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Containers improve productivity in the field

Distributor changes business model around seed bins that slash workload, improve safety.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 20, 2011

When Clarks Ag Supply in Clark, Neb., received its first shipment of seed containers in 2000, owner Tom Beck thought he had simply purchased a shipping and storage solution. But soon he designed a patented device to capitalize on the unique capabilities of the seed containers. The result allowed the creation of a seed tender capable of unloading 2,000 pounds of seed into planters—a chore that used to take hours of manual labor—in about 4 minutes.

“We went from a horse and buggy to a racecar,” says Beck.

The containers are designed to disperse dry, flowable products through a slide regulated center discharge hole with an angled base. They hold up to 2,500 pounds and stack up to four high. At first, Beck and his sons were not taking full advantage of the dispensing feature. While the container easily dispensed seed when a box was lifted above a wheeled seed wagon, Beck knew there had to be a more efficient method of seed delivery from the box to the planter.

Accordingly, he worked with a fabricator to build 10 seed tenders designed to help farmers handle seed safer and easier while reducing loading times. After extensive testing to make sure the machine was safe for the product and the users, Beck loaded the containers onto the tender, opened the slide door, and dispensed seed into a discharge auger to convey seed to the planter.

The containers stack easily and are well-balanced, sitting 3 feet off the ground. With the tenders, farmers have finger-tip control of an electronic lift on the auger, instead of climbing on to planters or wagons to dispense seed or untie bulk bags. Workers also never have to touch or breathe in treated seed.


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About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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