WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Keeping expensive equipment running during peak season is vital in all types of farming operations, including hay harvest. A forage hauler sitting waiting for something to happen is not good.
In a typical forage harvest, the forage-collecting tandem trucks and trailers are sometimes seen waiting to dump their load so it can be blown into the silo or bags. If there was an intermediate short-term storage platform, the driver could dump his load and get back to the field immediately.
Well, there is. That’s what blow decks do for forage farmers. The driver dumps the whole load all at once onto the waiting deck and then drives away, said Galen Horst, manufacturer of the DumpDek.
“We call our version the DumpDek. It’s a convenient intermediate machine that fits between the incoming forage and the forage blower,” he said.
“The operator parks the DumpDek along side the silo with his forage blower to fill the silo or a silage bagger. The driver drops the whole load onto the deck all at once; then he drives off and gets back to work in the field. There’s no idle time.”
The receiving deck is 16 feet long and 11 feet wide. It will accommodate the full load from any tandem truck or trailer up to 1,500 cubic feet. Once the driver is clear of the deck, the DumpDek operator lifts the deck, forcing the forage forward toward the front of the trailer and into the waiting blower. In a couple minutes, he’s ready for the next load.
Horst said the DumpDek uses about 20 horsepower. It runs off the same tractor as the blower, which is usually in the 200 h.p. range, so there’s plenty of available power. Minimum hydraulic capacity is 15 gallons per minute.
“And it’s fast. It will keep up with any blower on the market. It’s variable speed, so you can really push the forage hard. You can unload in a couple minutes if the blower can handle it. It’s a non-stop movement of forage, so the silage is consistent.
“The idea actually comes from Western Canada. There used to be blow decks manufactured in Western Canada. Our version is much larger than the originals. And ours is very easy to manoeuvre from one spot to the next.
“We haven’t sold a lot of them, probably about 30 units. It’s sort of a specialty item, but it sure does speed up the haying operation. We sell the DumpDek for $65,000.”