An older John Deere grain cart that holds approximately 400 bushels may seem outdates, but it's just what the farm crew at the Purdue University Throckmorton crew need to record test data during harvesting of plots.
Until this year, the cart was used to harvest in bulk situations, notes Jeff Phillips, Tippecanoe County Ag Extension educator who do, plot work at the farm. There are still arts of this size in service, but most carts today carry 1,000 or more bushels, and are designed for holding at least enough corn to fill a semi in one trip.
In the past, the farm crew had to rely on a seed sales rep bringing weigh wagon if the regular plot harvest combine set up to harvest and record data on the go was not available a the time the plot needed to be run. They were in search of a better alternative. Most farmers believe having the ability to weigh corps coming out of the field is an excellent advantage, even in commercial production.
The conversion of adding the digital scales took about four days-part time each day, Phillips notes. Three load cells were added to the cart- one on the spindle for each wheel, and one of the front tongue. To make the installations of the weigh bars the farm crew had to first remove one wheel at a time and do cutting to break apart the original design.
Farm crew members say they could have used a torch, but chose a cutting wheel instead. While it took much longer, it left the cut much more precise and smooth across the area of the cut. That was an advantage when slipping in the load cells and putting the unit back together, they note.
To install the third load cell, the hitch had to be cut and remade. They used a huge clevis, even though it is only a 4000-bushekl cart, with a load cell installed just behind it. That jives three points for measurement.
Wiring to run the electronic monitor to the tractor cab provides power. . In fact, the entire weight display can be installed in the tractor cab instead of on the cart. Since the workers and researchers usually pull samples on each dump and then do moisture and test weight off a Dickey-John moisture tester sitting in the back of a pickup truck.
The crew estimates they invested part of four working days and under $3,000 to turn the older cart into a larger-than-normal weigh buggy.