Turn right: Re-thinking grain cart design

Grain carts have traditionally been built to unload on the left side to avoid having the cart auger contact unload augers on combines, which are also mounted on the left side.

But there’s a benefit to right-side unloading that has led many farmers in Australia to switch sides and a Manitoba-based manufacturer to introduce right-side unloading as an option in North America.

The main reason for switching to right-side augers is improved ergonomics and comfort for the grain cart driver, explains Brad Friesen of Elmer’s Manufacturing at Altona, Man., in the video below, filmed at Ag in Motion near Langham, Saskatchewan last week.

Considering tractor cab layout, with the driver extending their left leg to push the clutch pedal while adjusting hydraulic controls with the right hand, it’s physically easier to turn right to view the cart auger while unloading, he says. The operator can also keep an eye on monitors that are mounted on the right side of the cab and doesn’t have to worry about visibility if there’s a passenger on the left side, notes Friesen.

Another reason why Elmer’s believes farmers may be interested in switching to right side unloading: the risk of contacting the combine auger has diminished as more grain cart operators now fold in their auger after unloading, before racing back up the field. Folding in the auger is increasingly recommended by manufacturers as augers have grown in size and engineers have focused on reducing folding time.

Elmer’s has been building right-hand unload carts for the Australian market for several years, with  production of the right-hand design for the North American dealers ramping up in 2018.

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