The Combine Forum banner

21 - 40 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
I hadn't considered the fact that many bins were shovelled in and out. Height isn't really an advantage when you have to elevate it by hand in order for it to run out by gravity later on, just as much work.

But I was thinking that by the time steel bins became common, most bins were filled by augers? Most steel bins have short doors close to the bottom which wouldn't work for shoveling grain in. However, I do see some really old steel bins that had doors almost as tall as the walls, that could be why, never thought about that angle.

My Grandma and Aunt were the lucky ones who got to shovel grain into the bins back in the day, My dad missed it due to allergies. And the idea is nearly unfathomable to me now. But then Grandpa was using a #60 pull type MF, or a McCormick clipper, which likely held much less than 50 bushels, which would fill the pickup truck box, and likely only put up a few thousand bushels a year. I probably shovel more than that in a season without realizing it.

But every time I set up an auger, it reminds me that energy today is virtually free. Think about it, we elevate grain 40 feet in the air, just to drop it down to the bottom of a bin, without a thought about the cost or the work involved. If we were doing it by human or animal power, even water power, I expect we would find a more efficient means of doing it. And it happens multiple times.
Up the clean grain elevator to fall to the bottom of the hopper
Up the unload auger to fall into the cart.
Up the cart auger to fall to the bottom of the truck.
Drop it all the way to the ground into an unload auger to elevate it to the top of a bin, just to drop it to the bottom.
Drop it back to ground level into an unload auger to lift it back up way above the truck to drop it back to the bottom.
Same thing in the elevator, and at the port, and at the end user.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
You gotta remember those old augers were heavy you get a 7" x 40' with a 16 hp engine on there they weren't fun to move. that was a big auger in 1979.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
They didn't move a lot of grain. It's unfathomable to shovel all your grain today, with the yields we get, acres we cover, and more intense cropping practices. Back in the day, they had just one quarter, maybe a couple more, some of which was hay/pasture, some fallow...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
You gotta remember those old augers were heavy you get a 7" x 40' with a 16 hp engine on there they weren't fun to move. that was a big auger in 1979.
Some brands were a lot easier to move then others. There are still guys out there using that same 7x40 auger to move grain today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,830 Posts
I remember my grandfather saying that they were really excited to get aluminum grain shovels since they were so light. Before that it they were made of thing steel and got really heavy after a while. But I'm sure steel was an improvement over the wood scoop shovels used to move grain for the last several thousand years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Yes, my Dad had one steel scoop shovel around in the 70s and probably into the 80s. I didn't use it much as there were aluminum ones around. I shoveled a lot of wheat in old wooden granaries, and out of an old barn converted to grain storage. Eventually, gradually, got steel bins. First steel bin was in 1978.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Yes, my Dad had one steel scoop shovel around in the 70s and probably into the 80s. I didn't use it much as there were aluminum ones around. I shoveled a lot of wheat in old wooden granaries, and out of an old barn converted to grain storage. Eventually, gradually, got steel bins. First steel bin was in 1978.
Old barn brings back memories, more friggen wires to hold it together. I put grain on the ground after that, not near as much work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Still store about 15000 bushels in 3 old barns, use more of the vac then shovels. I wish I could have just hopper bins, but everytime I think we are going to stop using the barns we add more acres and it starts all over again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,470 Posts
We still have a steel shovel, I actually prefer it over the aluminum ones for some reason. Had the steel one in the hopper of the pto auger one time going down the road, it fell out and ran over it with the auger, not a mark on it! Try that with fancy new aluminum shovels!!!! lol We used to keep about 5-6000 bushels in a barn, could auger out maybe a couple thousand bushels with a drag auger (not the fancy new hydraulic ones, the good old solid ones that bolted right to the shaft, those were for real men!) then the rest was grain vac with hoses tied to hoses, probably could have carried it out in 5 gallon pails faster. Good times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
Speaking of some augers being harder to move than others. I have a westfield 7 by 40 engine drive(with the belt that runs the same direction as the auger, around the tube), and that has to be the worst balanced auger ever built. The engine sits way off center, towards the intake end. Then the battery box sits on top of the auger about 6 feet closer to the intake end. Then someone has repaired the bottom end by adding some heavy wall pipe to the outside of the auger tubing.

We have lots of steel scoop shovels around here. Still use them lots, especially for frozen or crusting grain from the recent nasty harvests. Had a young hired helper who preferred the steel scoops.

