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Check Out My ... 3-D Dairy's dream shop

Progressive Dairyman Editor Peggy Coffeen Published on 11 September 2015

Bill and John DiederichsThe Diederichs brothers used to do their machinery repairs and maintenance in a 36-by-45-foot shop and stored equipment among three locations.

Now, all that and much more is under one roof in a new 80-by-360-foot building decked out with a few bells and whistles.

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shopJohn, Joe and Bill Diederichs and their families operate 3-D Dairy near Malone, Wisconsin. They run nearly 2,000 acres of mostly corn and hay and do their own field work and chopping to feed their herd of 1,400 cows and 1,200 replacement heifers.

As their dairy grew to its present size, so did their line of equipment and their need for a centralized location for storage and machine work.

break roomThe brothers visited a few other recently built shops and outlined the priorities of what their new facility would include: a spacious, clean and comfortable work area; a wash bay; and plenty of storage for parts and equipment.

The finished building has it all. The main shop floor is 80 by 84 feet, offering plenty of room to work. An air-conditioned office, bathroom and breakroom are conveniently located along the wall; above that is a storage area with overhead doors.

tractor wash bayParts and pallets can be easily transported with a forklift from the ground to this closed-off space. For ease of use, reels of air compressor hoses are fixed to the wall at three locations around the shop.

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The main shop is connected to a 35-feet-wide wash bay via an inside overhead door, which allows them to move equipment from one side to the other without having to leave the building.

storage loftWith permanent high-pressure wash hoses, the task of cleaning equipment is fast and simple, not to mention it is much more pleasant during cold Wisconsin winter weather. In addition to tractors and machinery, they also bring down panels from the dairy’s calf barn to the wash bay for cleaning.

The remaining 225 feet of the facility is machinery storage. The Diederichses decided to concrete the first 50 feet of this area to provide a solid, dry surface for tasks like stacking seed pallets in the spring.

machine shopThe remainder of the floor is loose, crushed stone. John believes this helps to minimize dust. A translucent ridge at the peak of the roof takes advantage of natural sunlight as a supplement to the lighting fixtures.

The design includes a few other little extras its owners and workers enjoy. Speakers located throughout the work area are connected to an Internet radio system they can control with their cell phones.

cold storageInside, a drinking fountain provides a constant, cool supply of water. Further, in-floor heating keeps the space warm as outside temperatures drop. With such perks, the large, open shop has already hosted a few parties.

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The brothers agree that the addition of this building has allowed the operation to become more efficient by having the shop and equipment all in one place.

cold storageIn fact, they have now added two employees who take on the full-time task of repairing and maintaining machinery and equipment for the dairy.

The Diederichses have been in their new shop for just about a year, and they are loving the clean, spacious environment with amenities that make it a friendly place for both work and play.  PD

PHOTO 1: Bill (left) and John (right) Diederichs. Not pictured is brother Joe.

PHOTO 2: 3-D Dairy's new shop.

PHOTO 3: Break room.

PHOTO 4: Wash bay.

PHOTO 5: Storage loft.

PHOTO 6: Machine shop.

PHOTOS 7 & 8: Cold storage. Photos by Peggy Coffeen.

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