Grain drier truck and funnel

Electric or Tractor Driven Grain Drier

There are two main decisions when it comes to the specification of a mobile grain drier. Firstly, what is going to drive the machine? Secondly, what fuel will be used for the heat source? The tractor driven machine has long been the most common drive type but in the last couple of years the threephase electric driven machines have been by far the most popular.

Tractor drive

The main attraction of the tractor driven grain drier is that the total capital cost is lower, so if you are spending to a budget you can usually get more capacity for your money. The tractor driven machines are simple and straightforward to operate, quick to set up and with a tractor on the front can be operated anywhere. However, the drawbacks are that you need to have the tractor to run the drier and this can make the grain drier expensive to operate. There are limited automation options on the tractor driven machines, with a Mecmar you are restricted to only an automatic empty option. This can mean that the operator needs to spend quite a bit of time operating and managing each batch.

Threephase electric

The principle benefit of this system is that it allows full automation of the grain drier. This means the grain drier can dry continuous batches automatically reducing the amount of time the operator must spend with the grain drier. The threephase electric power source is more economical than running a tractor and the whole system is much quieter in general. The main drawback is that you must have a threephase supply, either through the mains or a generator. This in turn also limits the flexibility of the machine as it will tend to be used at only one site. The capital cost of the electric driven grain drier is higher but the return on investment is generally quicker than a tractor driven machine given the increased maximum throughput and reduced operating cost.

The Third Way

Mecmar grain driers are the only main manufacturer to offer the dual drive machine, this grain drier may operate on either threephase electric where available and on the tractor where necessary. While automation options are limited on this machine it does offer the reduced operating costs of an electric driven machine with the mobility and ease of use of a tractor driven drier. Typically this drier would suit an operation where drying is required on several sites, some with and some without threephase electric.


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