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 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 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification 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
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
Latest News
Bayer CropScience, ILeVO
Crop InputsISU: ‘Halo Effect’ From ILeVO Soybean Seed …
May 28, 2015
Farmers who were lucky enough to plant soybeans and spray pre-emergence herbicides in between rain events may now be seeing Read More
ManagementCorn Planting/Monsanto-Syngenta Update; New PrecisionAg…
May 28, 2015
Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf give updates on corn planting progress, the latest on Monsanto-Syngenta rumors and preview a brand Read More
Waterhemp in soybean stubble
HerbicidesEPA Signs Off On Monsanto’s Warrant Ultra Premix
May 27, 2015
Soybean and cotton growers looking for new tools to manage weeds will have a new, first-of-its-kind option in 2016 with Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesSTUDY: Weed Diversity Primarily Influenced By Geography
May 27, 2015
The potential long-term impacts of glyphosate-resistant crops on biodiversity of the agricultural landscape have been the subject of controversy. A Read More
Seed/BiotechAgrilead Forms Distribution Alliance With Kansas-Based …
May 27, 2015
Agrilead, Inc. announces the formation of a strategic alliance with KALO, Inc. of Overland Park, KS. Through the alliance, KALO Read More
EquipmentPrecision Tank Announces A&B Welding Acquisition
May 27, 2015
Precision Tank, a specialized tank and equipment manufacturer, announced today the acquisition of A&B Welding of Thompson, IA, a manufacturer Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementTraining Program Gives First Responders Skills For Grai…
May 27, 2015
When stored grain forms hard bridges, columns and other irregularities, those working to correct it find themselves at risk of Read More
Industry NewsBASF Sponsors Space Farming Research Project
May 26, 2015
Is it possible to produce large quantities of high quality vegetables on a space station, about 320 kilometers away from Read More
FertilizerTexas Ammonium Nitrate Bill Passes Senate, Heads To Gov…
May 26, 2015
The Texas State Senate gave final approval last Thursday to new regulations for ammonium nitrate, reports The Dallas Morning News Read More
Young corn plants
Industry NewsArysta Europe Details New Organizational Structure
May 26, 2015
Arysta LifeScience Europe recently announced a new organizational structure to leverage its scale and accelerate the company’s growth in this Read More
Syngenta Sign
Eric SfiligojMonsanto-Syngenta Could Hinge On A Judgment Of Solomon …
May 26, 2015
In the bible, the reputation of King Solomon’s wisdom in matters of despite comes from a tale of one child Read More
ManagementA New Sprayer Company & UAV Research In The Spotlig…
May 21, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a Dutch sprayer manufacturer entering the U.S. with a super-sized entry and Read More
HerbicidesFirst U.S. Sale Of Enlist Duo Herbicide Made By Dow Agr…
May 21, 2015
Dow AgroSciences has recorded the first U.S. sale of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. This marks the first commercial Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manu…
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
EquipmentNORAC Options Coming To TerraGator
May 19, 2015
Utilizing NORAC’s Standard Control technology, boom height control is now available for TerraGators with Airmax Precision 2 and Benson Booms. This Read More
Crop InputsHelena Introduces New Soil Health Product
May 19, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. is helping agricultural producers maximize yields and efficiency with the introduction of Liquid Chisel, a new product Read More
Stewardship4R Nutrient Management Planning Certification Now Avail…
May 19, 2015
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program announce a new specialty certification in Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More