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7 tips to consider when buying a used grain dryer7 tips to consider when buying a used grain dryer

Consider these factors when searching for a used grain dryer to ensure your needs are met.

Tom Bechman 1

October 7, 2016

3 Min Read

Will 2016 be the season that proves it’s time to upgrade to a different grain dryer? If so, what things should you consider as you shop for a used replacement dryer that will improve your efficiency and meet your needs?

Steve Curtis, Indianapolis, spent 45 years in the grain industry. He operates the website usedgraindryersnetwork.com. He doesn’t sell dryers; he simply makes it possible for dealers who have used dryers and farmers to find each other.

Here are seven factors Curtis says you should consider when looking for a used grain dryer:

1. Is there still life left in the dryer?


You may be searching for a different dryer simply because you need more capacity, not because your dryer is worn out. “You certainly don’t want to buy something that turns out to be junk because it is worn out,” Curtis says.

2. What capacity are you looking for in a used dryer?
This is often the reason for considering trading dryers, Curtis says. “There are plenty of dryers out there with lots of life left that have relatively large capacity,” he notes. You can narrow down your search by only considering dryers that have more capacity than your current dryer.

3. What type of automation does the dryer have?
Most brands have their own unique system of controls, but nearly every brand has some sort of system. That’s what’s changed over the past 10 years in grain dryers, Curtis says. “We’re seeing many people who want a larger dryer also look for more automation than their existing model had when they are ready to make the switch,” he says.

4. What will it control for you?
If you want to get away from babysitting a dryer all night, or hiring someone to do it, you need to know exactly what the controls of the dryer you’re considering will and won’t do, Curtis says. If moisture of incoming grain changes, will it automatically increase the heat or slow down the exit flow so that grain coming out has a consistent moisture content all day and all night? Exactly how does it accomplish this?

5. What parts are likely to wear out first?
On most dryers it will likely be sensors, Curtis says. “Electronics and sensor-related parts may be the first to wear out,” he says. “It will depend somewhat on the type of electronics the particular brand of dryer is using.”

6. Can you get parts and service support readily?
“Grain dryers are equipment, and they will break from time to time,” he says. “The key is having parts and service for the brand you have that is readily accessible. It’s something you would want to know before you buy a used dryer.”

7. Has the dryer been reconditioned?
Even if the dryer has some age on it, it may still be a good option if it’s the right size and has been reconditioned, Curtis says. Some dealers don’t list dryers for sale until their staff goes through them. It’s one thing to determine before buying, he says.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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