You are here
Diversity characterizes today’s grain handling tools
Capacity, more than anything else, is what farmers look for
in grain handling equipment. They have
to balance the need for speed with cost, power requirements, time needed for
setup, maintenance and grain damage.
Grain conveyors is the general name for equipment to move grain, but
we'll refer to them by their common name.
Each has good and bad points.
Grain augers are a popular grain conveyor because they fit
so many needs, are reasonably priced and have various power requirements. Farmers use them to load bin from grain
wagons and to load trucks from the bin.
They are competitively prices because they are made by many companies in
many sizes. In recent years, we see more
and more big augers such as 13" diameter and 70' or more in length. An auger can handle more grain if it runs on
less of an incline, so a big, long auger can be at a low angle and move a lot
of corn. That size auger will need
tractor of about 100 horsepower.
A belt conveyor can move as much grain with less horsepower
but the maximum height is much less.
Belt conveyors are prized by seed grain handlers because they cause less
impact damage to the grain and this may result in a better germination rate.
Pneumatic conveyors, often called a vac, are increasing in
popularity on the farm because they are so versatile in bin unloading. Tractors of 70 horsepower or more may be required, depending on the
machine design. Vacs with their own
engine are available. Some vacs use air
movement for bringing the grain into the machine and pushing it out. Powerful machines can be used to lift grain
high enough to fill a bin or even silo.
Other vacs bring grain in with air movement but use a conventional auger
to deliver the load to a trailer or wagon.
Farmers like vacs because they are a convenient way to clean out a bin
with little labor and because they have the reputation for getting rid of
foreign matter and even some mold, thereby leaving providing grain that grades
better at the processor. A vac is very
handy if you need to clean up a spilled load in the field or have to unload a
stuck wagon or truck.
Farmers have come a long way from a steel scoop shovel. Modern grain handling will unload a wagon or
load a truck safely in minutes, and maybe even clean up the grain while doing
The government of Alberta reviews some pneumatic
South Dakota State University compares grain handling
systems at this site.