“Instead of taking half an hour, it takes
10 minutes (to fill a seed cart)… We gain 1-1/2 hours a day during seeding.”
— Jack Waldner, Brandon, Man.
Refilling an airseeder’s commodity tanks during seeding operations can feel like a pit stop in a formula one car race. Unfortunately, no matter how fast you work, the limited capacity offered by augers on some seed carts can really slow things down, and there is nothing to do but wait while it fills the tanks. But there is a faster way to get the job done.
Cancade Co. Ltd. of Brandon, Man., offers producers a faster alternative with its MPT 2010 multi-purpose trailer. This semitrailer unit includes a high-capacity
unloading conveyor that offers a much higher loading rate than a typical seed cart auger.
Jack Waldner of the Well Wood Hutterite Colony near Brandon says using the multi-purpose trailer has significantly speeded up their seeding operations. “Instead of taking half an hour, it takes 10 minutes (to fill a seed cart),” he says. And those time savings can really add up. “We gain 1-1/2 hours a day during seeding,” he adds.
Darrel Thiessen, a spokesman for Cancade, says that increased efficiency was the reason behind the design of the MPT 2010 trailer. “We developed it together with Convey-All of Winkler,” he says. And according to the company’s fact sheet, it has the capacity to unload 1.5 tonnes of fertilizer per minute.
The specially designed trailer uses an unloading conveyor that can draw product from any of the hoppers and unload it at the rear. All a driver has to do is back it up to a seeder. It also offers enough flexibility to carry up to five different products in the same trailer.
“It comes as a two-or three-hopper (trailer), but the hoppers can
also be split. So you can have up to five compartments,” says Thiessen. “They (producers) can custom order divider percentages.” That makes it possible to order a unique trailer configuration which will carry a combination of products exactly matching a seed cart’s capacity.
That feature really appeals to Waldner. “We can have three or four different products in there,” he says. And the conveyor-style unloader, rather than an auger, allows the system to completely empty itself out after loading each product. “This thing is always clean,” he adds.
With 15-1/2 feet of ground clearance, the rear unloading spout has the length to easily fit over most carts. And it can swing in a 12-foot arc, so there is no need to reposition the trailer to fill each compartment. The conveyor can also be remotely controlled, which means there is no need to repeatedly climb up and down ladders to watch tanks fill. “People say they notice their knees don’t hurt at the end of the day,” says Thiessen.
The conveyor system can be powered either by a 35-horsepower Kohler gasoline engine or hydraulically by the truck or tractor. Thiessen notes demand from customers so far has been split roughly 50-50 between those two options.
The conveyor system adds about 3,200 pounds to the trailer’s weight, but it was designed to be easily removed, freeing the trailer to function as a normal hopper-bottom. “What people wanted was a unit they could use year round,” says Thiessen. “Within an hour, the conveyors will come off.” And with the available caddy system, no additional jacks or equipment are required to remove it. “You just drive away,” adds Waldner.
Thiessen says producers often choose to leave the underbody section of the conveyor attached. It can be operated in a reverse direction to provide a single unloading point just behind the tractor unit, which avoids having to reposition each trailer hopper over an auger when unloading during harvest.
TAKES A SPECIAL TRAILER
The conveyor system can’t be retrofitted to a standard hopper trailer. “We took a standard trailer and redesigned it,” says Thiessen. “It looks and operates like a normal trailer, but there is some additional engineering in it.” The redesign meant the bottom of the hoppers on the MPT 2010 are five inches higher than a standard trailer. However, Thiessen says, this trailer handles a load exactly the same as any other.
The MPT 2010 trailer is aluminum, and it’s available with a tandem or tridem axle group to match load capacity to a producer’s needs. “We prefer to use air ride (suspension) on the trailer. It dampens the vibration for the conveyor,” comments Thiessen. The conveyor system is available in steel or stainless steel, so it, too, can be exactly matched to a buyer’s requirements.
Retail prices for an MPT 2010 trailer with unloading conveyor will run between $70,000 and $100,000, depending on options. As far as Waldner is concerned, the investment has been worth it. “I just love it,” he says.
Scott Garvey specializes in writing about tractors and farm machinery technology for publications in Canada and Great Britain. He’s also a former affiliate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He farms near Moosomin, Sask.