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Semi Dump Box And "Smart Auger" Stop Harvest Bottleneck
Keeping ahead of ever-bigger combines is a constant challenge for many farmers.
"Grain dumping has always been our biggest bottleneck," says Mark Petzoldt, who harvests crops with a neighbor. "We bought a larger grain cart, but then the augers and bin spreaders couldn't keep up."
Their solution was to use a semi trailer as a dump pit. A "smart" auger system with a double hopper that matches unloading doors under the semi box slowly feeds grain from the big trailer into bins.
The grain cart driver hauls his 900-bushel load to the semi trailer. With the 17-in. dia. auger on the grain cart, unloading is fast.
While grain goes into the trailer fast, it feeds out slowly, controlled by a proximity switch inside the semi box that starts the hopper augers and an auger that transfers grain to the bins.
As the box empties out, the switch is uncovered and the auger shuts off until the next load is dumped in the trailer. "With one person on the combine and the other on the grain cart, we can shell out 15,000-20,000 bushels per day," says Petzoldt.
He built the twin hoppers out of sheet metal and connected them with a 5-in. grain auger. An 8-in. auger runs from the hopper unit to the grain transport auger that moves the grain into the bin. An old 90 degree gear box ties the two augers together.
"I put a second proximity switch near the discharge point where the hopper discharges into the transport auger," says Petzoldt. "If the transport auger isn't taking the grain away fast enough, grain will build up and cover the switch, and the hopper augers will shut off so grain doesn't run onto the ground."
To make the hopper/auger unit easy to move, he welded swivel wheels from an old cultivator under the hoppers. The wheels under the discharge auger and hopper swivel, while the wheels under the first hopper are welded in place. This allows Petzoldt to steer it into place when setting up. When it is time to move to the next set of bins, he simply picks it up with a front-end loader and carries it down the road.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Petzoldt, RR 3, Box 31, Marshall, Mo. 65340 (ph 660 886-5970).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2