Tenders: Tending To Business

They tend to be a different breed, the tenders, because they don’t actually “do” anything across the field like spreaders and sprayers. Theirs is the backdrop task of servicing the field’s stars, but just try to get through spring without them.

Tender manufacturers don’t come out with new models every year or two, either; it’s usually just a smart tweaking here and there. These machines aren’t flashy, yet underneath their simple lines lie speed, strength, and sturdy reliability. Those shopping at the summer shows for a tender will find new and upgraded models amid the mix of industry standards.

Side Discharge

Side discharge dry tenders allow users to dispense material alongside a spreader, often at adjustable heights, such as Adams Fertilizer Equipment’s site-specific tenders and Hopper Bottom Tender Trailer. Adams’ 304 stainless steel hydraulic side auger adjusts from 7 feet to 17 feet and also has a slide gate clean-out, roll tarp, and conveniently placed controls.

Adams’ 870-cubic foot Hopper Bottom Tender Trailer, designed for faster unloading, also comes equipped with larger self-cleaning hopper doors, rack and pinion clean-out gate, hydraulic feed gate, large-capacity hydraulic tank, 40-hp diesel Deutz engine, and a tarp cover with V-cable ratchet tie-down for the 32-foot 304 stainless steel trailer.

The Willmar 16- and 24-ton Side Shooter tenders from AGCO Corp.’s Application Equipment Division offer four- or six-compartment hoppers that can carry a variety of materials and are available in trailer- or truck-mounted models. They’re constructed from 409 stainless steel and can move up to 2 tons of material per minute. Steep, sloped sides and large augers dispense material quickly and completely. The models include increased stainless steel hardware for improved corrosion resistance. Long auger options are available for increased unloading height.

A new model from Barber Engineering is its 14- x 8-foot Nurse Box with 400-cubic foot capacity. This mid-size side discharge Nurse Box offers easy handling of fertilizer, grain, and seed products in medium size loads. It includes 12-gauge mild (powder-coated finish) or 304 stainless steel-welded design, frame, flatbed, or trailer mount, depending on the model, and replacement parts manufactured by Barber to guarantee quality.

Barber’s 7-foot 6-inch x 10-foot 282-cubic foot capacity Nurse Box has been updated from the previous 220-cubic foot capacity. The versatile unit, which tows easily behind a 1-ton pickup truck, is now mounted on a highway-legal triple-axle trailer. This one-piece side discharge Nurse Box is powered by a gas engine and hydraulic power pack, and a roll tarp keeps its contents dry.

Chandler Equipment offers a 24-ton capacity SDT-MH 24 Tender that features the company’s uniquely designed side discharge auger system. The one-piece side folding design — which comes standard with 304 stainless steel auger and tube — will provide customers with a greater discharge height, yet still be able to discharge material into planters and other low profile implements. The pit dump option will allow customers to stockpile material or unload onto a conveyor.

The side discharge feature is also available on Chandler’s 12- and 16-ton truck-mounted models, which are available in mild steel, 409 stainless steel, or 304 stainless steel hopper.

From Dempster Industries comes the 2007 model 16-Ton Side Discharge Tender, which reaches 18 feet to allow greater discharge height capability for equipment clearance and improved operator view of the single-unit, 10-inch unloading auger. Easy access to operation controls provides the operator separate control to both the horizontal and side augers, allowing rear horizontal auger unloading.

The two-compartment (four optional) 600-cubic-foot hopper (heaped) is made of 12-gauge 409 stainless steel and features easy-flow hopper clean-out 40-degree side walls. A full-length flip-down driver side catwalk provides easy access to material loaded into the hopper. The unit comes standard with stainless steel roll-top tarp.

The 24-ton side discharge trailer tender from Doyle Manufacturing was upgraded with a new modular design and features in 2008. The company also carries side and rear discharge truck mount tenders, with combo units available.

Rear Discharge

Rear discharge units offer another option for dispensing materials.

AGCO’s Willmar 10- and 16-ton rear discharge tenders offer two large-capacity hoppers and are available for truck or trailer mounting. Like the company’s side discharge models, they are constructed from 409 stainless steel and can move up to 2 tons of material per minute. Steep, sloped sides and large augers dispense material quickly and completely, and more stainless steel hardware has improved corrosion resistance and long auger options are available for increased unloading height.

One of Ag Systems’ newest models is the white 1612 Tender, a 16-ton rear discharge unit that can hold 500 cubic feet of material. Its 12-foot 304 stainless steel hydraulic drive auger can unload at a rate of 5,000-plus pounds per minute. The 1612, made of 409 stainless steel, features a two-compartment 304 stainless steel hopper and electric roll tarp.

The KBH Corp. will feature its 25-ton Fertilizer Tender trailer again at this year’s shows, both rear discharge and side discharge models. Both units are constructed of unpainted 304 stainless steel and are powered by Deutz air-cooled diesel engines. Customers with a wet kit on their road tractor can purchase it without the engine. Augers are available in mild or stainless steel. Hydraulic hopper doors, another KBH innovation, are quickly becoming an industry standard; another emerging option are hopper vibrators. KBH mounts its beds on 32- or 36-foot trailers, which are available with two or three axles. All KBH tenders come standard with roll tarps, ABS anti-lock brakes, and tubing flotation dolly pads.

Overhead Discharge

Whether they’re called top or overhead models, some users prefer this third discharge option.

Ray-Man offers its wide choice of tenders in painted 409 stainless steel or unpainted 304 stainless steel. Capacities range from a 10-ton truck mount to 30-ton semi-trailers with several discharge options such as overhead, rear, and side augers and a folding belt discharge for seed delivery. Standard features include stainless steel fenders and extra heavy-duty hydraulic systems. Options include the number and sizes of the compartments and manual or electric roll tarps.

BFT Series tenders from Simonsen Industries are available in truck or trailer mount. They are also offered in either top or side discharge with unloading rates of 3,500 pounds per minute on the top auger and 4,000 pounds per minute for the side auger. Sizes range from 16 feet (16 ton) to 24 feet (25 ton) in length. The 5-, 6-, and 8-foot compartments are available with splits in any or all compartments. BFT-style tenders feature large trap openings and heavy-duty hydraulics. They can be driven by truck wet kit, PTO, self-contained 85-hp Cummins diesel engine, or self-contained 350 CI gas engine. All models can be customized with many tarp options, inside or outside catwalks, side or end ladders, lights on the delivery auger, side heights, and delivery auger lengths. While new trailers are available, the tenders can be set up for an existing trailer. All Simonsen trailer-mounted models include heavy-duty stainless steel reinforcing around the top sill of the tender for added rigidity and longevity.


Of course, liquid materials also need to be carried to fields and dispensed for application. Precision Tank & Equipment (PT&E) now offers custom designed and manufactured nurse units with payload capacities of up to 5,000 gallons. Constructed of 304 stainless steel, the nurse tank-only, tank-mounted on a wagon, or tank-mounted on a chassis units feature a mirror-like finish for better appearance. PT&E liquid nurse tanks are usually discharged from the driver side or rear to make it easier and quicker for the driver to unload. A wide array of options is available for a custom unit, including single- or multiple-compartment tanks, mild or stainless steel tank skids and catwalks, mild or stainless steel plumbing, and hydraulic, PTO, and gas engine-driven transfer pumps.

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