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Self-Propelled Diesel Powered Grain Vacuum
"It lets me get into tight places a tractor and grain vacuum combination couldn't reach," says Marvion Reichert, Elm Creek, Neb., about his first-of-its-kind self-propelled grain vacuum. He built it by mounting a 2-ton Army truck axle and a diesel engine on a commercial pull-type, pto-driven vacuum.
Reichert paid $18,000 for a 1988 Dunbar-Kapple 1061 grain vacuum. He removed the tongue and moved the rear-mounted axle and wheels to the front. He built a channel iron frame around the Army truck axle and mounted a Detroit 671 diesel stationary engine on it, then bolted the frame to the vacuum rig. He used a hydrostatic drive motor off an old Field Queen chopper to drive the truck axle. He coupled the vacuum's pto shaft to the engine's output shaft, then mounted a tongue on the front side of the rig. He uses a 1-ton pickup to pull the grain vacuum to custom jobs where he unhitches it for self-propelled use, removing grain from bins and flat storage and cleaning up spoiled and spilled grain.
"I've used it for about 900 hours with no problems. As far as I know it's the only self-propelled grain vacuum ever built," says Reichert, who built the rig with the help of Ed Reese, a local blacksmith. "It has a top speed of 15 mph which lets me quickly move from bin to bin, and the 8 1/2-ft. wheelbase lets me maneuver it into tight places and get close up to bins, which keeps the vacuum capacity near its rated 4,200 bu./hour."
When Reichert arrives at a job site, he unhitches the tongue and chains it up off the ground, locks the lockout hubs on the front wheels, connects the steering hoses, and winches the truck loading kit into place. One steering lever controls forward or re-verse while another turns the rig left or right.
The vacuum's pto shaft is belt-driven by a pulley on the engine's output shaft. "By using this arrangement I can operate the engine at 1,600 rpm's and still run the vacuum at its rated 1,000 rpm's," notes Reichert. "At this speed the engine produces about 145 hp and burns only 5 gallons of fuel per hour. If the engine ever breaks down I can still hook up a tractor to the pto shaft."
The axle is chain-driven by a sprocket off the hydrostatic motor. Steering is provided by a hydraulic cylinder attached to the axle's tie rod. A pair of hoses quick-connect the steering cylinder to a 3-position valve. An 85-gal. fuel tank is mounted in front of the vacuum. The entire unit was sand blasted and painted. Dunbar-Kapple provided new decals and warning stickers which gives the machine a factory look.
Reichert spent about $25,000 to build the self-propelled rig. He says he's willing to custom-build additional units.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marvion Reichert, Jr., P.O. Box 391, Elm Creek, Neb. 68836 (ph 308 856-4332).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1