Fairfax — When you farm big with big equipment, you need big machine sheds with big doors. Schweiss Doors filled that bill through the years by manufacturing three large bifold liftstrap doors for Huisman Farms of Atwater, Minn.
50-foot by 18-foot bifold liftstrap door
Jim and Tim Huisman work the 3,000-plus acre corn and soybean farm. Tim's father, Jim, first contacted Schweiss Doors nearly 20 years ago to order his first bifold liftstrap door, measuring 36 feet wide and 17 feet high. As the operation grew from its beginnings in 1968, additional buildings and larger farm equipment led to the need for larger doors on a 100-foot by 225-foot cold storage shed. The first door measured 45 feet by 18 feet and the third oor, installed just last year, is 50 feet wide and 18 feet tall.
As you approach the farm, located southeast of Atwater, the first thing you notice is a series of wind turbines chopping up the air. Once on the farm, visitors see strategically placed large machine sheds and a 12-sun tracker row of solar panels that supply the electricity for the farm. Yes, Jim and Tim are modern-day progressive farmers in the best sense of the word and if there is any doubt, a quick glance at their sparkling clean modern machinery and semis shedded neatly in a row, puts all uncertainty to rest.
The pride in their operation and love of the "Long Green Line" of John Deere equipment is reflected inside their machine shed and on the 50-foot bifold door where the main frame, roofing purlins, rafters and internal door trusses are painted green and yellow. As an added touch, the Huismans had Schweiss customize their door with black straps, black auto latch and shield covers and black motors.
"My big thing in selecting bifold doors over hydraulic doors is I've seen how snow can build up in front of a hydraulic door," says Tim Huisman. "I like to clean up right to the front of the doors. Our doors have all been working well, the only thing we don't have on the old door are remotes and autolatches. That's something we've looked at doing. It does have the straps, which we love."
Jim Huisman adds, "We've known about Schweiss Doors our whole life."
The Huismans visited the Schweiss Doors factory and were given a tour of the operation by Mike Schweiss. They didn't look into any other manufacturers for bifold doors, adding that they've talked to other people that aren't as happy with their other-brand doors.
"What we like most about the doors is the ease of operation, good installation, the width and we love the straps," says Tim Huisman. "I do like the autolatches because they are always latched. That way, no one can forget to latch the door. Schweiss also did black straps and custom black paint on all the shields on the big door. That was a nice option because we don't like a lot of red around this farm."
From the start, Huisman farms have been built with the next generation in mind.
I have two boys and we're building this farm for our next generation," Tim Huisman says. "Just like my dad built it with me in mind, everything I've been building is with them in mind. That's why we like to find a product that we know will last and Schweiss seems to have a good, long-lasting product that hangs in there with the storms. As long as the building holds up, we know the doors will hang in there and we won't have problems with maintenance."
Schweiss Doors is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors. Doors are custom made to any size for any type of new or existing building for architects and builders determined to do amazing things with their buildings, including the doors. Schweiss also offers a cable to liftstrap conversion package.