2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1, Page #31[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Sump Saver Keeps Grain Flowing
“I had issues with plugged augers and started working on a solution,” says Stahl.
He considered alternatives like a grain cage that sits over the auger. He realized that if it plugged up, the problem was multiplied. He needed something to physically break up the clumps causing the blockage.
His Sump Saver consists of 4 rotating fingers on a central axis mounted in a heavy-duty steel frame. It can be placed over a bin auger intake on the floor or next to an above floor auger mouth. The problem was getting the torque needed to start it up and keep it going to chip away at a plug.
“When you have hundreds of thousands of pounds of grain on top of the clump, you need a lot of torque,” says Stahl. “I have a dumpster full of prototypes that didn’t work. I started with electric gear motors, air cylinders, air motors and more, but none provided enough torque.”
Early on he considered hydraulic power and finally went back to it. The hydraulic motor he selected provides 6,000 inch/pounds of torque and operates in both forward and reverse.
Hydraulic hoses lie on the floor of the bin and run to a fitting on the bin side. When grain flow slows or a plug occurs, the operator connects the exterior hoses to tractor hydraulics.
“We suggest starting the motor when the flow starts to slow,” says Stahl. “Most of the time, you only need to run it for a few minutes until the grain flows again. However, we’ve also used the Sump Saver to remove 300 to 400 bu. of damaged material.”
Short hoses inside and quick couplers allow the hoses to be removed for storage when the bin is empty or being cleaned. Brackets inside and out allow hoses to hang safely when not in use.
The Sump Saver is priced at $1,500 with all hoses and connectors included. Stahl notes that stopping harvest to unplug an auger can cost a good deal more. So can not being able to empty a 50,000-bu. bin.
Being able to solve a plug problem from outside the bin also can prevent a tragedy. When a plug occurs, it is tempting for an operator to go inside a bin and use a rod to break up a plug.
“In 2013 in North Dakota, we had a perfect storm with late harvest, light weights and wet corn,” says Stahl. “As a result we had a lot of bin tragedies. We want people to buy the Sump Saver because it is a good economic decision, but safety is another aspect to consider.”
See the Sump Saver in action at FARMSHOW.COM.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sump Saver, 210 Industrial Rd., Emery, S. Dak. 57332 (ph 605 449-4121; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.sumpsaver.com).
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