Blockages the primary and secondary issue: Air cart owners

OWNERS of air commodity carts have identified line blockages as the problem they mainly encounter with their air cart.

Ben White

Secondary line blockages hindered the seeding programme of 43 per cent of owners while primary line blockage issues affected 27%

Meter roller issues hampered one in eight while cart wheels, tyres, chassis and pull issues were identified as problems by less than ten per cent of owners.

To overcome the issue, primarily with granulated product, growers indicated they were looking to employ the use of heat into the airstream to keep lines and product dry. Some manufacturers, for example, Morris utilise heat from the hydraulic lines to warm air as it enters the air-cart fan.

Other growers had added gas burners kits which are available commercially. Componentry usually includes brackets, burner, regulator and thermostat. Total cost is around $600 with a connection to your own LPG gas cylinder required. It should be noted that legally speaking, these kits should be fitted by a qualified gas fitter once the parts are sourced.

Blockage monitors are available for both primary and secondary lines. Primary line blockage sensors cost around $2200 including GST for a 6-head monitoring system.

Secondary line solutions include the Intelligent Ag Solutions (IAS) wireless blockage and flow monitors for secondary lines distributed in Australia through Farmscan Ag. The system uses a series of acoustic sensors mounted in the secondary lines. Pulses detected by an on-head computer (ECU) are wirelessly transmitted back to a wireless link ECU and from there back to an iPad in the tractor cab. 

But it doesn't come cheap, Farmscan Ag tell us a system for 40 x 38mm (1½ inch) secondary lines from 6 heads (single shoot) with an ECU ready to transmit back to the cab retails for just over $10,000 including GST ready to connect to your iPad.

For more information click HERE.

The Kondinin Group Research Team will investigate air commodity carts in the Research Report section of  the June edition of Farming Ahead.