Transforming Hog Farming: Hilldale’s Success with Automated Power Washing

Cleaning a hog barn manually is, and always will be a dreadful task. In today’s world of hog farming, where biosecurity requirements are high, this task, though undesirable, is a necessity. Washpower recently connected with Hilldale Colony in Havre, Montana, to hear about their experiences transitioning from manual to automatic power washing.

When asked about the specific challenges they were facing with the traditional cleaning methods at Hilldale Colony, one staff member said that a major issue was the physical toll that the work took, particularly as you are not getting younger. Additionally, there are many other tasks to manage, leaving little time for barn maintenance.

For these reasons, Hilldale chose to invest in a Washpower wash robot. This investment has significantly improved Hilldale´s efficiency and workflow. As one of the members of staff at Hilldale puts it “The washpower gets about 75% of the manure, feed, etc, and while it does that, the barn employees can do other work while the cleaning is still in process.”.  Since acquiring the robot, their cleaning crew went from 5 down to 3 and they spent approximately 40% less time for an approximate 60% labor savings, overall.  The saved time didn’t disappear but was able to be redirected to other important tasks within the farrowing operation.

When comparing the effectiveness of the Wash robot to manual cleaning methods, Hilldale´s response is clear. Unlike humans, robots do not get tired. It consistently and thoroughly cleans throughout the wash cycle, similar to a reliable workhorse. Lastly, the ease of programming and implementing the robot in the barn was discussed. Here, they said, “Washpower helped with whatever questions we had, and the robot was very easy to install and program”.

Altogether, Hilldale Colony has had a positive experience with transitioning from manual cleaning to automatic power washing. To them it has been an investment that has relieved some of the heavy workload, saving time and energy for other tasks.