Leave it to farmers to find a way to make a repetitive task a little easier or more convenient. Here are two examples.
Greg Ruestman of Wenona, Ill., no longer fiddles around opening seed bags—he just plunks the bag onto his "bag buster" seed inductor.
Ruestman made the inductor funnel out of wood. Inside the funnel, he mounted a flat iron blade that punctures the seed bag. Tubular steel arms on each side of the blade spread the bag apart. A Bruneumatic air delivery system transfers seed from the inductor to the planter hopper.
For the finishing touch, Ruestman mounted a graphite dispenser on the seed inductor. Graphite flows from the container into its own miniature inductor, fabricated of metal and ventilated with a few holes to allow airflow. The air delivery system draws the graphite through a ¾" hose into the suction line with the seed. "By the time the seed reaches the planter, it is thoroughly coated with graphite," Ruestman says.
Portable engine. To run his grain augers, Brian Bish, who farms with son Heath near Giltner, Neb., decided to build a portable power unit, rather than purchase a medium-horsepower tractor. "In Nebraska, we use a lot of engine power units to pump water for irrigation," Bish says. "So a diesel engine was the perfect choice to run my augers."
Bish purchased a 55-hp Deutz air-cooled diesel engine that had been sitting in a warehouse in Oklahoma for years. He mounted the engine and a 40-gal. fuel tank on a cart he made from tubular steel and a car axle.
The PTO shaft that runs the auger turns in theopposite direction of the engine. To reverse the direction, Bish mounted a car tire on the outside of the PTO shaft. "That also reduced the speed about3 to 1," he notes. "To achieve 540 on the PTO shaft, the engine speed is about 1,620 rpm."
A steel wheel—made from a parking brake drum—on the end of the clutch shaft transfers power to the rubber tire. Tightening a chain binder engages the tire to the steel wheel to power the PTO shaft. The clutch on the engine lets Bish engage and disengage power to the PTO.
Bish tows the engine to bin sites with a pickup. "During an ice storm in 2007, we used the engine to run a PTO generator for power," he adds.
You can e-mail Darrell Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.