As long as you have at least 20% sand in your mix and the moisture is not too high you shouldn't have bridging. With my first batch I didn't know better and it bridged big time. I took my mix back to my source and we mixed in sand and then it worked fine. I wear gloves when using the machine and sometimes at the very start I have to take just a few second to adjust the material and then when the hopper is almost empty I shove it off the edges but it's not a big deal. I can empty a machine very quickly and don't have any major complaints. My mix is usually 30% sand. It sounds like you have a material issue. You really need some T-handle allen head tools to get the heads tight. For next season I may put Loctite on all the screws. I've only lost one so far at my first yard and none since. I did over $30K in top dressing this spring and my costs were probably only $10K so Ecolawn has made me some money. All the work was done in only about 15 days.