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Versatile increases air cart capacity

The number one thing we did was make it bigger,” says Trevor Jubinville, Versatile’s product marketing manager for seeding equipment. “We took what we had and made it bigger.”

With the introduction of a new, three-compartment air cart for 2014, the company’s line grows to three models, with the existing 315 and 400, and now the much larger 600 bushel model, which is available with a small-product canola tank that boosts the actual cart size to 634 bushels.

“We use a 4:1 reduction in the metre drive (on the canola tank) so we can get down to the ultra low application rate,” adds Jubinville. “We’ve gone with the hydraulic drive Raven Omni-Seed system. It’s hydraulic drive for guys that want variable rate and field mapping capability.”

To move seed and fertilizer from the tank to the drill, all three carts use a single fan. Jubinville says that simple design has proven to provide ample air flow for double shooting on drills with working widths up to 70 feet. That feature along with most of the others integrated into the new cart are the result of farmer feedback.

“We can go up to 70 feet and double shoot an eight run system still running a single fan,” says Jubinville. “That’s what the farmers have asked for. They’re happy with the single fan as long as there’s enough air to double-shoot the product.”

One of the other features customers wanted to see changes to was the cart’s loading auger. So the new, 600-bushel cart also offers an upgraded version that can be operated with a wireless controller, and it can load all three compartments without repositioning the nurse truck.

“What a lot of farmers told us is it’s his wife, daughter or sister up on the top of the air cart, Jubinville says. “They were saying, hey, we need that auger to be able to be run by a girl 5 feet 2 inches, 110 pounds not a big, burly lumberjack. They read us the riot act when we were going to redesign that auger.”

Jubinville believes the current auger upgrade answers all of those criticisms. “We took this back to guys who ran the prototype. One of them rated it eight out of 10. The other rated it nine out of 10.”

No matter who ends up filling the cart’s compartments, they’ll find it much easier to get up on top to open the fill hatches. The new cart also has a redesigned stairway. “It’s more of a staircase than it is a ladder,” Jubinville says.

Underneath the carts, rear duals are standard to improve floatation, and the front axle uses an Ackerman steering design to prevent ridging during headland turns. “Duals are standard; there’s lots of floatation,” he explains. “Any of the farmers who’ve used these carts love them. They’re really happy with the size of tires we’ve put on them.” †

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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