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
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
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
Latest News
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementCourt Decision Protects Chesapeake Bay’s Water, Wildlif…
July 7, 2015
Today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the historic clean-up plan for the Chesapeake Bay. Collin O’Mara, president and Read More
Agworld Apple Watch Farm Management
EquipmentAussie Data Management Software Company Making Its Mark…
July 4, 2015
Western-Australia-based Agworld — having fully launched its data management software system stateside last year after a 2013 soft launch — Read More
Topcon AGI-4 on MF Planter
EquipmentAutosteer: Compatibility, Accuracy Remain Top Of Mind
July 3, 2015
The world of automatic steering solutions in agriculture has evolved rapidly in the last few years. From after-market add-ons that Read More
ManagementUnited Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes Merger & Crop Update
July 2, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the reasons behind the United Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes merger and USDA’s recent Read More
Industry NewsBioSafe Adds To Sales Force
July 2, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the hire of two new members for its service team. David Britt recently joined the team Read More
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementChesapeake Bay Clean-Up Gets Renewed Attention
July 2, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay has been called one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. It’s also one of Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More