1990 - Volume #14, Issue #3, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Self-Loading Feed Mixer Truck
The 2 1/2-ton all-wheel drive truck is equipped with a 30-in. wide front loader conveyor that loads silage, hay and other crops, as well as grain and protein concentrate. It conveys feed to a 7 ft. 2 in. wide, 14 ft. 9 in. long, and 6 ft. high box equipped with 4 augers and electronic scales. Two digital monitors, one located in the cab and the other outside the cab, allow the operator to control in going and outgoing feed weights and quantities. Wayment bought the 4-auger box from RMH (RMH Industries, Inc., 3703 South K St., Tulare, Calif. 93274 (ph 209 686-4733), but built the rest of the machine on his own using the frame of. an old GI Army truck, the cab from an Air Force de-icing machine, an old 350 Chevrolet gas engine, and wide 9.00 by 20.00 flotation front tires removed from a New Holland bale wagon. He uses the truck to feed dairy cattle in his 450-cow operation equipped with free stall housing.
"I built it because I wanted a feed mixer truck that could make a total mixed ration, but I didn't want to pay $120,000 for a commercial model," says Wayment. "It took a year to build but the truck's ability to feed a total mixed ration solved my cows' stomach problems and increased milk production by 3 lbs. per head per day or 438,000 lbs. in the first year. I had been using a truck box equipped with a live floor and a single beater and cross conveyor. The problem was that the truck didn't mix feed so cows picked out their favorite feed ingredients and left the other ingredients. The unbalanced diet caused them to develop rumen problems. This feed mixer truck lets me load and mix all of my feed ingredients, including cottonseed, soybean meal, bar-ley, beet pulp, hay, corn silage, and minerals, into a total mixed ration. Now when cows eat a mouthful of feed they get a little of everything.
"I load corn silage from a bunker silo and haylage from Ag Bags. I load the rest of the ingredients out of bins in our commodity shed. I can load 500 lbs. of corn silage per minute, 200 lbs. of small square bales (with strings removed) per minute, and 500 lbs. of grain concentrate per minute. I can unload 6,500 lbs. of feed into bunks in 12 to 15 minutes. I watch the digital monitor in the cab and when I have the exact amount of the commodity loaded, I turn off the auger and reverse the elevator chain to kick out what-ever feed is left in the elevator. This makes it possible to be very accurate in measuring the amounts of feed during loading."
Wayment says he prefers a feed mixer built on a truck frame rather than a trailer frame because his farm doesn't have paved roads and driveways. "A machine with springs under it is much more flexible and will handle rough roads and driveways and isn't as likely to get stuck."
He paid $27,000 for the box and mounted it on the frame of an old 6-wheel drive tandem axle GI Army truck, removing one of the rear axles so he could turn shorter around feed bunks. He used 4-in. sq. tubing to build a subframe that supports the box. He installed the salvaged cab on one side of the frame, then installed the radiator on the other side and mounted the engine in the middle. The loading elevator is mounted over the engine. He built it from sheet metal supported by steel tubing, with angle iron supporting a stainless steel floor.
The truck is equipped with three trans-missions - one to pto-drive the mixing auger, one on the engine, and one connected to a hydrostatic transmission to drive the truck itself. "The hydrostatic transmission consists of a hydrostatic pump and a motor that drives a 5-speed transmission coupled to a 2-speed rear axle," says Wayment. "It al-lows movement from 0 to 11 mph and quick shifting from forward to reverse." Separate hydraulic motors drive the chopper, elevator chain, augers, fan, and discharge conveyor.
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