When a conveyor can cost twice as much as an auger, it’s really hard to justify the costs until you do your research. There are several factors one should keep in mind when evaluating augers and conveyors — or any equipment for that matter — including product lifespan, operational costs, safety, product handling and versatility. Some of these attributes are fairly well known while others are not.
Let’s start with product handling and versatility. As you already know, transporting product (be it seed, grain or fertilizer) by conveyor is less abrasive than transporting it by auger. This is especially important when handling seed, as you want to prevent any damage. Versatility is also important. The low-profile conveyor can be used to unload grain from a bin to a semi in about 10 minutes. It can also be used to move seed from a bin to a semi truck or a seed tender to a planter.
The low-profile conveyor is also versatile in how it operates. Traditionally, it’s powered by an electric motor but it also has the option to run off a gas or hydraulic motor. This means it can be taken into the middle of a field or virtually anywhere you would want to use the conveyor.
As a company, safety is very important, both for our employees and our customers; we strive to make our products as safe as possible. On-farm noise has always been a challenge when it comes to the operation of equipment. Many see it as just a part of the environment that comes with production agriculture and operating equipment. But this noise creates a hazard, preventing operators from being able to hear if something else isn’t going right, the presence of another person or what another person might be trying to say.
Conveyors are naturally much quieter than augers because you don’t have metal on metal, and that’s one benefit customers often say they really appreciate — just how much quieter these are when in operation. Plus some conveyors feature an optional hydraulic field mover package that can be added, which makes it easier for users to move the conveyor without having to strain their joints and bodies or worry about backing it up precisely into place.
Finally, there’s product lifespan and operational costs. On average, a conveyor will last two to three times longer than an auger. So, it’s likely that you would purchase two augers, maybe three depending on the quality, during the time that you would purchase one conveyor. Couple that with the energy efficiency that comes with a conveyor, and it’s an all around better return on investment.
Remember: You just have to look beyond the initial price point to see just how far your dollars will go.