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500-Bu. Grain Wagon Built From Semi Tractor And Trailer Parts
"It's built much heavier than anything on the market and handles better, too," says Doug Hochstedler, Wakarusa, Ind., about his 500-bu. grain wagon that's built from semi tractor and semi trailer parts. The trailer unloads from a 20- by 24-in. opening at the bottom of the hopper.
The 20-ft. long, 8-ft. wide, and 9 1/2-ft. high trailer was built by a local welding shop, Southwest Welding. It was built using the rear axle and jacks off a semi trailer, and the front axle and fifth wheel dolly off a semi tractor. The hopper floor and walls are made from 12 ga. sheet metal. The frame above the rear axle is made from 4 by 6-in. tubing while 2 by 6 tubing was used for the side rails and for the cross pieces on front and back. The vertical supports on each side of the hopper are made from 2 by 3-in. steel tubing.
To construct the front axle and fifth wheel dolly, he cut off the semi tractor's front axle, cab, and hood, keeping the rear axle, springs, and dolly. He had the welding shop narrow up part of the semi tractor frame to form the V-shaped hitch.
"It works as good as I hoped," says Hochstedler. "I use it mainly to haul grain from the field to the bins in my yard where I use a short 8-in. dia. auger to transfer grain into an auger that goes up to my bins. I use a 120 hp tractor to pull it. I spent a total of less than $5,000 to build it. A commercial grain wagon of comparable size sells for about $7,000. I had been pulling two wagons together with a total capacity of 450 bu. The problem was that when both wagons were loaded, the rear wagon would sway. I also wanted more capacity.
"The trailer is equipped with three used jacks off semi trailers. Two jacks support the hopper and the other one supports the dolly. By jacking up the trailer and releasing the fifth wheel, I can remove the dolly from the trailer and use it to pull a flatbed trailer that hauls water and chemicals. Even when it's loaded the trailer is easy to hook up because the jack always keeps the dolly hitch at the right height for the tractor."
The trailer has ladders at both ends and is covered by a roll tarp. Flasher and turn signals on back operate off the tractor's 12-volt electrical system.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Doug Hochstedler, 27699 State Road 119, Wakarusa, Ind. 46573 (ph 219 862-1005).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5