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Buying a Grain Cart that Fits Your Farm

Are you tired of spending precious combine hours driving back to the road to empty your load into a truck or wagon? Farmers have found that if you have a grain cart, you can reduce your combine hours, increase your productivity by 25% or more, and save $1000’s per year. 

Just one piece of equipment does that! But what’s the fuss about grain carts? 

Why not just use wagons? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog post.

 

FUNCTION OF A GRAIN CART

A grain cart is usually pulled by a tractor. It goes along  behind or next to your combine. Its primary purpose is to accept grain from the combine and take it to the truck that will transport the grain to its next location. 

Think of it as a runner!

The primary advantage of a grain cart over a trucking trailer rig is that a cart can function even in muddy soil or rough terrain. Often, trailer rigs have to be parked on or near the road, and the combine goes back and forth from them to the field, wasting time and effort. 

Because a grain cart saves your combine time, it saves you money by the hour—which really adds up. Many standard grain carts pay for themselves in 3 years or less, just by keeping your combine in the field, doing what combines do best: harvesting.

FEATURES OF A GRAIN CART

Not all grain carts are made the same. There are different features you will come across. 

Decide which of these are most important to you, and then shop away. Be sure to check out Agriteer’s collection of used grain carts or call us anytime if you have questions.

Size

Keep in mind things like the size of your combine’s grain tank and the size of the semi truck that the grain will be unloaded onto. They don’t all have to be the same size; but if your combine tank holds 400 bushels, and your grain carts 300 bushels, it could get awkward.

Wheels or Tracks

Wheels on your cart will be less expensive, but also less productive in inclement weather. Tracks will be more versatile in muddy fields. You will have to determine if the added expense is worth the added productivity.  There is also field compaction benefits to consider when thinking about upgrading to a tracked system.  

Undercarriage

This kind of goes along with the wheels vs track conversation. If you opt for wheels, you have axel options (single, dual, and triple) and placement options (single, walking tandem, in-line steerable tandem, etc.). 

To keep the equipment from destroying your soil, talk to an Agriteer representative before purchasing.

Height

Some older combines might not be tall enough to dump the grain into the grain cart. The newer the model of combine, the less likely that height will be an issue. 

Definitely check before investing in a grain cart—or maybe you have been needing to update that combine anyway, and now is a good time for that.

Auger(s)

Grain carts come with one or two augers for unloading the grain onto the truck or wagon. One can be easier to clean, but two can move grain faster. 

If you are working with a wagon, you might just want one auger; but if you’re working with a semi and also need the cart to come back to you quickly, you might need two augers.

PURCHASE OF A GRAIN CART

So if you’re convinced that you need a grain cart. Here are some final things to consider/know before you hand over that cash or credit card.

 

Tractor size/horsepower

As a reference point: if you have a 1000 bushel grain cart, you will need to pull it with a tractor that has 250+ horsepower. With a 2000 bushel grain cart, you’ll need even more horsepower. Whatever you do, don’t strain or break your tractor trying to pull your grain cart.

Cost

Two variables directly affect the cost of a grain cart: cart size and tires/tracks. The bigger the cart, the more money you will spend. And then of course, tracks cost more money than tires do.

Future growth

Your grain cart might match your combine and harvesting needs now, but do you plan to grow in the next couple of years? Consider going with a bigger size to accommodate anticipated growth.

 

CONCLUSION

A grain cart is a great way to save money, time, and effort. Our team at Agriteer can answer your questions, help you find the right system, and find you a good deal. Contact us any time, day or night on our website. 

 

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