Tow and Collect Frequently Asked Questions

horse poop catcher

We’ve collated a number of questions we commonly get about our Tow and Collect machines here. Click the sections below and let us know if there is anything missing.

What speed can I tow and the Tow and Collect?
We recommend a speed of around 6 -9 miles/hour.

Can I tow with an electric vehicle eg. A golf cart?
Yes. Most golf carts will be able to tow the smaller of the machines

What can I tow them with?
We recommend an ATV 4 wheeler motorbike, however the machines can be towed with ride-on mowers, small tractors and most other farm machinery. We recommend a tow ball height of between 10 – 16 inches.

Why does it click when reversing or turning?
The clicking when turning and reversing is completely normal. This occurs because of the direct drive system built into the smaller two machines which is a differential to allow the wheels to travel at different speeds when cornering or reversing. The wheels turn the brushes that do the collecting.

How can I see one in operation?
Please get in touch with us and we will see if we can put you in touch with one of our customers who might live near you.

Do they work in long grass?
Ideally, the length of grass for the machines to be most effective is no more than 2-3 inches in height. In longer areas (Like urine patches) you may have to make a couple of passes to clear the majority of manure. This is also dependent on the density of your pastures and grass type.   The less dense, the longer grass it can handle.

Do they work in sand arenas?
You may find you pick up some sand but most should fall through the brushes. Remember to set up your machine so the brushes sit about a finger-width above the sand. The 1500 Pro is the machine most suited to sand arenas but be aware that the brushes are likely to wear quicker than on grass. Replacement brushes are available as spare parts from our website.

Do they work in mud and snow?
The machines will work, but we do not recommend using them in wet or muddy conditions as this will clog the brushes up quickly.

Will the machines pick up rocks?
Most rocks will fall out between the brushes, some large rocks may get caught in brushes – be diligent in checking brushes are clear when unloading. Rocks and sticks can get jammed up on brush shaft.

Do they work on rocky ground?
We do not recommend the machines are used on rocky ground.

Will they pick up debris from trees etc, bark, leaves, sticks etc?
Yes. The machines work very well for property maintenance picking up small sticks, bark, leaves etc. They can be used on driveways however use on bitumen or concrete will wear out the brushes quickly. Be diligent in checking brushes are clear of sticks when unloading, some may get caught in brushes.

Will the machines pickup cow manure?
We do not recommend the machines for picking up cow manure.

Will it pick up nuts?
Yes, the machines will pick up nuts along with all other debris on ground.

Does it damage the grass?
No. In most cases the Tow and Collect will help to groom your paddocks, removing dead or thatched grass allowing fresh new growth to come through. In bad drought conditions – tuffs of grass can be pulled out with tines – raise tines in these conditions

How does it work on hills?
We recommend using the machines on flat to rolling hills with a gradient of no more than about 10-15 degrees. This will need to be considered with your Tow Vehicle and its ability and safety rating also.

Will it pick up sheep and goat manure?

Will it pick up pinecones and needles?
Yes. However, pinecones to rattle around and we recommend not picking up pinecones any bigger than your fist.

How close can I get to the fence line?
The widest part of the machine is the wheels. We recommend staying at least 1 foot away from your fences to ensure you do not crash into posts.

Will it work in arenas and dry ground?
Yes, they will but be aware of the potential for dust creation. Be diligent in cleaning the machine, clean after each use by clearing dirt out of the filter, and also clean the engine filter regularly.

Can I use it for property maintenance to pick up debris and sweep driveways?
Yes. We have a number of customers, including municipalities, councils, and local government bodies using the Tow and Collect machines for this purpose.

Will it pickup clay targets?
The machines will pick up clay targets and wads.

How many horses can be picked up after per machine?
Mini 700 = 2.5 wheelbarrow loads – 2 to 4 horses
1220 = 3.5 wheelbarrow loads – 5 to 8 horses
1500 Pro = 5 wheelbarrow loads – 8 plus

What is the collection capacity of the different machines?
Mini 700 = 2.5 Wheelbarrows = 320 Litres/84 Gallons
1220 = 3.5 Wheelbarrows = 500 Litres/132 Gallons
1500 Pro = 5 Wheelbarrows = 620 Litres/163 Gallons

Will the machines scare horses?
No, the machines do not scare horses.

How do you know when it is full?
The machines all have holes on the sides that easily let you identify when the catcher is full.
Generally the machine stops picking up when it is full also, and starts to leave a trail behind it.

Is it loud when running?
The Mini 700 and 1220 are very quiet to operate. However, do be aware that when turning the machines around a corner or reversing they do put out an audible clicking sound. This is normal due to the self-drive system that turns the brushes. On the 1500 Pro, the motor is the noisiest part and is similar to the running of a hand-pushed motor mower.

How easy is it to open and empty the hopper at the back?
The hopper at the back is easy to open. It is opened by the use of a crank handle which is assisted with a gas strut.

Are parts available?
We have parts available for immediate dispatch from our warehouse through our website here Spare Parts Archives – Tow and Collect – US

What about servicing?
Servicing is simple and we have maintenance videos available here on our YouTube channel
Mini 700 and 1220 
Maintenance | Tow and Collect Mini 700 and 1220 – YouTube
1500 Pro Maintenance | Tow and Collect 1500 Pro – YouTube

What is the most frequently repaired part?
The brushes are the part that wears the quickest and can be easily replaced when needed. Spare brushes can be ordered on our website.

How long do the brushes last?
The brushed will last up to 2 years under normal use and conditions. (Normal use is defined as being between 2-3 pickups per week.) We recommend watching our setup video to get the best life out of the brushes, if these are incorrectly set up in height (too low to ground), the brushes will become rounded and will smear manure behind machine and stop collecting. The brushes will only last up to 3 months if incorrect brush height is set.

Do I have to pay tax?
Generally no. Exceptions are if you live in Georgia State then you will have to pay state sales tax unless you have an exemption.

Can I pay by cheque?
Presently we cannot accept cheques.

What payment methods are there?
We accept all major credit cards and can accept direct transfer payments as well. We can also provide finance arrangements through PayPal.

What is the shipping cost?
Your shipping cost depends entirely on where you live. The best way to find out shipping is to go through the shopping process, put your details into the system, and checkout will calculate the shipping as you go.

How long does it take for my order to arrive?
When we have stock in our warehouse your machine will be dispatched within 1-2 working days. The time taken to get to you is then entirely dependant on where you reside and how far away from our warehouse you are.

How easy is it to assemble?
The machines are easy to assemble. We provide these unpacking videos to help

1500 Pro: Unpacking and Assembling – Tow and Collect 1500 Pro | Maintenance – YouTube

1220 and Mini 700: How to Unpack and Assemble – Tow and Collect Mini 700 / 1220 | Maintenance – YouTube

What is the difference between motor-driven and non-motor-driven machines?
Simply. The motor. Each machine does the exact same job. The only real difference is the 1500 Pro motor drives the brushes enabling you to travel a little slower without losing speed in the turning brushes.

Where are they manufactured?
All the machines are manufactured in New Zealand at our factory in a small town called Dannevirke. Metalform, the designer and manufacturer of the Tow and Collect employs over 130 local people who build the Tow and Collect along with other heavy-duty farm equipment.

How long have you been in business?
Metalform was founded in 1961 and has been in business ever since. The Tow and Collect machines were first brought to market by Metalform in 2002. We ship to USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and our home market – New Zealand.

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