Tractors, of course, have become an integral part of any farm. You’ll see them at work tilling the soil, planting seed, applying fertilizers and pesticides, harvesting, and preparing the soil for next year’s crop. What you normally don’t see, however, is the work that needs to be done to accomplish these end tasks.

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For example, before a tractor can hit the field for planting the season’s crop, a planter implement must be loaded with seed. Gravity boxes are large hoppers on wheels that transfer seed to the planter, but some sort of conveyor is needed to move the seed from gravity box to planter. Unverferth Mfg. Co., Kalida, Ohio, manufactures a wide variety of seed, grain, and bulk handling equipment, including gravity boxes and converyors.

Many conveyors use a power takeoff on the tractor as a power source. However, this ties up the tractor when it could be doing something other than driving the gravity box conveyor, so some farmers prefer a self-contained gravity box conveyor. Unverferth offers just that — an optional self-contained hydraulic system for its gravity box conveyor. Unverferth’s conveyor uses an 8-in.-wide cleated belt running inside a 6-in. steel tube to gently transport up to 10 bushels of seed per minute. A universal mounting bracket allows Unverferth’s conveyor to be installed on all gravity boxes with door widths from 29½ to 60 in. Furthermore, it is designed to tuck  securely to the side of the gravity box when not in use to minimize space needed for storage.

Adjustable-speed hydraulics

The machine’s self-contained hydraulic system is relatively simple, consisting primarily of a hydraulic power unit (HPU), hydraulic motor, and control valve. As can be seen in the photo, the HPU fits neatly within the framework of the gravity box, so the vehicle takes up no additional space. The HPU is powered by an 8-hp gasoline engine with electric start driving a hydraulic pump that puts out up to 6½ gpm of fluid at pressure to 2,900 psi.

The HPU also has a 4½-gallon reservoir with return-line filtration. 

 

Hydraulic power from the HPU is routed to a gear motor mounted at the top of the conveyor. According to Jerry Ecklund, of Unverferth, mounting the hydraulic motor at the top of the conveyor provides three benefits. “The high-efficiency orbital motor is mounted near the top of the conveyor for a cleaner operating environment, longer seal life, and greater under hopper clearance,” Ecklund says. Motor speed is infinitely adjustable from 0 to 500 rpm, and an optional electric on-off kit allows remote or wireless control, thereby allowing a single person to operate the equipment.

For more information on Unverferth Mfg. Co., click here.

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