Where I'm going with lime is that I think I will have my Gravel supplier deliver it via the 15-yard truck and spread it myself. That is not as easy as it sounds given that I've used a 3-pt broadcaster with the bagged stuff in the past. With the broadcaster on the back of the tractor and the bucket on the front, there is no way to load that lime other than with a shovel or another bucket loader of some type.
To begin with, I've never really cared for a 3-pt broadcast spreader. Calibration is spotty and there few that have the capacity or agitation of delivering lime. The best is probably the Herd 2440. I had an Armstrong Ag broadcaster and customized the agitator so that it would prevent bridging. Still, from a cab tractor, it is tough to open and close the feed gate. I added an extension to the opening lever, and if I use it to control activation, I must leave the back window of the cab open (the lime dust is awful). Use of the PTO controls the delivery but with lime, the gate must be wide open, so I do lose a lot of product at the end of my rows. Control, accurate delivery, and loading bulk material are going to cause me to give the broadcaster the boot.
I've researched lime spreaders, and there isn't, but a few made for small acreage, only two pull types that I've found. There is some old stuff available out there, but I'd rather buy something new as I haven't had much luck with used equipment. There is alway reason why it was sold, and it is generally worn out and typically painted over. I like the idea of using a drop vs. broadcast just to keep the dust and drift down.
What I'm considering is the GroundBuster 2000 Deluxe
With a hydraulic actuator for the gate ($675), the price would be $5,270. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but it is my cost difference being 17 tons of bagged lime vs. bulk delivered. This unit would allow me to work from the cab but with every ton, I would need to unhook and fill it with the bucket. It does use a simple pin hookup, quick-coupled hoses on the actuator, and a Bulldog rotating stand. It would also serve for fertilizer application which my Ag store will bulk deliver.
They are going to provide a shipping quote to today from eastern PA, but I have a pretty good idea what that will be because of the shipping quotes I received on used equipment from across the country. As it turns out, they are about an hour and a half from my sister in law and this unit is palletized for a long bed pick up. I bet I can secure this deal by suggesting a visit!