Selling Hay: 4 Things Affected by Moisture Levels

With the final crop of hay for the 2018 season now behind us, the interest to think about hay and moisture testers  tends to be on the lower side. Even so, that does not diminish the need to be proactive about maintaining moisture levels. Moisture affects stored hay in ways that can prevent a grower from selling his or her crop over the winter.

Buyers want hay for their cattle and horses. Growers should know that the animals that will feed on their hay are as important to buyers as the hay is to them. As such, they should also expect buyers to be picky. They want the highest quality product at the lowest possible price.

Below is a short list of four things buyers look for when choosing a hay supplier. All four are affected by hay moisture levels. So just as a reminder, make sure you have a working moisture tester on hand throughout the winter months. Do not ignore moisture levels. If you do, you may not be able to sell as much product as you had hoped.

Supplier Quantity

Whether a buyer works with one supplier or many, he or she wants to know that the quality is there to support his/her animals until spring. Why does this matter to a grower? Because the last thing a grower wants is to promise buyers a certain quantity of hay only to discover he/she cannot deliver. Not delivering promised quantities is a fast way to lose customers.

Your average grower promises a certain amount based on current storage minus expected loss. But the grower also has to take care of his/her hay to ensure that losses don’t exceed the norm. Routinely checking moisture levels is a big part of that.

Supplier Reserve

Buyers typically expect to use a given amount of hay over the winter months. But they may have their own storage issues. Realizing that there’s always the potential for more loss than anticipated, buyers look for suppliers who have enough reserve to meet supplemental needs down the road.

Growers can encourage buyers to have their own hay moisture testers, store their hay in a dry place, etc., but having a reserve supply on hand helps in a big way. Buyers who know they can count on their suppliers for supplemental shipments in the event of shortfall quickly become loyal customers.

Hay Quality

This should be a given. Buyers don’t want to see excess mold growth when they break open a new bale. They don’t want to see hay that is so wet that it promotes bacteria, algae, etc. They don’t want to see bales that are so dry that they likely lack nutritional value. And that, by the way, takes us to the last item.

Nutritional Value

Both cattle and horses alike have specific nutritional needs. Buyers are looking for good quality hay with the right nutritional value to carry their animals through the winter. They will add to the animals’ diets with nutritional supplements if necessary, but buyers would rather not have to do that. They want good quality hay with its full nutritional value intact.

Both hay quality and nutritional value are impacted by moisture. Hay that is too dry tends to not be as nutritious; in some cases, excessively dry hay may offer very little nutritional value at all. Animals can eat to their hearts content and still lose weight.

With winter approaching, hay moisture levels are critical for a successful selling season. If you don’t have a working moisture tester on hand, now is the time to get one.


That Moment You Realize You’re Missing Tire Chains

You are planning a trip through California and Nevada via Interstate 80. You set out early in the morning on your first day with nothing but beautiful blue skies out the windshield. By the time you hit the road on day two, things changed. You’re approaching the Donner Pass in the middle of a snowstorm. Suddenly it occurs to you that you have no tire chains. It’s going to be a rough ride.

Driving a truck during the winter definitely has its challenges. Simply put, everything is harder during the winter. It is harder to accelerate, brake, and make your turns. It’s harder to cover your cargo with truck tarps. It is harder to stay warm. It’s even harder to maintain a certain level of safety. And yet seasoned truckers know that being proactive during the months leading up to winter can be a big help.

Getting your hands on a good set of tire chains is part of being proactive. Don’t wait until you’re faced with that first heavy snowstorm at the Donner Pass to figure out you don’t have chains on board. And by all means, don’t depend on chain banks. You’re not getting paid when the wheels aren’t moving. If you are having to wait for chains because a chain bank is empty, you’re losing money.

Snow Comes without Warning

Seasoned truckers also know that mountain snowstorms often come without warning. You may have a few days’ notice of a storm forecasters say will travel across the plains states. But there are times when ferocious mountain storms rear up in a matter of hours. A driver may leave a shipping yard fully expecting to have manageable weather all the way to his destination, only to find himself staring down old man winter at the base of a mountain.

How quickly can debilitating snowstorms blowup? Ask some of the truckers who attempted to pass through the Bow Valley section of the Trans-Canada Highway during the first few days of October. Nearly 2 feet of snow fell over a two-day span, stranding up to 300 motorists for 15 hours. The whole highway was shut down due to car accidents and jackknifed tractor trailers.

