Regina-based Brandt has recently introduced a completely new auger design to its grain-handling product line. The company claims its new U-Trough auger offers increased capacity over conventional, round-barrel augers and minimizes kernel damage.
“The U-trough auger design has been around for a long time, mostly on commercial applications, but not really at the farm-gate level,” says Sheldon Gerspacher, vice-president of sales, dealer channel. “We took an existing idea, put our stamp on it and made it better. It’s something our dealer body has been asking us for.”
The design is a trough on the bottom with an open area above the flighting, which allows grain to travel above the flights, thus increasing capacity.
The new 1345A HP auger uses a U-shaped barrel rather than the common round design that is completely filled by a similar diameter flighting. Instead, a 13-inch tall barrel houses just an 11-inch flighting. The space above the flighting allows a significant amount of grain to be carried along by the grain below it that is being forced upward. The grain riding on top isn’t touched by the flighting.
“A regular auger design has a round tube, and you can only fill that tube so much, only get so much capacity out of it,” Gerspacher adds. “Whereas, with the U-Trough, the design is a trough on the bottom but an open area above (the flighting) that allows grain to travel above the flights, thus increasing the capacity greatly. Grain is riding on grain up through the tube, because there’s space above the flighting to carry more grain than a traditional auger.
“What we’re seeing with the U-Trough is up to 9,000 bushels (transferred) per hour, depending on the crop. It’s pretty similar to a 13-inch (conventional) auger, with a lot less horsepower needed to drive it. It’s a lot more efficient.”
Because the grain in the top of the barrel never touches the flighting, there is less kernel damage, resulting in potentially lower dockage rates at the elevator.
The 1345A HP is available with three drive options, conventional PTO, or a factory-installed electric motor or 38-horsepower Kohler gasoline engine.
The auger is currently available only in a 45-foot length because it is designed primarily for loading trucks from hopper-bottom bins.
“These types of augers are used for unloading bins into trucks,” Gerspacher says. “Forty-five feet was proven to be the optimal (length) for loading trucks.”
During the auger development process, the company held a number of customer focus groups in several countries to see just exactly what potential buyers were looking for in the way of features, he notes.
“Some of the customer feedback we had developing this led us to a few options no one else has,” he says. “A low-profile intake to better fit under hopper-bottom bins. It has the most reach in the industry, allowing you to get under those hopper-bottom bins with a big margin of safety. That was loud and clear from our customers: ‘Give us more reach.’”
Other requests included consistent performance with all types of grain and quieter operation. Gerspacher says the company has achieved those things as well, in part by using a new driveline design and fully balanced flighting.
Will there be other U-Trough models available from Brandt in the future? Gerspacher says the company will monitor customer demand for the new design before deciding on that, noting the company has a long history of meeting market demand in the grain-handling equipment business.
“It’s new for us,” he says. “We’ve been in the grain-handling business for over 80 years.”