Short-line equipment makers offer market flexibility and innovations that farmers have come to know and trust. Usually, these companies launch one or two products in a year.
“In terms of the five-product launch, this is the most products we’ve ever launched at one show in our 80-plus-year history,” says Sheldon Gerspacher, vice president of sales-dealer channel, Brandt. “We worked to fill a need that customers told us they have to have to make things easier.”
The new products got their unveiling in Brandt’s home territory — the Canada Farm Progress Show — but farmers can see all these new tools at the Farm Progress Show, set for Aug. 27-29 in Decatur, Ill.
Gerspacher and Allan Wiens, product planning manager, talked with Farm Progress about the new tools, including some innovations for the company line. Here’s a look at the new tools and what drove Brandt to launch them to the market. A common theme, Gerspacher says, is that customers were involved in the development of each product.
LeadHand auger controller app. This app, a first for Brandt in the ag-tech area, eliminates the need to have a remote for the auger handy. “Talking to customers about grain augers, we got feedback that they don’t want to buy a remote or carry one in their pocket,” Wiens says. “With this app, multiple operators can run a piece of equipment when they’re within range of the auger. It is limited to one main controller at a time, for safety reasons.”
That eliminates the “Where did we leave the auger remote?” question that can be a hassle during harvest. Instead, just open your smartphone and control the auger.
Gerspacher explained that LeadHand is the first tech tool for Brandt, but definitely not the last. It opens the door to more products under development. “We’re building a platform to continue to grow as it moves to different pieces of equipment we have,” he says.
Wiens says LeadHand isn’t the platform, but one tool that will join others in the future. The convenience of using the smartphone as a remote enhances value for the augers equipped with the Brandt controller.
XT GrainCart. Wiens acknowledges that the grain cart market is competitive. “But we do have some exciting features that do set us apart,” he says. “This is probably one of the products I’m proudest of, because of the amount of customer interaction involved during the development.”
At each step, Wiens said customers had significant input into its design. Their input began at the beginning — before pen was put to paper, or computer-aided design work began. That input helped drive design of the machine, which, Wiens adds, used a clean-sheet design to start. Then customers got a look at the design and provided input before the first prototype was developed; and, finally, they saw the prototype.
This single-auger cart has greater visibility during unload. “We are 3 feet further ahead of the competition, which allows the operator a better view of the spout when unloading,” Wiens says. “Customers told us a challenge with carts was transport time to unload. With this design, the operator can quickly unload, and the four-direction spout helps put that grain where you need it.”
Company designers even located the flow gauge indicator at operator level, using an LED display, rather than being at the base of the auger. Little touches in machine design count.
OILSEED MOVER: An industry first for Brandt, the Oilseed-Certified GrainBelt offers canola growers a more efficient way to move product from field to storage, and back.
Oilseed-certified GrainBelt. That certification is a hot topic in canola country. The belt, which uses a proprietary Brandt design, can move oilseeds safely and avoid crop damage. It’s an industry first to have that 100% certified label.
“This was one of the most popular products in our exhibit,” Gerspacher says.
EZReach extending auger. “This was designed with the largest producers in mind, and it’s not for everyone,” Wiens says. “But grain bins are getting taller, and this fills that need for those that need more reach.”
The aim is to move grain efficiently and keep the combine running. Wiens says that combine is an expensive paperweight when it has to stop. That’s not good use of iron in the field, but higher-capacity augers that move grain from semi to bin faster can help.
Harvest GrainBelt. Brandt is expanding its belt conveyor system with more sizes to give customers more choice. The top-end 24 Series comes in sizes up to 125 feet long, with an operating height as high as 65 feet. And it has a 14,000-bushel-per-hour capacity.
Learn more about the five new products at brandt.ca.