Bedding Dryers

Bedding Dryers reduce the moisture content in sand and manure bedding using relatively simple and proven rotary drying technology. The wet bedding is introduced into the system along with heat and air. As the material tumbles through the dryer, heat and air pull the moisture out. The drier product is collected at the end, while the air and moisture are exhausted. Dry bedding requires little or no conditioning and can be used immediately following its discharge from the Bedding Dryer.

Drier bedding means less moisture is brought into the barns and freestalls. Since moisture is one of the three things needed for bacterial growth, reducing it also reduces the bacteria’s ability to grow and creates a healthier environment for the cows.

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Why McLanahan Bedding Dryers

McLanahan Bedding Dryer systems are designed for quick, easy installation with minimal costs. The most common size systems arrive mounted on a frame. Simply attach and level the feet, mount the required ductwork and collectors, hook up the electricity, connect the energy source for heat, and you’re ready to produce cleaner, drier bedding.

Bedding Dryers require minimal operator interaction. Exhaust temperatures are monitored, helping to indicate the dryness of the material. Once a target exit temperature is established and set, the system automatically adjusts to maintain that desired exit temperature, ensuring a consistent final product. To feed the system, a hopper supplies material to the dryer at a constant rate. At the discharge, conveyors move the finished product to the desired storage location. The finished product is ready for bedding with no further handling required.

Systems are designed and built for optimal thermal efficiency to keep operational costs as low as possible. Bedding material is retained in the dryer just long enough to remove moisture and achieve maximum pathogen kill before exiting the system.

High temperatures in the system quickly and efficiently reduce moisture and kill pathogens that lead to poor cow health and low milk quality. The result is cleaner, drier bedding that can be reused instantly. In the barns, the free stalls are cleaner and more comfortable, ultimately resulting in healthier cows with higher milk production and lower somatic cell counts. Multiple sizes and many options are available to suit almost any drying need.

Bedding Dryers are flexible and can operate on natural gas, propane, diesel, or on biogas produced from anaerobic digestion.

How Bedding Dryers Work

Bedding Dryer systems contain several key components. The burner and furnace provide a consistent heat source. The insulated drum, which contains lifters and flighting, lifts the material as it rotates and showers it into the heated air. The combination of flighting and air flow move the material through the drum to the discharge end, where a product collector allows the dried material to settle out of the airstream. The air continues to a cyclone, where smaller, lighter material is pulled out. Airlocks control the material and air flow out of the product collector and cyclone. A fan, located at the outlet of the cyclone, pulls the air and moisture through the system and exhausts it to the atmosphere.

A consistent feed is important for the system's operation, so a hopper and conveyor system is used to meter the correct amount of bedding material into the dryer. At the discharge end, a conveyor system is used to move and stack the dried bedding.

Popular Applications for Bedding Dryers

Bedding Dryers are well-suited for a wide variety of applications. Some of the many materials that can be dried with a Bedding Dryer include manure solids bedding, sand bedding, paper mill sludge, organic material and chicken manure.

Benefits of McLanahan Bedding Dryers

  • Proven – Bedding Dryers are proven to be rubust and efficient
  • Versatile – Single-pass or triple-pass units are available in multiple sizes and configurations to suit most any drying need
  • Efficient – The system is engineered for efficient moisture removal with minimal operator interface and little maintenance
  • Simple – Smaller units are preassembled and prewired on a frame for fast setup and installation
  • Automated – Outputs are monitored and the system is adjusted automatically to ensure a consistent product
  • Minimal downtime – Unique bolt-on tire design minimizes downtime during tire replacement. One-piece furnace refractory means longer refractory life
  • Safe – Systems come with an automatic fire suppression system in the unlikely event of a high temperature/fire situation

Bedding Dryers Models

McLanahan Bedding Dryer Manure Bedding Dryers
McLanahan Bedding Dryer Sand Bedding Dryers

Featured Resources

Five Star Dairy Case Study On Manure Bedding Dryers McLanahan Manure Bedding Dryer helps Five Star Dairy reduce toxic mastitis cases.
Five Star Dairy Bedding Dryer Discharging Sand
Kinnard Farms Case Study On Sand Bedding Dryer McLanahan Sand Bedding Dryer helps Kinnard Farms achieve their sand recycling goals.
Kinnard Farms Comfortable Cow Clean Dry Sand
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of drying my bedding?