I converted a 60 foot cattle shed to grain storage, complete with cross wires at just the right height to hit the top of your head, and no door(climb over the front wall). Could probably have bought the equivalent storage in hopper bottoms just in the cost of the fuel and wear and tear on the grain vac emptying the shed. And I crawl in and level the grain out into back and the corners to get an extra 1000 bushels into it, so I have a lot of respect for the old timers doing that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
Rather than respond to each post i will touch on some of the comments made in several posts since having working elevators from 1980 to 2005 I have some experience with some of this. Scoop shovels - everyone used the aluminum ones but the old steel ones (black cat #9) where actually easier to shovel grain with. The reason?, their weight did much of the work. They were heavies to bring back but when you brought it forward into the grain the , the momentum would move the grain with less effort from the operator. Box cars - loaded lots of them. They were not much more difficult to LOAD but had to be coopered prior to loading and THAT was a PITA especially when -30 out. It required nailing a cardboard "door" that had metal strips through it across the opening (from the inside) and then a 1X6 across the top. To get out you had a short steel ladder with hooks on both ends and you would hook it on the board, climb up, straddle the board (while holding your ice cream pail of double headed nails and hammer) then flip the ladder over to the outside, climb down to the door ledge and jump down. To load it we use a strong scott that clamped to that board and a spout made entirely of flex buckets that we would push toward s one end of the car and clamp in place. When that end was done we switched to the other end. Sometimes we didn't HAVE a strong scott and just use a bar that was pointed and both ends and shaped like a hockey stick. The long end would go in to a link on a chain around the end bucket and the other end would be stuck into the board to hold the spout over toward the end of the car. If it broke free while loading the spout would sometime=s hit and break the board and sometimes tear the cardboard (not good). Also, if you did;t get the cardboard tight enough, it would bow out too much when loaded and you couldn't close the door (even worse). Yes box cars sucked but not so much for putting the grain in as getting them ready and keeping the spout pointed in the right direction. Price of grain - The price of grain hasn't changed all that much ($ per bushel) for over 200 years. It;s the efficiency to produce it that has changed. In the 1780's, a bushel of rye was something like $9 and wheat IIRC was $6ish. BUT, it would take a farmer as much or MORE effort to produce a couple bushels as a farmer today to produce 100,000 bushels. If people had to produce grain the same way today as they did before augers and hydraulics, you would have to get $100+ per bushel to stay in business. The elevator hoist - every wooden elevator that I've ever seen had a hoist to lift the front of trucks that had none ( a throwback from the horse wagon gays when everything need a lift). I remember talking to repair crews that had to redo the driveway floor and they said that the stench when pulling up the floor in front of the hoist could be unbearable in the older elevators from the horse piss. The older ones used an air hoist, single post trough the floor just like auto shops used and the newer elevators used a cable lifted hoist. Someone mentioned audits, we called them cut offs and back in the day, they were required every 5 years. A was mentioned this involved an auditor coming and weighing and grading every bushel of grain in the elevator which of course meant that every flat bottom bin had to be shovelled. It was not, however, a CWB mandate but a CGC one. It was done to ensure that the farmers were not being screwed on weights or dockage. After the cut off, all of the records were checked for ins and outs since the last cut off and compared to what was left in the elevator. If the total weight in and out was off by more than, I think it was 1/2% or maybe 1/3% and dockage had to be within .1%. If they were out, in the companies favour, the CGC would demand an explanation and if a plausible one was not given, the company would be fined (heavily), If it was out in the farmers favour, the company would demand an explanation and if a plausible one was not given you looked for a new job. Grades were not part of the CGC mandate as grades ( and sometimes grains) could be blended so they only cared about net weight totals and dockage totals. The company, however DID care about grand gains/loses of course. I think they do cut offs annually now which is MUCH better than every 5 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,830 Posts
Price of grain - The price of grain hasn't changed all that much ($ per bushel) for over 200 years. It;s the efficiency to produce it that has changed. In the 1780's, a bushel of rye was something like $9 and wheat IIRC was $6ish. BUT, it would take a farmer as much or MORE effort to produce a couple bushels as a farmer today to produce 100,000 bushels.
I guess it depends on how you valuate the price. On paper it hasn't changed. But in terms of what that price represents, there's no comparison. $9 in 1780 is a lot of money today. $8 in 1880 is maybe nearly $200 in today's money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
When we got our first grain sweep setup for the auger back in the early 80's, that was a pretty big deal. It was just an open auger flighting with no backing on it so you would still have 6" of grain left on the floor plus a pretty big pile around and underneath the auger. But it was a real labour saver back then.

Shoveling grain was a right of passage for any farmer back then, it was always a test to see who could shovel more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
I guess it depends on how you valuate the price. On paper it hasn't changed. But in terms of what that price represents, there's no comparison. $9 in 1780 is a lot of money today. $8 in 1880 is maybe nearly $200 in today's money.
True but here is more to it that what that bushel of grain will buy. It's also about what it took to produce that bushel compared to what it will buy. In the 1780's a farmer worked all summer doing back breaking manual labour to farm a couple acres at most. Even at $200 a bushel I doubt you could find many takers that would farm they way they did then and certainly couldn't make what we consider a living on it. BTW, in the 1780 example, IIRC, the average annual earnings of a rifle maker was something like $28
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
One more thing about shoveling grain back in the day. Nobody had dust masks. We would shovel like mad and could hardly see across the bin. The more experienced guy in the bin would show you how to shovel while creating less dust. Used to hack up barley dust for a couple days afterwards. Now I cannot breathe in dusty conditions without a mask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,934 Posts
No way no how it’s easier shoveling with a steel shovel.
The extra weight helps with forward momentum....😂🤦‍♂️🔫
 
21 - 40 of 50 Posts
Top