New seed buggy speeds fill-up
One year ago Kevin Thompson, Morgantown, traded his homemade seed buggy for a commercial model. The homemade version was featured on an Indiana Prairie Farmer cover along with his dad, Gene, in the 1990s. In making the trade to a commercial model, Thompson was looking for more capacity and more efficiency in the field.
He purchased a Seed Runner 3750, made by Unverferth. The unit consists of two compartments for bulk seed and a conveyor instead of an auger to deliver seed to the planter boxes.
The self-contained unit, which Thompson towed behind his pickup, is equipped with a Honda GX 340 gasoline engine. It powers hydraulics.
• A commercial seed buggy cuts fill time and means more acres planted per day.
• Get features you want, such as electric start, two compartments, conveyor.
• A large seed buggy moves you closer to bulk-seed handling.
Since I planted soybeans for him, I gained experience with the seed buggy. Although I never did it without him there, one person could operate it alone. Typically, Kevin operated the controls, and I would use a plastic drop tube to move from box to box.
Fill time was cut in half compared to the homemade unit because it took less time to set up. Thompson simply pulled alongside the planter. The conveyor rests on a sliding frame. By moving a pin, he could swing the auger from right to left.
The flexible hose made it possible to fill front and rear boxes in one setting. The flow is adjustable, depending upon how much seed you let out of the compartment. With plenty of power, you can fill as fast as you can handle it.
There were a couple of bolts that needed tightening. Otherwise, the unit ran trouble-free. If I would change anything, I would add a deflector on the end of the hose so that it would be easier to direct the seed exactly where you want it.
The beauty of the buggy is that Thompson had it filled from a bulk truck initially. When it was time to refill, he had two options. He had seed in both big bags and boxes.
He used a forklift on a concrete floor to refill. He lifted boxes over the hopper, then emptied them into the buggy. He could do the same with bags, or he could empty a big bag into an empty box, then dump the box. The new buggy fits well with the trend of moving toward bulk and/or boxes, and away from big bags, partly for safety reasons.
We did learn one lesson. It’s important to plan out which compartment, front or rear, you’re going to plant first. If you empty the front compartment first, it makes it somewhat tougher to pull the buggy with the back compartment full, although it was still manageable.
This article published in the March, 2011 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.