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Man Mover for Harvestore Silo
Easiest climbing upright silo we've ever seen is the 90 ft. tall Harvestore, owned by brothers Roger and Howard Schnell, of Franklin Grove, Ill.
It's equipped with a Schnell-designed and built "man mover" that turns climbing the 90 ft. structure into an effortless, 15 second joy ride.
"We load and unload our Harvestore year-around, which adds up to a lot of trips to the top to open and shut the filler door. Hardly a month goes by that we don't make at least one or two trips up and down in the lift. We've used it for 13 years without any mechanical, safety or other problems," says Roger who feels most Harvestores equipped with a conventional ladder would be good candidates for a similar home-built "man mover."
The carriage, which moves up and down inside the Harvestore-built ladder, is equipped with welded-on steel sleeves which guide on vertical pipes (1-112 in. dia.) one on each side - - anchored in concrete. The pipe sections were coupled together using "a pipe inside the pipe" connection at each joint (rather than coupling them together with conventional threaded pipe couplings) to provide a smooth, unobstructed surface for the carriage's sleeves to freely slide on. The original ladder bolts were removed and new bolts welded to the vertical support pipes to tie them, and the ladder, to the silo wall.
A cast iron counter-weight weighs right at 300 lbs. It guides up and down on a square track made of 2 in. square steel tubing used for making shelves in large warehouses. 31sang aircraft steel cable (5/16 in. dia.) runs between the carriage and the cast iron counter-weight. A 16 in. dia. wheel, salvaged from a hay conditioner and equipped with Timken bearings, serves as a pivot point for the cable at the top of the silo.
Roger's weight (right at 225 lbs.) plus weight of the carriage (75 lbs.) adds up to enough weight to offset weight of the concrete counter-weight. If a person lighter than 225 lbs. uses the lift, lead weights (50 lbs each) are placed on the floor of the carriage as needed.
The Schnell's equipped their "Man Mover" with a foot brake which can be used to stop or slow its descent. Total out-of-pocket cost for the lift was right at $250.
Contact: Schnell Brothers, 1243 Rock Road, Franklin Grove, Ill. 61031 (ph 815 857-3584, or 3609).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #6