Some common questions when ordering shavings.
What is the size of your shavings bags?
When comparing shavings to shavings, bag to bag it’s important to take a moment and consider the facts about volume. Several factors can affect your decision depending on your needs.
If you are in the market for medium/large flake low dust kiln dried shavings then loose volume or expanded volume should be your priority in deciding what brand of shavings has more in the bag. This information should be printed on the bag and should say something like this (9.1cu ft loose, 8.5cu ft expanded, 2.8cu ft compressed). If a vendor gave you a price of $5 dollars per bag and the bags were 10cu ft loose/2.8 or 3.0 compressed then you are paying $0.50 per loose cu ft of shavings in the bag and in your stall. If a competing vendor gave you a price of $4.50 per bag and their shavings are 9.1cu ft loose/2.8 compressed then those shavings are costing you $0.49 cents per cu ft in the bag and in your stall. On a trailer load of shavings 1 cent difference per cu ft of loose shavings is $127.00. Many companies offer larger size compressed bags (3.0 or 3.25) that look larger in size but in fact have the same loose volume of product stuffed in the bag. When ordering smaller bags of ultra compressed product such as 12/11 or 10cu ft loose 2.55 cu ft compressed product the shavings may be stuck together and require extra work to break them apart due to high compression in the bag.
If you are purchasing a medium to fine kiln dried shavings (highly absorbent but at times dusty) then expanded volume is not such a big factor as is weight per bag. A small to fine type of shavings will be compressed in to a bag and not expand much when opened because there is no springiness to the product. In this case you should compare product by weight per bag. If a vendor gave you a price of $5 per bag on 2.8 compressed bags of fine bedding that weigh around 35 lbs each then this product is costing you $0.14 per lb. If a competing vendor gave you a price of $5.25 on fine shavings in a 3.25 cu ft compressed bag that weigh 40 lbs each then this product is costing you 0.13 cents per lb. The higher priced vendor with the shavings bags that are 5 lbs each heavier would actually save you $460 per load in extra pounds of product.
All this may sound confusing, but to make it simple fine shavings should be judged by weight, flaky shavings by loose volume.
Do Shavings come palletized and can they be stored outside?
Our shavings do come palletized. When we or the customer plans to handle them with a forklift we ship this way. Some of our shavings are palletized in configurations of 54 bags and some in 45 bags per pallet depending on the plant we ship from. Our paper bags of small /fine kiln dried pine shavings are not available on pallets and cannot be stored outside. Plastic bag packaged shavings can be stored outside as long as the pallet and wrap is not ripped or broken. Our pallets come triple shrink wrapped with rain caps on top to keep water from running down in-between the bags. If you are going to take delivery of a trailer load and store them outside for more than 90 days we recommend that you cover the pile with a heavy tarp, and rope the tarp down to the pallets under the shavings. Over a period of several months the rain caps may break down or blow off in the wind, and water will run in-between the bags making spots wet where a small hole may be in the bag.
Pallets of shavings are somewhat awkward to handle with forks on a tractor bucket or skid steer because they are top heavy and can tip over easily when being lowered down from the truck height, especially if you do not have a self leveling bucket. Visibility of the fork ends on a tractor with loader are not very good at times, therefore an extra person to guide the forks in to the pallet for the operator is very helpful. The best machine to handle palletized shavings is a standard forklift. If you do not have a loading dock and are using a tractor or skid steer to unload then you will need a pallet jack or a long strap/chain to drag the pallets out of the trailer to the back where you can pick up the pallet from.
We normally deliver loads of palletized shavings from our mills on van trailers, however, in some cases we use flatbeds. Flatbeds are easier to unload with a fork machine only if you have a large level parking lot where you can access all sides of the trailer. Van trailers are unloaded from the back end only so you don’t have to travel far with the pallet on the forks so there is less of a chance for pallet tip-over’s.
Do you offer drop trailers?
Yes we do in high volume situations. When a customer uses more than 1300 bags of shavings every 5 to 6 weeks we will drop a trailer and switch when empty. Shavings will come on the trailer floor loaded with no pallets or wrap. This is very convenient for the customer because storage is outside the barn and shavings are kept dry. You will need a easily accessible parking area for the trailer that is hard so trailers or trucks will not sink at any time of year. When customers use less than 1300 bales every 5 to 6 weeks we prefer to unload in to a hay loft or storage area because the cost for leaving a drop trailer will in most cases exceeds our unloading cost. In our full service area however we always prefer to unload over dropping trailers due to trailer availability in our fleet.
Choosing between our 3 types of shavings.
Aden Brook offers 3 types of shavings, large/medium low dust, medium fine mix and kiln dried fine. Depending on your needs, one of these types of shavings will be just right for you.
Our best selling shavings are the large/medium low dust shavings. They are soft and fluffy and make an excellent fluffy bedding for performance horses. The low amount of dust in them is very important for keeping the air in the stall free of particles that would be inhaled by the animals. Manufactured from Northern White Pine these shavings are free of saw mill by products and have a very clean texture to them. If you are bedding show and performance horses chances are these shavings are the best choice for you. They also work very well for bedding poultry and other animals were low dust bedding is needed.
Our medium/fine mix shavings are great for customers who want shavings that will sift better with a cleaning fork and have a higher rate of absorbency. These shavings are a mix of medium and fine sized flakes. They work great for bedding a variety of animals where a longer lasting shavings is also a concern. These shavings will be more dusty and not as fluffy as your large/medium low dust variety. If your concern is using less shavings and getting a higher absorbency these are the shavings for you.
Our fine grade kiln dried pine shavings are more of an old fashion type. They are residue from a planer molding mill that only cuts kiln dried Northern White Pine. They come in a 3.25cu ft paper bag, they are fine and soft, highly absorbent and can be somewhat dusty when compared to our low dust variety. The bags are quite heavy and there is a lot of material in them. Customers that like this type of shavings are very loyal to this product and use significantly less than other shavings. If you like the old fashion shavings that came from planer mills in the past these will keep you satisfied.