Hopper Vs Trench Conveyor
Currently the majority of automatic batch driers are still supplied with wet grain by a square hopper. The hopper is filled by the telehandler from a wet heap and generally holds 1 or 2 batches worth of wet grain. Over the past 5 years there has been an increasing number of farmers using trench conveyors to feed the driers. What are the pros and cons of each system?
A hopper can be sited quickly and easily. Smaller hoppers can be moved around maintaining a degree of versatility. The cost of the hopper itself is all that is required to get an extra batch or two ready behind the drier. Filling the hopper can normally be fitted in around other day to day jobs. The down side to a hopper is that beyond 45t capacity, the hoppers are getting very high and more timely to fill. Handling from the wet heap into the hopper does not always fit easily into the day’s schedule as grain carts need to be on a quick turnaround.
Trench conveyors do require a little more thought at the planning stage. A trench has to be dug into the wet grain floor which also means some extra costs other than the conveyor itself. The trench need only be shallow to avoid water problems and allow easy access for maintenance. The benefits can be great. Trailers can tip and go with the wet heap just being pushed up occasionally. Trench conveyors can be set up to hold far greater capacities of wet grain ready for the drier. A well planned bunker and trench system will give a large enough capacity to prevent the need for tipping wet grain elsewhere.
McArthur Agriculture have designed numerous hopper and trench conveyor systems tailored to meet the customer’s needs. For more information or references please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Author: Scott McArthur