Any trucker who lost control of his or her vehicle lost both the time it took to recover the truck and the time spent waiting for the road to reopen. Tire chains obviously wouldn’t have stopped officials from closing the road, but they probably would have prevented some of those tractor-trailers from jackknifing and ending up in a ditch.

Know State Chain Laws

The fact is that there are some regions of the U.S. truckers shouldn’t even think about traveling through without chains on board. A good set of tire chains could mean the difference between keeping your truck on the road and having to call for a tow to pull you out of a ditch. Considering how much money it costs to remain idle, investing in tire chains seems completely reasonable.

We also encourage truck drivers to know the chain laws in the various states they travel through. For example, Colorado mandates chains be carried on trucks traveling along I-70 between mile markers 133 and 259. Drivers can be charged upwards of $500 for not using chains when required.

Tire chains can be a hassle to deploy. However, they serve a vital purpose that’s pretty tough to ignore that first time you realize you should have used chains but didn’t. Don’t be caught in a position of not having tire chains. Get your chains now, before that first big snowstorm leaves you stranded.

 


3 Things You Should Know About Electrified Fencing

Since adding electrified fencing to our inventory, we have had the pleasure of working with landowners and farmers to help contain their animals with what is considered a safe and effective fencing method. Our inventory of fence wire, energizers, and other materials are appreciated by customers looking to install their own customized fencing solutions.

Electrified fencing is a viable replacement of barbed wired for containing animals on open land. If you are new to the electric fence concept though, you might not fully understand some of the finer details of this form of animal containment. For example, check out these three things that new fence owners are often surprised to learn:

1. Electrified Fencing Is Not Lethal

People unfamiliar with electrified fencing in an agricultural setting are quick to think of correctional facilities and top-secret government installations when the topic of electric fences comes up. To be clear, we are talking two different kinds of fences here.

A fence constructed using the materials we sell is not lethal. It is uncomfortable for sure, but it is a low voltage fence that acts as a reminder to stay clear more than anything else. Neither animals nor humans are at risk of serious injury or death if an electrified fence is installed and maintained properly.

2. Electrical Current Is Not Constant

The way to make an electrified fence effective without being harmful is to send electrical current through the wire in a certain way. That is exactly what our fence energizers do. Rather than sending current at a constant rate, an energizer sends short bursts of current at regular intervals.

A constant current would be potentially harmful on contact. Why? Because it is more difficult to pull away and break the connection. But by sending intermittent pulses of electrical current through fence wire instead, the energizer creates a quick shock that gets an animal’s attention without zapping it with an unbroken and harmful amount of current.

3. Electrified Fencing is a Psychological Barrier

Before electrified fencing there was barbed wire, a more primitive kind of fencing that acted as a physical barrier to animals. The barbs, combined with the strength of the wire and posts, worked together to keep animals contained. Electrified fencing is different. Rather than being a physical barrier, it is a psychological one.

The truth is that electrified fencing wire is not strong enough to prevent a determined cow from breaking through. But it doesn’t have to be. The cow’s psychology is strong enough to keep the animal away from the fence.

When a landowner first installs an electrified fence where none existed before, cattle have to be trained to respond to it in a certain way. The landowner sets up a temporary section of fence inside an enclosed area, then puts food on one side and his animals on the other.

All it takes is a few shocks for the cattle to figure out that it is a lot more comfortable to walk around the fence than sticking their heads between the wires in order to get to the food. Once they learn that, they will avoid going anywhere near an electrified fence in the field.

Electrified fencing is a safe, effective, and humane way of keeping cattle and other animals contained on open land. Mytee Products is thrilled to now offer everything you need to install your own fencing. We have the wire, energizers, and other materials you are looking for at affordable prices. If you need something you do not see on our website, don’t be afraid to ask about it.


Cab Rack or Headache Rack: Does the Name Really Matter?

Truck drivers who come to the Mytee Products website looking for a shiny metal rack to mount to the backs of their cabs will find what they’re looking for under the ‘headache racks’ section of our website. Yes, we call them headache racks. Others call them cab racks. Does the name really matter? That depends on who you ask.

No one really knows how the headache rack got its name. We can only surmise that the name comes from the rack’s ability to protect a driver from cargo that shifts forward during transit. But that’s assuming the headache rack name first applied to the racks on 18 wheelers. But maybe that is not the case.

At any rate, the point is that we all know what headache racks do regardless of what they are called. The name is only important if you draw a distinction between pickup truck and 18-wheeler models. Some people do see a difference.

