Grain Cart Size - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Grain Cart Size

Looking at a few carts. Run 2 combines in canola, wheat, barley, and oats. Have a 500hp 4wd with pto so options are open with cart size. Looked at a few 900, 1000 and 1500 bus carts. Run with tridem trailers and tandem trucks mainly. Never ran a cart before. I know the 1500bus would be nice at the end of the day when filling everything right full. Does it pay to have such a big cart with 2 combines (350bus hoppers). Is compaction a big worry?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 12:45 PM
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1500+ would be what you want, a guy wants to fill your trailers in one go. A 1000 bu cart you will need to rape it to keep up to 2 large combines. If a cart is 1500bu it will hold 12-1300 easy the last bit to get it in takes work. 1000 would be 800

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 02:49 PM
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Minimum is something that can carry a little more than 2 combine hoppers. I'd go with a 1000bu. That way you can fit two full combine hoppers unloading on the go (might get up to 400bu each by the time they dump if they're full when the cart arrives) and then you also have room to carry a few bushels back into the field if you're not able to dump fully at the trucks.

I think 1500bu is overkill for just 2 combines. I get the attraction of bringing full semi loads to the truck, and the 4wd/cart is doing fewer trips to the gate, but then you're always pulling really heavy loads where you're causing compaction, more stress on the tractor when bouncing across the field, more likely to get stuck if it's wet. The exception is if you're doing a lot of long hauls with the cart or if you're planning on getting a 3rd combine... or if that money is really burning a hole in your pocket.

I ran a 1000bu cart for 3 class 9 combines for a few years. The cart was a limiting factor only in the cereals when the hauls to the gate were longer than 1/2 mile, or we were in perfect combining conditions. It was often enough that for 3, I'd get a 1200bu at least. A 1000bu is fine for 2 (if cost is still a concern!).

For topping off the cart, the easy way to do it is have the cart maintain a steady speed and direction (a little slower than combine capacity), and the combine operator moves back or ahead. Absolutely get a PTO cart, they dump way faster than hydraulic.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 03:23 PM
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We run a 1300 bushel cart for 1 combine but looking at a 2nd combine with the same cart and unless you are sitting still you won't get the 1300 bushel in it it seems like that one will hold a little over a load in it with tracks on the cart and it just floats over the field but I would go as big as you can you don't have to load the cart full if the fields are soft
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:03 PM
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2000 bu no question u have the tractor to run one so why not get the biggest?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:07 PM
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20% over the biggest trailer you will fill.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:28 PM
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You want a 1200 or 1500 hands down. 1000bu is too small for what you want to do.

A 1000bu will dump 2 combines but it won't hold 1000 unless you're stopped and heaped up and then you can't roll the tarp.

Combines have hopper extensions? Our combine holds 400bu full, so we could possibly be dumping 450bu at a time. Say you start at 350bu on the combine, at 1000bu/hr through the comine, in 6 mins that's an extra 100 bu, 450bu a dump if you can dump in 6 mins. That's 900 between the 2 combines, a 1000bu cart doesn't leave much room.

We run a tandem semi trailer and the 1000 is pretty much perfect for it. 1200 or 1500 would match a tridem easier
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:58 PM
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maybe a brent avalanche would work
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 05:44 PM
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Whatever you get, get the biggest tires available or tracks.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 07:50 PM
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We’ve actually gone the other way but having more carts, from a 1800 bu cart down to a 1300 and 1000bu. We considered going one big 2000 but we find by the time he gets everyone dumped and is on his way back the next guy is already full, problem exacerbated in big yielding crops. We also like to minimize how many spots we bring trucks into the field so on larger fields it can make for a lot of carting. Slower, lower yielding crops then we shut down one cart. Our biggest reason for smaller carts was compaction. Have tracks on the 1300 and I still dont love how much weight were running around. Obviously big downside is another tractor being used and another operator needed.

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