The Hudson Valve should be routinely cleaned to maintain optimal performance. Depending on your water source, cleaning should take place between 2 – 6 times per year. The more silt, rust, debris, etc. in your water, the more often you need to clean the valve. Moss, algae and other debris can clog the small holes that run through the valve causing it to stop working properly. Follow these steps for optimal performance.
28-foot wide, 6 mil greenhouse plastic with 4‑year rating
Cross Bracing Height
6 feet 9 inches (2.1m)
8 feet 1 inch (2.5m) with Lift Kit
8 feet 1 inch (2.5m)
Lift Kit included
1″ flat polypropylene strap
1 ⅜” diameter 17-gauge galvanized steel pipe
Gothic and Gothic Pro
1 ⅜” diameter 17-gauge galvanized steel pipe
2 – 3 hours
4 – 8 hours
3 – 4 hours
5 – 10 hours
Our tunnels meet the basic 325R National NRCS specifications. Ultimately, you should contact your local NRCS rep and provide our installation manual found here and the attached spec sheet for their review. Also, please see the NRCS guides attached to this article for step by step instructions on how to apply!
The Caterpillar tunnels are shipped on a 4×8 wooden pallet via motor freight (an 18 wheel tractor trailer). Depending on the order, sometimes multiple tunnels can fit on one pallet.
You will receive a pro number for tracking from Farmers Friend when your shipment is picked up from our facility. It is recommended that you contact the carrier prior to delivery to make arrangements for time and date. There is some flexibility in date and time of delivery, but customers in remote areas should accept delivery at the carriers convenience to avoid excessive delays or extra charges.
Prior to moving or unloading, please take pictures of the order. This is in case items are missing or damaged we have a way to verify contents and condition. We recommend conducting an inventory of the shipment with your included packing list as soon as possible after unloading.
As far as unloading, it is the customer’s responsibility. The carrier will not have a forklift to unload. A forklift or tractor with forks is not required, as the shipment can be unloaded by hand with two people. Simply break the bands and remove the packaging. The individuals unloading should be capable of team-lifting 130 pounds. Out of consideration for the carrier, we request you prepare to unload as quickly as possible.
Farmers Friend will not authorize the use of any liftgate services, and they are not included in any shipping charges, nor is it included with free shipping. If the local terminal or driver offers lift gate services, do not accept them for any reason as there will be an additional charge billed to you from Farmers Friend at $150.
There is no official wind rating on our tunnels. The caterpillar tunnel is designed to be a moveable structure. Therefore, it is inherently not made to withstand high winds.
A tunnels ability to withstand wind is based on at least 6 factors:
Soft soils have less grip on the anchoring materials, while more compact soils hold better.
Related to soil type is ground saturation. How wet is the soil at the time of said wind event? Saturated soil will be more likely to let go of the anchors.
The standard caterpillar tunnel is stabilized by a nylon purlin strap. Accessories that increase rigidity while maintaining the caterpillar attribute of moveable are: Solid Center Purlin, Wind Bracing, and Spring Wire.
Anchoring options that exist for caterpillar tunnels are rebar, cemented ground posts, and Earth Anchors. Rebar is the most economical industry standard effective in moderate winds. Cemented ground posts eliminates the Caterpillar Tunnel strength of temporary, but provides a rock solid foundation. Earth Anchors are an expensive ground screw option that holds like concrete but is easily removed and reused.
Tunnels have also been reported as having problems with the plastic being blown to one side from broadside winds. Spring wire is a solution to aid in preventing this occurrence.
Customer installation is the final factor. Assuming all instructions are followed and installation is correct, the standard tunnel can withstand light winds and moderate gusts.
With all that said, our standard tunnels have withstood winds up to 50+ miles per hour. In the cases where similar winds have damaged tunnels, the six factors must be analyzed.
The prudent grower would do well to evaluate these six factors in light of their budget, short and long-term farm plan, and specific growing context.