Grain cart design improves side reach, operator visibility

J&M thinks their new Xtended-Reach fixed position auger 
is a better way to deal with high horsepower tractors

FARGO, N.D. — Grain cart engineers at J&M have abandoned their adjustable unload auger concept, opting for a fixed, in-line auger that places the spout closer to the front, nearer to the tractor driver while maintaining good side reach.

The Xtended-Reach in-line auger is a more efficient layout for moving grain, according to Shannon Grieshop, sales manager for J&M.

“When you have an auger with a bend at the base, you’re going to have more problems. You have more auger in the system relative to the volume of grain you’re moving and more parts than you really need,” says Grieshop.

“Plus, any unload system with a U-joint-style knuckle at the auger base is going to be problematic. You’ll get grain hanging up on the knuckle and higher maintenance. There’s a soft-start rubber device in there that transfers power.

“The new big horsepower tractors have an electric p.t.o. that instantly slams their full force into the rubber all at once. That’s hard on the rubber device and everything else in the system.”

When grain cart manufacturers started designing and building flexible augers, the idea was to get maximum side reach across the ditch to the semi and still have adequate forward reach so the tractor driver could see the spout.

But the latest generation of high-horsepower tractors forced a re-think of that idea. Grieshop says although J&M is moving away from the bend-at-the-bottom augers, ironically it owns the 20-year-old patent for those original designs, which is still used by competitors.

“Today, designing an unload system is a trade-off. Everybody thought it’s one way or the other. You can have good side reach across the ditch to the road, but then the operator has trouble seeing the spout. Or you can put the spout more forward so the operator can see better, but then you sacrifice side reach. But we wanted it both ways.

“We put the augers back in line, so it’s a direct shot from the gearbox to the spout. That eliminated the bend and the knuckle problem. The long-term benefit is mechanical efficiency and durability.

“It puts the spout up parallel to the operator’s head. We make up for what we lost in side reach with our telescopic slide on the spout. We still get a 12-foot side reach across the ditch, along with a 13-foot forward reach for the operator. He has 100 percent visibility. We haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”

Although the 20-inch auger diameter seems small, Grieshop says the bullet design is double-sided at the bottom, forcing more grain into the tube. Grain is not re-directed.

The cart unloads at a rate of 600 bushels per minute.

About the author


Stories from our other publications