-inch plywood
deck to absorb vibration.

A 12x40-foot office lined with stained wood siding. The
shop's bathroom, electrical panel, and plumbing for the floor heat (a waste-oil
boiler is located on the loft) are housed in a separate room.

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