2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Add-On Scale Helps Fill Trailers
“My scale system lets you leave a remote bin or field with a legal load of grain within 1 percent of 80,000 lbs.,” says Whalen. “It’s a simple solution with an on/off switch that can be mounted on any air ride trailer.”
Whalen came up with the idea when hauling grain for an area farmer. Retired from a career in construction, he would help at harvest or as needed.
“I ran the grain cart, but I couldn’t figure out how to get an accurate load on the semi-trailers,” says Whalen. “With the price of fuel, you don’t want to be underweight. At the same time, you don’t want to be overweight and get fined.”
Whalen recognized that the pressure in the hopper bottom’s air suspension system increases as the trailer fills. He designed and patented a system to measure the pressure change and calibrate it to the amount of grain. It consists of a brass compression fitting mounted to the trailer’s air suspension system. A 3/8-in. air line runs from the fitting to a signal processor in a polycarbonate box.
“The box is mounted on the front of the trailer to keep it out of salt and dust,” says Whalen. “It has a high visibility display that is easy to read, whether loading from an auger, an overhead bin, or a grain cart.”
Whalen set out to keep the system simple without a lot of bells and whistles, and he succeeded. It requires no app, transducers, weigh bars, or electronics beyond a DC power source. Even that seems to be idiot-proof.
“It connects to the battery through the trailer running lights,” he says. “We don’t want to run the battery down by accidentally leaving the scale on.”
After 3 years of fine-tuning the calibration system, the pandemic hit as Whalen was ready to start marketing. Word of mouth has sold systems throughout southern Minnesota, much of Iowa, and into South Dakota. The turnkey system often needs no calibration beyond what is done before shipping.
“Install it, turn on the power and it is ready to go,” says Whalen.
The price of a system is $3,200 plus installation.
“Each system takes from 2 to 3 hrs. to install,” says Whalen. “We have an installer or will suggest using a local truck shop to install it. Lots of farmers do the installation themselves. If they have questions, I can guide them through it by phone.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Whalen Truck Scale, 1902 21st St. SW, Austin, Minn. 55912 (ph 507-438-9626; email@example.com).
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