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Planter Supply Wagon Speeds Spring Planting
A converted semi-trailer speeds spring planting for two Minnesota farmers who use the modified rig to haul large quantities of seed, herbicides, fertilizer and water to the field.
Larry and Ray Rauenhorst, Olivia, Minn., combined a junked 40-ft. semi-trailer, purchased for $800 at a local trucking firm, with a home-built 18-ft. "tow dolly" built with the drive axle off a tandem axle cement truck. The 18 ft. long "tow dolly" is equipped with a fifth-wheel that hitches to the trailer. The pto-driven "tow dolly" lets the Rauenhorsts pull the big trailer with an ordinary farm tractor.
To modify the trailer, the Rauenhorsts first cut a 4 1/2 by 7 ft. door in one side.
The front and middle sections of the trailer are equipped with a 200-gal. herbicide tank, a 3,000 gal. water tank, a 1,700 gal. 28% liquid nitrogen tank, and a 1,100 gal. starter fertilizer tank with a 500 gal. water tank on top of it to conserve space. Seed bags store at the back of the trailer.
"It'll carry enough chemicals, seed and fertilizer to supply our 8-row planter all day. We don't have to worry about seed getting rained on and the chemical tanks won't deteriorate as fast because they're away from the sun's ultra-violet rays. Also the tanks don't take up storage space in the shed and we can store leftover seed rodent-free over the winter," says Larry, noting that he and his brother use a 140 hp Ford TW20 to pull the trailer to the field.
The trailer also provides a safe environment for handling chemicals. "We can mix them inside out of the wind. With standard quick couplers on the hoses and a direct inject tank for Lasso, there's little spray drift and less spillage."
In the fall, the Rauenhorsts remove the planter supply trailer and use the same tow hitch and fifth wheel mount to pull a homemade 1,000 bu. semi-truck grain trailer (see FARM SHOW Vol. 12, No. 3).
The entire planter trailer system cost $2,500 to build, including trailer, hoses, and pumps, says Larry.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Rauenhorst, 808 E. Evergreen, Olivia, Minn. 56277 (ph 612 523-5096).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4