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How to choose a grain auger

Agriculture.com Staff 07/08/2010 @ 11:00pm

When you've got two combines working in the field and a semi to unload, you need a grain auger that's efficient and easily maneuverable.

According to Greg Giesbrecht, Westfield Industries, there are seven key features you should look for in an auger.

- Drive system. What type of drive system do you prefer? Choices include tractor PTO, electric motor, gas motor, and hydraulics.

- Unloading. What kind of truck are you unloading? Do you require a swing-away hopper?

- Auger application. Will augers be used for unloading and loading trucks and bins, for loading trucks only, or solely for loading bins?

- Storage. Augers are made for a flat storage bin with door access, flat storage bin with unload, hopper bottom bin, and flat ground storage.

- Seed or pulse crops. Is the auger intended for seed or for crops that need gentler handling? A conveyor belt should be considered for the gentlest handling.

- Capacity. Do you have a preferred capacity? Capabilities range from low (0 to 3,000 bushels per hour) to high (6,000 to 9,000 bushels per hour). "Make sure to match your auger capacity to your bin's grain spreader," notes Giesbrecht.

- Length. Augers can range anywhere from 26 to 111 feet. "Here's a helpful tool to calculate auger length: (Eve height of bin + 1/2 bin diameter) × 1.4 = auger length," says Giesbrecht.

Safety first

Based on the number of hours used, augers are one of the most dangerous machines on the farm. Even though shields don't significantly affect grain feeding into the auger, the most common cause of injury is lack of shields. Prevent safety hazards by leaving all shields in place.

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