2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #97[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
Lower Cost Method To Enclose Slurry TankAfter running a story about a Minnesota man who converted a Slurrystore into a storage shed with an engineered roof (Vol. 35, No. 2), a slurry tank conversion in Canada caught our attention. Instead of wood trusses, ratchet straps and custom-sewn canvas were used to enclose the former 120-ft. dia. slurry tank.
The roof cost just $15,000 but they did have some problems with it over the winter. So changes are being made.
“It didn’t winter very well. The seam let go on the rim,” says Paul Hofer, who managed the project for the Netley Hutterite Colony in Petersfield, Man.
He explains that the idea came from a colony in Alberta that did a similar conversion on a smaller tank for grain storage. Hofer’s colony wanted to convert their unused tank to store wood and other material for their cabinet-making business.
They removed the top ring of steel to reduce the 23-ft. high walls to 18 ft., cut out holes for an entrance door and overhead door, and put a stiffener ring around the top of the exterior. Inside, after pressure washing the walls and floor, they installed a 50-ft. tall, 20-in. oilfield pipe at the center. Using 2-in. pipe, Hofer welded a 5-ft. dia. frame to the oilfield pipe to attach to 43 2-in. ratchet straps. The other ends of the straps were attached to the top of the tank walls at the joints between the panels.
They ordered a custom-made one-piece 12-oz., canvas tarp with three layers at the center for extra strength. Rings on the canvas were hooked to the boom to raise it to the center and unroll it in two directions. Hofer and his crew tied the canvas to a center ring on the roof, unrolled the canvas about halfway down and spread it out before letting it roll down the rest of the way.
The lower edge of the tarp was secured with 1-in. ratchets to the stiffener ring. The rim turned out to be the weak point where the wind caught and tore the canvas loose.
“We will redo it and have it sewn twice and reinforced with strapping,” Hofer says. A stiffener ring will also be added to the inside of the tank.
If he were to do it again, he says he would have the canvas come down a couple feet on the wall, even if it looked wrinkled. He might have also lowered the center pipe 10 ft. While the steep pitch is good for shedding snow, it might not catch as much wind if it were a bit shorter.
Finally, Hofer suggests installing the roof when it’s warm to get a good taut roof with the ratchet straps. He notes that the ratchets can be tightened whenever needed.
He is hopeful that the modifications will do the trick and that the repurposed slurry tank will provide 12,000 sq. ft. of storage space for the colony for many years to come.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Hofer, Netley Colony, P.O. Box 100, Petersfield, Man., Canada R0C 2L0 (ph 204 886-7192; email@example.com).
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