Fertilizer Tender Capacity Still Critical

Doyle 24FT
Doyle 24FT

While growers faced their share of challenges this past season, tender manufacturers had their own issues to contend with, tops being simply keeping up with the demand for their units. To a company, representatives we talked with said it was a huge year and orders are strong for 2013. Manufacturers credited a solid growing season (in spite of the drought) for many regions, higher than expected commodity prices and continued corn acreage expansion for the boom.

“Towards the end of the fertilizer season we were as far as three months out on new order deliveries,” says Shawn Hudspeth of Adams Fertilizer Equipment. In normal years Adams is able to build up an average of 30% of expected production during the late summer to begin a new season. But early in the 2012 season, inventory was completely depleted and the company needed to run its entire plant on overtime, with the powder coat paint department going 24 hours a day at peak.

Tim Tenhet, sales director with KBH Corp., sees his firm’s “meteoric” gain in market share continuing into 2013 – its growth due in great part to a major revision of features on its 26-ton fertilizer auger trailer tender.

Michael Sosebee, sales manager with Chandler Equipment, reports sales of the company’s largest units, rigs with side and rear discharge augers (RDT 24 and SDT MH 24), actually doubled over last year.

Moving High Volumes

Overall, it seems the market is heading for equipment with more capacity, says Carla Peterson of Peterson Motors. And specifically, legal hauling capacity — something of a hot button issue — is becoming more important. Peterson’s Quickveyor has a 27-ton legal capacity, thanks to its empty weight of only 10,300 pounds. (Designers did a bit tweaking on the Quickveyor for 2013, adding a Lexan enclosure for the unit’s belting. It offers more safety and great visibility at same time, says Peterson.)

“There is a need for longer trailers to handle the weight capacities,” says KBH’s Tenhet. In fact, in 2012 the company began offering custom-length trailers to enable customers to maximize legal payloads.

Larger product volumes are needed to meet application demands in the field. One option Chandler Equipment added in 2012 was longer auger lengths to accommodate the bigger, taller machines retailers are using, some for a growing of number post-plant fertilizer applications.

Brad Moen, president of FEI Inc, a dealer for AGCO/Willmar equipment, says his company sold plenty of 24-ton tenders, but has found 16-ton units are moving just as well. “The bigger co-ops have built big fertilizer plants, but can use a 16-ton to service their smaller satellite plants,” he explains. “Retailers have different niches in all their businesses.”

Moen puts together a number of packages for buyers, such as one that includes a 24-ton Willmar Side Shooter tender, plus a B-B semi trailer (triple axle works best) to mount it on, plus a power pack.

FEI even offers an option that can get 32 tons of product to fields. A 16-ton tender is mounted on a truck while another is pulled behind on a trailer. A dealer can drop one unit in a field, say, to service an AGCO floater while the other tender fills another piece of equipment in another location. The first one can simply be picked up later. And the driver doesn’t need a Commercial Driver’s License.

Beyond Capacities

Another feature customers continue to ask for is multiple compartments. Adams has seen an increase in sales of three-hopper, truck-mounted tenders, along with multiple bin trailer tenders, such as the Adams 1,200-cubic foot Super Tender. This gain can be traced to the rise in variable rate application and the need to haul multiple products to different locations, says Hudspeth.

Doyle Equipment’s 24 FT Trailer Tender has three compartments that can be partitioned to make as many as six if needed.

Simonsen is offering dry chemical/micro bins for use with its BFT model tenders. They’re available for either truck or trailer mount and run completely isolated from the fertilizer tender. “They utilize their own closed system to maintain purity of product,” says Owner Jon Simonsen.

KBH is introducing a new multi-compartment unit this spring geared to meet the growing demands of variable rate and micronutrient applications.

In addition to compartments, Bob Eakins, president of Ray-Man Inc., says customers are adding convenience items such as electric roll tarps; plus, he’s seen more buyers using LED lights. New for 2013, Ray-Man is offering a hydraulic manifold, which simplifies the hydraulic system for a wet-kit on semi-tractors.

Construction materials, too, are a selling point. Rob Heiden at Doyle Equipment says his company is doing a lot of tender construction utilizing 304 stainless steel rather than 409. The higher grade cuts down on rust — a valuable benefit to customers who don’t like unsightly rust streaks running down the paint on their units.

Ronald Hays at Hays Liquid Transport Inc. agrees, noting the appearance of the machines going down the road enhances the dealer’s image: 304 stainless steel looks “nice and shiny.”

Customers want units that need less maintenance, and stainless steel construction definitely helps, says AGCO’s Dave Lovell, field sales and marketing support manager. All of Willmar’s key tender components utilize it.

Tanks, Too

In addition to demand for its 24-ton flagship tender, Hays L.T.I. is seeing more calls for its transport liquid tankers.

Indeed, Ron Lager, sales manager at Precision Tank & Equipment (PT&E), says last season was all his company had hoped for, seeing its “best tank sales ever for stainless steel, mild steel, and fiberglass.” PT&E is adding new equipment at its fiberglass and steel tank facilities to keep up with demand.

“We’re seeing dealers and growers considering stainless steel nurse tanks (and fiberglass storage tanks) for their obvious advantages: longevity, safety and less maintenance,” he says. And, he notes, they’re still buying the larger capacity tanks.

In general, many manufacturers reported a lot of fertilizer going down in the fall, and Adams’ Hudspeth says the only limiting factor on another outstanding spring season would be the weather. Even with high prices, you have to have moisture to plant, he notes. “An early drought could stop planting in areas, which decreases the demand for tendering or any other fertilizer application equipment,” he says.

Leave a Reply

Tenders Stories
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
Tenders12 Fertilizer Tenders Tailored To Meet Demand
March 18, 2014
These units offer both the capacity and flexibility for any customer’s acreage. Read More
TendersFertilizer Tenders Tackle Corn Acres
January 2, 2014
Big rigs will still deliver to boost yields, but larger issues in ag cast a few shadows on the 2014 season. Read More
TendersFertilizer Tender Capacity Still Critical
January 2, 2013
The demand for larger units continues, as does the need for time-saving and convenience options. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More