As manufacturers stretch the working width of seed drills to 90 feet, some farmers are seeding up to 60 acres per hour. That means placing a lot of seed and fertilizer in the ground in a very short time. Commodity cart capacity is often the bottleneck when it comes to productivity.
To address that problem, Pattison Liquid Systems of Lemberg, Sask., built their largest liquid fertilizer cart, the CB5350. “We had half a dozen larger farmers that were pressing us for something bigger,” says Rick Pattison, owner of Pattison Liquid Systems. The CB5350 is the result.
With three tanks, the new cart has a rated capacity of 5,350 imperial gallons (24,321 litres). But with the optional fourth, smaller tank, that rating jumps to 5,946 imperial gallons (26,498 litres). At 20 feet wide and 42 feet long, this double trailer unit has three main product tanks for fertilizer and a smaller fourth for a starter course of orthophosphate. It weighs in at about 77,000 lbs. (35,000 kg) when fully loaded.
“Three years ago we started building a wagon that was 4,300 imperial gallons and thought that would be the end of it (when it comes to size),” adds Pattison. But with increasing pressure from farmers for something even bigger, the company began drawing up a design for a larger model.
“We originally were going to build it all as one unit, but we felt we just couldn’t get the capacity on the rubber we were able to put under it.” But before deciding on a final design, Pattison says they considered using tracks instead of tires to carry the higher loads. “We looked at tracks and found they were incredibly expensive.” So that idea was scrapped.
As an alternative to the single-wagon design, engineers decided on the tandem configuration to distribute the weight. The leading cart is equipped with dual wheels to carry the bulk of the load, including some weight transfer from the rear cart section at the hitch.
The new cart ended up as a variation on a smaller design the company was already building. Pattison took a CB3200 cart and modified it to work in the dual-cart configuration. “The design challenge was putting all that extra weight on the back end of it,” says Pattison. “It all had to be redesigned with different axles and stress points to accommodate the extra weight.”
“I think the problem it’s going to create now is they (farmers) are going to need to have a big enough truck to deliver to the field,” adds Pattison. “It’s just snowballing.”
Even those farmers who aren’t pushing the limits of tractor horsepower and drill width seem to be looking for more tank capacity. “When we started building the 4,300 gallon (cart), we didn’t think there would be a huge demand for it, but in the last few years we sold quite a few of them.” says Pattison.
The new cart has a suggested retail price around $60,000.
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