Big Rigs vs. Pickup Trucks

Say the word ‘truck’ among a group of people and those around you will not necessarily know if you are talking about a big rig or a pickup. The word is rather generic. As such, differences between trucks have given rise to different opinions about headache racks and cab racks.

For those who see a difference, the headache rack applies to a pickup truck while a cab rack applies to a big rig. Why? Once again, no one knows for sure. One possible explanation is that manufacturers of aftermarket parts for pickup trucks have co-opted the headache rack term. Not wishing to be associated with pickup trucks, manufacturers of big rig racks have settled on the cab rack name.

Let us assume such a distinction is worth maintaining. That would suggest a significant difference in the two kinds of racks. A headache rack made for a pickup truck is going to be much smaller – and that is just for starters. It is also not going to be capable of withstanding as much force. You wouldn’t expect it to, given the comparably light loads pickup trucks carry.

On the other hand, a cab rack on the back of an 18-wheeler is going to be a lot bigger and stronger. It has to be able to withstand the force of thousands of pounds of cargo being slammed against it. But there is another difference too: a big rig’s cab rack also has to offer some storage functionality as well.

A Place for Those Chains and Straps

Tractor trailers are limited in terms of their total allowable weight. So if you’re adding a headache rack to the back of your Peterbilt, for example, you have to account for the weight of the rack when calculating the total weight of the rig. You want to keep the weight as low as possible in order to maximize the amount of cargo you can carry. As such, you expect your headache rack to do dual duty.

There are some tractor-trailer racks that are nothing more than steel plates with a couple of hooks for hanging chains and straps. But there are others with built-in storage space for everything from chains and straps to ratchets and winches. Some have storage compartments large enough to accommodate truck tarps. You will not find that kind of storage in a pickup truck model.

In the end, the name doesn’t really matter as long as you get what you need. Mytee Products has what you are looking for. We invite you to browse our selection of headache racks and toolboxes.


Auto Towing Products Are an Investment in Your Business

You may have decided to start your own towing business in advance of the busy winter season. That decision has brought you to our website to search our auto hauling and towing inventory. We are happy you’re here. Hopefully, you have the resources necessary to make a go of things as a small business owner. We would like to encourage you with our own bit of advice: look at your auto towing supplies as an investment in your business rather than just the tools of the trade.

Starting a business always requires at least some financial investment. In your case, you are likely putting a lot of money into your brand-new venture. In addition to towing chains and hooks, auto hauling straps, emergency lights, and all the other equipment supplies you need to outfit your truck, you also have the cost of the truck itself.

You have insurance to think about. Then you are going to have office expenses, labor, and so much more. It all adds up to quite a hefty bill. So again, this is why we say you should treat your auto towing supplies as an investment.

Investments Are Long Term

The thing about investments is that they are long term in nature. Even those considered short term investments by professional investors still have a longer shelf life than putting your money into consumable products. Where towing chains, hooks and ratchets are concerned, your goal should be to get your hands on products you can count on to last a long time.

There is a temptation to cut as many corners as possible when starting a new business. That may work in some industries, but it is not wise in auto hauling and towing. It is well worth it to spend a little more on high-quality towing supplies now rather than saving some money up front only to have to spend more to replace faulty items later.

Another thing to consider is the psychological value of looking at your startup costs as an investment. Yes, money will be spent to get your towing operation off the ground. But the money you’re spending today will generate profits down the road. That’s what this is all about. So investing more in high-quality towing supplies will pay off in the long run. Knowing that can make spending more on quality a lot easier to embrace.

It’s Your Safety, Too

Investing in reliable towing supplies also amounts to investing in your own safety. The last thing you need as a tow operator are chains and hooks that are not going to hold up to the stresses of vehicle recovery. Just remember that it only takes a single snapped cable or broken chain to cause a serious accident.

We recommend never skimping on chains, hooks, straps, and ratchets. Everything you use in the towing business needs to be high-quality and reliable. Life and limb are just too valuable to risk on sub-par towing supplies.

Beyond the chains and hooks are the lights you’ll need for your truck. Those emergency lights found on the tops of tow trucks are not there for decoration. They are there to alert other motorists that a vehicle recovery is underway. Flashing amber lights can mean the difference between a successful recovery and a terrible accident.

You are doing more than just buying tools of the trade for your new business. You are investing in yourself and your future by purchasing the towing supplies you’re going to need to do what you do. Purchase wisely. If you have any questions about the products we sell, don’t hesitate to ask.