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Nebraska Inventor Tops Grain Transport Problems
The shortage of available grain cars regularly frustrates farmers and elevator operators alike. Now, a Nebraska elevator operator, who is also a small manufacturer, has developed a partial answer to the problem .. . steel tops for hopper-bottom coal cars.
George Piester, of Minden, reports that the 12-ga. steel covers he's designed can be mounted on a coal car im about 90 min., and can be easily removed if necessary. The tops are securely bolted down and are expected to be far more durable than nylon and fiberglass covers previously tried by the industry.
Piester's two-ton covers each have four 2 x 8 ft. doors for rapid filling of the four compartments in each car. An average 50 ft. coal car, says Piester, can hold about 3,300 bu. of grain - only 200 bu. short of the capacity of present jumbo grain hopper cars.
If someone plans to use Piester's tops on leased or purchased coal cars, he suggests they carefully check the cars for leaks, and to be sure bottom hatches are in good condition to avoid grain loss in transit. Piester says orders for covers can be filled within two to four months, depending on the number ordered and the time required to obtain steel. Covers can be mounted on cars routed to Minden, or they can be assembled in Piester's plant and shipped by rail for buyer installation.
Piester's idea was initially wellreceived by railroad officials who viewed it as a way to use surplus coal cars, and as an excellent means of easing the annual grain car shortage. Now, however, after several covers have been built and placed in operation, Piester has been informed that, due to changing energy demands, there really isn't a surplus of coal cars. Nonetheless, he's ready to build and sell covers on order for anyone interested in converting coal cars for grain transport. Cost is about $5,300, FOB Minden.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Piester Mfg., Minden, Neb. 68959 (ph 308 832-2860).

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #2