Loaded but Maneuverable

November 12, 2011 07:47 AM
Loaded but Maneuverable

Enclosed trailer provides protection for chemicals and tows an ATV 

For about $4,000, Brent Bergquist of Lohrville, Iowa, built an enclosed nurse trailer that keeps his sprayer on the move and more. The nurse trailer won first place in the Chemical Handling category of Farm Journal’s "I Built the Best" contest.

"With an enclosed trailer, nothing can fall off or blow away," Bergquist explains. "In the insulated trailer, the water stays cooler and free of algae. During cooler weather in the early spring,
you don’t have to worry about water freezing overnight, as long as the outside temperature stays above 10°F. Because it is only 28' long, the trailer is easy to maneuver, even in small fields."

Filling is convenient, too. At home, Bergquist uses a garden hose and float valve. In town, he uses a single-point quick-connection. "They fill faster that way because you’re not pushing water from the bottom of the tank," he says.

The tanks are plumbed together, so Bergquist can fill them individually or both at once.

The trailer might be short, but it carries plenty of supplies. Two 1,650-gal. polyethylene tanks can haul either water or liquid fertilizer. That 3,300 gal. of water is enough to fill Bergquist’s sprayer tank four times. There’s also room for three minibulk herbicide shuttles and an inductor for bagged or jugged products.

Powered by an 8¼-hp engine, the trailer’s transfer provides speedy fills. Bergquist mounted the engine on a skid, so it can be removed by popping two screws.

An aluminum floor and stainless-steel walls protect the trailer from corrosion at times when Bergquist hauls fertilizer in the tanks. Rounding out the trailer’s features are lights for night-time operation.

When Bergquist moves the trailer from field to field, his John Deere Gator ATV tags along behind, using a hitch he designed. The tongue of the hitch, which Bergquist made from 2" steel tubing, slides into a standard 2" receiver hitch bolted to the front of the Gator frame. A clevis-type connector on the front end of the tongue links it to the trailer.

When not in use, the tongue pivots upward on a bolt and locks in place with a cotter pin. Bergquist made the hinge and bracket from scraps of metal he found in a junkyard.

The trailer, Bergquist sums up, is cost-effective, simple and cheaper than a flatbed or commercial trailer ($3,500 for a used refrigerated trailer and $500 for a tank, valves and fittings). Having the Gator along to provide a ride home saves a lot of time during the busy spraying season.

I Built the BestShare your ideas and win up to $500.

Entries are judged in the following 15 categories:

  • chemical handling
  • drills/air seeders
  • fertilizer handling
  • harvesting equipment
  • hay tools
  • livestock
  • planters
  • seed handling
  • service trucks
  • shop feature
  • shops
  • sprayers
  • technology
  • tillage tools
  • miscellaneous

Mail a photo or sketch and a brief description of your idea to Darrell Smith, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421. Category winners receive $500 when their idea appears in Farm Journal. Any idea that is published receives $100. All winners are entered to win a trip to Miller Welding University. Send in your entry today!

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