1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Belt Feeder, Conveyor"Last year we realized we could no longer afford to fork feed to cows by hand but we couldn't justify the high cost of a new belt feeder. So I decided to make my own conveyors and feeders," says Dan Stokes, Omro, Wis., who built his own 60-ft. belt feeder and 30-ft. conveyor using all new materials he purchased locally.
"At first I went to several farm shows to look at and study feeders and conveyors. I used features from many different units as well as many of my own design ideas. For example, I made my own conveyor rollers out of rubber tires. I cut 4-in. circles out of tires with a hole saw and then cut 1?-in. holes in the center of the circles. I then pressed the circles tightly onto a shaft and welded a ?-in. washer on each end. The return roller was made out of a 2 3/8-in. piece of pipe with 5/ 8-in. rods welded across it. It also acts as a tightener.
"I made a one-way plow out of angle iron for the belt feeder powered by a side-pull continuous loop cable. That way it takes only one motor - 1¢-hp. electric - to power the complete 60-ft. feeder. The pan sections of the conveyor and feeder were constructed from 2 by 6-in. sides and 2 by 4-in. spacers with a 1-in. hardwood top. I think the hardwood will last just as long or longer than steel. After a short period of use the hardwood gets shiny and doesn't wear. All metal that was used for the framework and various parts was bent for me at a local welding shop.
"Both the 30-ft feed conveyor - which is powered by a 1 hp. electric motor - and the feeder work just like store-bought units. The 60-ft. feeder cost $1,500 to build and the conveyor cost $600, using all new parts and motors. It took one year to build in my spare time. One salesman told me it would cost too much to make my own conveyors and feeders but, at a savings of $6,000 to $7,000, I think it was worth the effort."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Stokes, 4120 Rushford Ave., Omro, Wis. 54963 (ph 414 685-5351).
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