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Fertilizer Cart Loads Planter On-The-Go
"It lets me plant up to 45 acres at a time at 250 lbs. per acre without refilling," says Jeff Steinacker, Hortonville, Wis., who loads his 12-row Deere planter "on-the-go" with a 3-ton fertilizer cart he tows behind the planter with a 12-ft. long bridge hitch.
The cart is built on an axle taken from an old Fordson Major tractor. He widened the tractor axle by cutting it in half and then welded in a 10-in. dia., 20-in. length of steel tubing. The tubing is flanged and sealed to hold oil that lubricates the original bearings in the axle.
The bridge hitch supports a pair of 6-in. dia. augers that run from the cart up to the planter.
One auger runs across the top of the bridge hitch and the other runs diagonally down to the bottom of the fertilizer cart. A pair of cross augers are mounted on the planter, one for the left side and one for the right side. Each of the four augers is driven by its own hydraulic motor. To reload the planter with fertilizer, Steinacker simply flips a single hydraulic lever in the tractor cab.
"All four auger motors start up at the same time when I flip the hydraulic lever in the cab. It takes only three minutes to fill the planter with fertilizer. I mounted a two-way spout on the end of the auger running up to the planter. I use an electric controlled diverter plate mounted inside the spout to direct fertilizer to either side of the planter. When one side of the planter gets full, I flip a two-way switch in the cab to change the position of the diverter. An electric-operated cylinder opens and closes the opening at the bottom of the hopper to control the flow of fertilizer.
"I used 6-in. dia., 1/2-in. thick well casing to build the auger tube and lengths of angle iron to build a truss under the hitch to support the bridge hitch. The bridge hitch is connected solidly to the planter by a big ball hitch. The planter swings under the bridge hitch when I turn at the end of the field."
Steinacker fills the cart with the bucket on his Case 580-B tractor. It holds about 3/
4 ton of fertilizer. He closed in the open front of the bucket, installing a 1-ft. trap door at the bottom that opens by pulling a rope. Steinacker fills the bucket from a truck at the end of the field.
He used diamond plate steel salvaged from an old gravel hopper to form the cart's hopper. The axles, tires and wheels were bought from a salvage yard. "The planter and cart are now in their sixth year of use, at about 2,500 acres per year. This year we'll plant about 3,000 acres," notes Steinacker.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Steinacker, W8171 School Road, Hortonville, Wis. 54944 (ph 414 757-6239).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3