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Build Yourself An Unloading Bridge
"Its a real time saver," says LeRoy Thurmer, Jackson, Minn., who teamed up with a brother and two nephews to build a huge portable unloading bridge to speed corn harvesting.
Tractors hauling corn from combines drive up on the bridge to unload wagons in a matter of minutes into a truck below. The huge bridge is built in three sections. Each section is equipped with a 3 pt. hitch at one end, and a truck axle and wheel at the other end, for easy transport from farm to farm.
"We're producing hybrid seed corn for Dekalb and built the bridge primarily to speed harvest and handling of ear corn," LeRoy told FARM SHOW. "We figure it cuts unloading time from 20 minutes per wagon to under 5 minutes. We team up to harvest with 14 wagons and 4 trucks. The time savings really adds up. What's more, we get a lot less shelling than we used to get using conventional elevators. The bridge also eliminates having to crawl up on the truck to level the load," he told FARM SHOW. Thurmer notes that although the bridge is especially suited for harvesting ear corn, it can also be used for high speed handling of shelled corn, small grain, soybeans, fertilizer and other materials.
The bridge, built of salvaged steel beams, is 12 ft. wide. Tractor and wagon wheels roll in 20 in. wide, trough-shaped tracks measuring 6 in. deep and centered 72 in. apart. Flat iron pieces (1l4 high by 2 in. wide) are welded crossways on the tracks for traction. The floor of the tracks is built like a sidewalk grate so mud and snow can drop through without building up on the runway to impair traction.
The "up" ramp is 58 ft. long, and the down ramp 38 ft. long. The top deck is 36 ft. long with 11 ft. of clearance between it and ground level. Grain falls 8 ft. from the floor of the deck to the bottom of a truck box. Total weight of the 3 section bridge is right at 15 tons. Thurmer figures it cost right at $8,000 to build using salvaged iron.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, LeRoy Thurmer, Route 3, Jackson, Mn. 56143.

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1978 - Volume #2, Issue #2