2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Low-Cost Bunker Silo Built From Railroad Ties And Woods Pallets
Fair bought a pile of 8-ft. long pallets from a salvage yard for $50. They form the sides and back of the silo, supported by 12-ft. long railroad ties which Fair set 4 ft. deep in the ground and spaced 4 ft. apart. He ran a 3 by 10 wooden plank along the bottom of the ties and then set the pallets on top of the planks. Plastic twine was used to tie the pallets to the posts.
To seal the sides, he lined the inside of the entire silo with 6mm white plastic sheeting, doubling it up for extra strength.
"It really works well and cost only about $500 (Canadian) to put up," says Fair. "I built it three years ago when I was short of feed due to a drought. The hay crop wasn't very good that year but the corn seemed to do well. I decided to cut some of the corn to feed to our 25 cows, but we didn't have an upright silo and I didn't want to spend the money to put one up. This home-built bunker holds about 120 tons.
"I dump silage into the silo and then use a loader tractor to push it in and pack it down. I place a single ply layer of plastic on top of the silage and use tires to weight it down. There's very little waste û maybe a total of two forage wagon loads a year. I tied the skids to the railroad ties instead of nailing them because I thought it would be easier to maintain and repair."
Contact: Mark Fair, 956 Butter Rd. West, Rt. 2, Ancaster, Ontario, Canada L9G 3L1 (ph 905 648-3364).
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