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Grain Bins Delivered By Air Express
No one would have blamed the residents of Auburn, Ill., if there had been a bunch of UFO sightings recently when nearby farmer Delmar Ladage hired a helicopter to move four 10,000 bu. grain bins for him. Anyone who saw the bins in flight knew there was something "unearthly" going on when the helicopter carried the bins right over a residential area on the way to their new site.
Ladage, who raises corn and beans, bought the bins from a local farmer who had sold his farm for residential development. The new owners planned to junk out the bins and so were willing to give the bins to Ladage if he would get them off the property quickly.
He knew bins had been moved by helicopter before but finding a company to do the job was not easy. The biggest chopper he could find - based in Pennsylvania - could handle just 8,000 lbs. at a time. Since each bin weighed a total of 10,500 lbs., he knew he'd have to divide up the loads.
He hired contractor Stan Lomelino of Virden, Ill., to help with the project. They split each bin into two lifts of 4 rings each, and put bracing inside each section to keep the rings from collapsing during the 9 mile transport. The men knew they'd have to have everything ready to go when the chop-per arrived since it would cost $3,000 per hour of flying time in addition to the $10,000 charged just to get the helicopter on site.
Once Ladage had the 30-ft. dia. bins ready to go, he laid down four new foundations for the bins.
On the appointed day, the chopper arrived at 9 a.m. and all the bins were trans-ported to the new site in just one half hour. The helicopter set each bottom set of four rings onto the foundation and set the top four rings, and roof, nearby. Ladage later used a ground crane to set them into place. Bin sections dangled from 150 ft. of cable, which was necessary to reduce motion caused by rotor backwash.
Ladage figures he completed the bin project for a total cost of $1.40 per bushel, complete with a Stirator in each of the bins, which were originally constructed in the late 1970's. He figures similar new bins would have cost about $2.50 per bushel.
Ladage would be willing to talk with anyone considering a similar project. Con-tact: FARM SHOW Followup, Delmar Ladage, Rt. 1, Box 49, Auburn, Ill. 62615 (ph 217 528-6555).


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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3