Farmer’s across the United States are well known for their savvy ability to find the best “bang for the buck” when providing “food for the world”. As most farmers know, outdoor storage space is something that is in dire need with the equipment, livestock, and grain investments they have. One of the most common needs of outdoor storage for farmers is hay cover. Fabric covered hay storage buildings (sometimes called hoop barns or buildings) have been a cost efficient storage solution for agricultural professionals for many years. The cost for a traditional wood or steel framed hay storage building has become quite costly as most consumers and farmers are aware. In addition, the cost and time required to obtain building permits for a permanent structure has added to the frustration who are in need outdoor storage space. In addition to hay cover, fabric covered buildings are frequently used for industrial, manufacturing, vehicle, watercraft, and warehousing storage.
There are a number of benefits that hay storage buildings offer when compared to the conventional wood and metal storage building. Cost efficiency, flexibility, and ease of construction are a few of the advantages that can be noted. When doing a ‘side by side’ comparison of a standard wood frame or steel sided building to store hay, a fabric covered hay storage building is just a portion of the price. This becomes even more notable with larger square footage buildings when the cost difference widens even more. Simplicity of construction is another notable benefit as hay storage building and hay covers can be built on a variety of leveled mounting surfaces including poured concrete pads, blacktop, dirt, gravel, and even wood header walls for added internal clearance to store additional hay. Many farmers will place their recently purchased hay storage building on a wood post header wall for additional storage clearance and to prevent damage to the building and hay. In situations where livestock and animals are being sheltered, the wall provides a sturdy foundation and barrier for the animals. In addition, hoop cover buildings traditionally do not require permits for construction approval, however, it is recommended to consult with local building authorities prior to purchase.
Poly covered hay storage building frames are traditionally manufactured of round or square galvanized structural steel tubing for resistance against rust and corrosion. A variety of other fastening hardware such as framing brackets, pipe clamps, and connectors are used to completely assemble the frame. Many manufacturers use corner struts to provide additional stability in harsh weather conditions. Hoop cover structures are typically “stand alone” in nature which allows them to stand freely without the use of outside supporting devices. Although hoop cover buildings are freestanding, a durable anchoring system is required to secure the structure to a mounting surface. If the building is mounted to a wood header wall, concrete blocks, or a poured wall, the wall provides the security.
Covers (often called tarps) are manufactured from woven coated polyethylene which is thermally fused at the seams to prevent water and moisture intrusion into the building. Some manufacturers may use poly vinyl chloride (also known as PVC) which is a similar material. Regardless of the cover material that is utilized, these materials can offer years of protection with the proper care and upkeep. Covers are tensioned tightly to the hoop cover building frame utilizing a commercial grade tensioning system that uses ratchets, straps, and cables depending on the design of that specific building. Pockets are thermally fused into the cover on both sides extending the full length. Swaged steel piping is inserted into the pockets on both sides of the cover. Polyester straps are installed around the steel pipe in the pocket by carefully cutting a small tear into the pocket (being careful not to cut the main cover). The straps are then inserted into rugged steel ratchets that are secured to the bottom of the hoop frame or the wall on which the barn is mounted. Tightening the steel ratchets places tension on the cover in every direction. Proper care and maintenance involves keeping the cover tight to the frame. Loose covers can cause water and debris buildup in certain areas which can reduce the life of the cover. Simply verifying cover tightness one time per year should be sufficient to confirmation. It is also important to keep any debris such as sharp objects from collecting on the cover as this can reduce cover life expectancy. This includes such items as tree limbs and leaves.
As previously discussed, units erected on a poured, concrete block, concrete pad, containers, or wood header wall do not require additional anchoring. Units constructed on dirt, gravel, or asphalt surface require additional security to prevent damage to the hay storage building and its contents. Steel auger or twist anchors are frequently used for dirt, gravel, and asphalt surfaces. The majority of these shelters will include steel base mounting plates with predrilled mounting holes. The mounting holes allow the building to be properly fastened to wood headers, concrete pads, and steel I beams. The mounting plates also help to prevent the hoop cover from sinking on soft surfaces such as sand and dirt.
Each consumer ultimately has a different situation when deciding the size of hay storage building that is required to meet their storage needs. Regardless of the size, we feature a large selection ranging up to 42’ wide. 10’ – 14’ wide units are frequently used to store vehicles, watercraft, and garden equipment. Larger units are used for equipment, grain, vehicle, watercraft, warehousing, and manufacturing storage. We invite all prospective consumers to view our large selection of hay storage and hoop cover building products which are organized by size to the left.