Drier bedding will improve milk quality and cow health. Bacteria need three things to survive: moisture, heat and food. If any one of these three things is removed or reduced, the bacteria’s ability to survive is reduced. A drying system reduces the moisture and in some cases actually kills the bacteria in the bedding that leads to poor udder health. For more information on dewatering and drying, listen to this webinar.

How much does it cost to dry my bedding?

The cost of drying is driven largely by two things: the cost of electricity — although this is relatively small, and the cost of fuel. If you know your fuel and electric prices, McLanahan's cost calculator can help you determine the cost to dry your bedding.

How do I determine the size of Bedding Dryer?

The size of a system depends on these three things:

  1. The type of material that is being dried. Materials and the moisture that they contain behave differently in a drying system. For example, the moisture in sand is all surface moisture and is removed relatively easily. Manure fibers, being organic, not only have surface moisture but also internal moisture. This internal moisture is often more difficult to remove and requires longer retention times. Also, unlike manure fiber, sand is not combustible and therefore can be hit with higher heat.
  2. The amount of material that is being dried. This is usually measured in tons per hour, cubic feet per hour or cubic yards per hour. 
  3. The time allowed for operating the system. In some cases, the system will operate continuously 24/7, but in other cases, it needs to operate during daylight hours, five days a week. In the second case, if the same amount of material needs processed, the system will need sized much larger.

Want to estimate the size of dryer? Click here.

Is it safe to have such a large dryer in and near my barn and other buildings

Yes. Each Bedding Dryer has redundant sensors in the inlet and outlet to continously monitor the temperature. If the temperature gets out of range, the burner automatically idles down. In the event of dangerously high temperatures, the burner will shut off and a solenoid valve will open to allow steam or hot water to enter the dryer and extinguish any fires that may be present. 

What is the difference between single-pass and triple-pass?

The Single-Pass Bedding Dryer is the workhouse of the rotary drying world. As the name implies, material makes one pass through the drum. It enters at the inlet end, travels the length of the drum and exits. It’s most often used for heavier, stickier and more abrasive materials.

The Triple-Pass Bedding Dryer looks similar to a Single-Pass Bedding Dryer on the exterior, but the interior is much different. This drum contains three drums in one: an external drum, and internal drum and an intermediate drum. Material enters the inlet of the drum in the center. It travels to the discharge end, but instead of discharging, it tumbles outward to the intermediate drum where it is pulled back toward the inlet. Once it reaches the inlet end, it tumbles out to the outermost drum where it travels once again to the outlet end. Once it gets to the outlet, it exits the drum. This type of drum is good for lighter materials, such as manure fibers. It allows for lower inlet temperatures and fan speeds, but the material has a longer retention time.   

What other methods are used to dry bedding?

Some of the most common methods of drying include fluidized bed dryers, flash tube dryers, infrared dryers and perforated bed dryers.

While each of these systems is capable of drying materials, here are the reasons why McLanahan has chosen to use rotary dryers in their systems.

Can I use other fuel sources besides natural gas?

Natural gas and propane are the most common types of fuel that are used, but you can also use No. 2 Diesel as a fuel source. If you have a digester and excess biogas, you can use the biogas as long as it is scrubbed. Click here to see how much fuel is required to dry a ton of bedding.

What happens to all the water that is evaporated from the material?

The amount of water that is evaporated can be significant. The water is entrained in the air as water vapor and is carried out of the system through the exhaust ductwork. There are minimal residual fines and the exhaust can usually exit the system outside the building; it will look like a plume of water vapor. In some cases where the exhaust needs scrubbed further, a baghouse can be installed to clean any residual fines that may still be present.