After Shawn Gengerke, a fifth-generation producer in Groton, S.D., heard that some friends of his family had experienced a grain bin tragedy, he wanted to do something about it.
In fact, Gengerke nearly had a grain bin accident himself a year later.
“The year after that happened, we had a large bin plug which cost us a lot of time, stress and money to get the grain out,” said Gengerke, CEO and founder of Leading Edge Industries.
Gengerke wanted to design something that would keep old grain, ice chunks and foreign material from plugging up the sump.
“The last couple years the death rate has been terrible. Hearing about families losing their fathers and sons, we decided something had to be done,” he said.
Gengerke ended up designing and manufacturing three solutions for grain storage.
The most recent grain solution, for sale to farmers in fall 2020, is the Bin SumpPRO, which is a retrofit kit for grain bin sweep systems.
“The Bin SumpPRO breaks up all types of clumps and ice above the floor. It also cuts and clears material lodged between the top of the floor and the discharge auger under the floor,” he said.
Combining those two actions, the Bin SumpPRO can work under full capacity and “may prove to be a game changer in grain bin safety.”
How does the Bin SumpPRO break up these pieces of crust, foreign material, clumps of grain or ice chunks?
Patent-pending beaters, along with gate cutting blades, part of the Bin SumpPRO retrofit kit, are designed to break up 99 percent of the clumps from immature commodities, ice chunks, crust or foreign material that would otherwise plug the sump.
Once the center grain level is at the floor, the whole sweep is ready to be used.
For normal use, a quick coupler can then reconnect the beaters to the auger.
This is the first year the Bin SumpPRO will be installed in grain bins.
“We just announced to the public that we will start selling them, but we have tested the BinSump PROs in multiple bins for the past two years, and it works like it was designed to,” Gengerke said.
When producers receive the kits, they replace part of the sweep auger with the kit, he explained. In addition, it takes different models of the Bin SumpPRO for different models of sweeps. They have several different models on hand.
Several dealers have agreed to sell the kits, including Intellifarms and Kemp Construction.
The other products that help with grain that Gengerke designed a few years ago are The Load Judge and Operation Harvest Sweep.
Gengerke designed The Load Judge kit with six self-calibrating light sensors and a moisture sensor, which are installed on the interior of the truck trailer.
“We designed The Load Judge because we had trouble loading grain out of a 10-inch auger and getting loads right. We load in the Dakotas in 20-degree windchill or 100-degree weather, and when the wind is blowing in your face, dirt buildup is a problem,” Gengerke said about The Load Judge.
Farmers can sit in their cabs and get information about their loads.
In 2013, Gengerke designed the Operation Harvest Sweep to reduce shatter loss during harvest. It is a chain that can be attached to a combine and has been found to reduce up to 85 percent of shatter loss.
For more information on the new BinSump PRO, contact Leading Edge Industries at: https://www.leadingedgeind.com or call 605-397-2020.