2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Giant Conveyor Moves A Mountain Of Grain
The Peterson brothers - Don, Wayne, Len and Ervin - get a lot of use out of the 100-ft. long, self-propelled unit they built from a 20-in. dia. steel tube and a 30-in. wide Chevron belt.
The Petersons needed a high-capacity grain mover for their joint farming operation and started by building the main frame from 4 by 4 by 1/4-in. steel tubing.
"This rig's capacity is up to 300 bu. per minute," Don explains. "If the angle is really steep, it might drop down to about 150 bu. per minute."
It rides on dual wheels from a truck, with the wheelbase extended to 13 ft. The smaller set of wheels is from a 3/4-ton truck with 16-in. tires.
The conveyor is driven by a 400 Ford engine that's coupled to a hydrostatic pump. At the top of the conveyor, there's a hydrostatic motor from a 760 Massey combine, as well as a baler gear box, which reduces the speed and drives the 20-in. drum with rubber friction pads. The belt is tightened lineally, by sliding the bottom section of the pipe down over top of the main tube, Don explains.
A hydraulic motor drives a transmission tied to the rear end, which provides speed options up to a maximum of about 7 mph.
When moving the unit, the Petersons usually walk beside it, operating the waist-level controls. Since there is no seat, they sit on the frame if they move it any distance.
One hydraulic pump drives the machine. They switch back and forth as needed from the belt circuit using a lever on the variable speed pump to control the speed.
Another pump supplies oil for the lift and steering. The scissor-type lift is a telescopic cylinder from a gravel truck box.
The top end of the conveyor can be brought down to ground level for servicing. There's a removable deflector on the end that deflects straight down. It's removed when they're filling a large quonset building, allowing the grain to shoot off the end another 15 to 20 ft.
Another feature of the rig is its catwalk, which allows the Petersons to easily open bins and look into them. One-inch pipe runs the length of the catwalk and loops back again; it's dual-purpose, since it cools the oil that flows through it, plus serves as a handrail and guardrail for the catwalk. As a result, it's also a hand-warmer in the winter.
The main purpose for building the rig was to handle peas without shattering them, but it also works great for wheat. They generally run the conveyor at a 40 to 45-ft. height, but the unit is designed to go up to 50 ft.
According to Don, added bonuses of having this unit are, they also use it as a crane to lift and move objects weighing up to 1,000 lbs. (such as grain augers on their dryer) and as a scaffold for high buildings or trimming trees. In addition, they have sat at the top of it.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Peterson, 10604 û 109 Ave., Westlock, Alta., Canada T7P 1C1 (ph 780 349-7126).
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