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Semi Trailer Makes High Capacity Grain Wagon
A western Nebraska irrigated corn grower modified a used highway semi trailer for field use behind his farm tractor.
Tom Russell, LaMar, can haul 1,200 bushels of corn from the field in one trip. He purchased the used semi hopper-bottom trailer for $5,000. "It was in good shape, only three years old," he notes.
He then took an old semi tractor he had on hand, cut the front end out of it, retaining the fifth wheel, and made a "dolly" for the front end of the trailer. He then fashioned a hitch to connect the dolly to the drawbar of his tractor. The fifth wheel position can be moved forward and back to place "about any amount of weight you need on the rear of the tractor to give you traction," explains Russell. He hauls grain to his farmstead as well as into town.
No air system was devised to provide brakes on the trailer. "This area of the country is very flat and brakes aren't needed. They could be provided simply by placing an air compressor on the tractor, and powered off the fanbelt," he points out.
Modifying the semi tractor cost about $500, which added to cost of the used trailer, put his total out-of-pocket cost at about $5,500. He has since purchased another hopper trailer and made a second rig. The second trailer cost only $2,600, but wasn't in as good condition as the first. "Second-hand hopper trailers are readily available, most of them for less than $10,000," says Russell.
The dolly under his original trailer can be quickly removed, simply by pulling the fifth wheel trip. The trailer then can be placed on a regular over-the-road semi tractor for highway transport of grain.
Russell's combine dump auger has no trouble reaching up into the large trailer, and the auger can easily place grain in the center of the trailer. The trailer's height is about 9 ft., its width 8 ft.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Russell, Rt. 1, LaMar, Neb. 69035 (ph 308 882-5883).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #1