FACT OR MYTH?
#1: Since 1805 Hopper Bins are the most common bin sold, we ask the question: are all 1805 Hopper Bins rated at 5,000 bu?
MYTH: Actually, none of them are. This is probably one of the most common fallacies that buyers are told because it is used to influence buyers who strictly compare deals based on the alleged price per bushel. Simply put, when using the same apples to apples calculation and knowing that all bins are 18 feet in diameter and are 5 tiers high utilizing the same wall sheet height of 44 inches, the only things that can affect bushel capacity are the roof and the hopper cone design. The roof design is by far the biggest influencer to overall bin capacity. Bins with sealed eaves, such as Goebel, are designed for filling into the roof and therefore can increase their bushel capacity to 4,900 bushels. All standard open eave roofs such as Westeel (and numerous others) actually have a 4,717 bushel rated capacity using the same calculation method. Also, hopper cone height (from discharge to top of the hopper), clearance under the discharge, cone slope and the top band height affect holding capacity. Therefore, when comparing bin prices based on price per bushel, ensure you are well informed and know the true bushel capacities.
#2: Stiffened Bins are stronger and provide much greater overall bin strength and better bang for your buck.
FACT: Yes, stiffened bins are significantly stronger than unstiffened bins. But be careful because not all stiffeners are of the same quality or strength, and therefore, directly affect the overall strength that they add to a bin. Heavier stiffeners add exponentially more strength and value over lighter stiffeners. Heavy stiffeners add approximately 1.67 times greater load bearing capacity as well as provide greater resistance to weather related damage such as wind. A heavy stiffener increases the steel utilization efficiency by approximately 2.55 times that of unstiffened bins. Therefore, when a good quality unstiffened bin gives you about a 29% steel utilization efficiency, a stiffened bin with heavy stiffeners will give you about a 74% steel utilization efficiency. A HUGE difference! This difference is even greater when unstiffened bins using lighter gauge wall sheets and of lower quality are compared. So, know exactly what you are buying! The biggest reason unstiffened bins are strongly promoted is not for your good, but for the benefit of themselves and bin builders because stiffened bins take a little more work and time to assemble. Therefore, since bin crews get paid by the bushel, they see this as a negative and cutting into their bushels of constructed bin production. Many unstiffened bin retailers use this as leverage to attract bin crews and further attempt to create negative information about stiffened bins as a means to increase their competitive advantage. Remember, stiffened bins are much stronger and provide much greater value to the buyer.
#3: Heavier more rigid roofs are necessary and are an important selling feature.
MYTH: What good does having a roof on a bin that is said to have the ability to support a 8,000 lb load when the rest of the bin structure is not able to support much more than the load of the grain in the bin? Bin roofs with greater slope never have to worry about roof load, so why spend the money on an over-built roof that only adds more weight and puts more pressure on the rest of the structure? This is a definite net “negative” feature.
#4: Galfan Steel offers the same or greater value to the lasting “shine” of a bin.
FACT: Galfan Steel is a protective layer added to the steel in order to help protect and resist oxidization. Standard galvanized steel does not have this layer of protection. The shine comes from light interacting with the zinc content that is in the steel and reflecting back to give the appearance of more brightness that is only noticeable in direct sunlight. Standard galvanized steel is subject to oxidization right from day 1. After a certain threshold, adding more zinc to the steel can only marginally increase brightness and longevity of the shine. The easiest way to see the difference is to view Galfan Steel and Galvanized Steel side by side on a cloudy day or out of direct sunlight. Galfan Steel is likely to appear even brighter under these conditions even when older Galfan Steel is compared to new Galvanized Steel. Also, Galvanized Steel with higher zinc content (such as G115) does not keep your bins cooler because it does not reflect infrared light (heat) any differently than Galfan Steel does.
#5: All Hopper Cones are basically equal in quality, value and safety.
MYTH: This, unfortunately, is a serious error and a major myth that is greatly overlooked and puts the people who work around hopper bins at increased risk for injury, or worse. There are so many issues to address when it comes to hopper cones. The bottom line is this: the majority of the difference in prices comes from the quality of the steel, the quality of the workmanship and the amount of steel used to construct a hopper cone. It doesn’t end there either. Is the use of steel used in the right places to properly support the structure and the load? Is there a safety factor built into the structure (this is where many shortcuts are taken to reduce cost)? It is absolutely paramount that buyers look for value in quality, workmanship and safety rather than equate everything to just the cheapest price! Due to the competitive nature of the industry, you definitely get what you pay for! What is the cost of risk, maintenance, failure, loss of grain, injury, or even worse, worth to you? Always remember quality never costs, but rather, it pays, over and over and over, again and again.
#6: Bigger openings in the top to fill a bin doesn’t affect the bin.
MYTH: Another issue that is greatly overlooked. While a larger opening makes it easier to setup an auger into the bin, unless you have it positioned in the center, or very close to it, you could be putting your bin at risk. Filling a bin unevenly causes the bin to load unevenly and creates additional stresses to the bin than are not overcome once the bin is completely filled. The stresses created by having the auger fill off-centre remain in the structure and can lead to bin/hopper damage, or even complete failure. This is especially much more concerning when lower quality hoppers and bins are used and/or the base and foundations under the bin are not built to proper load bearing specifications. If you have bins with large openings, it is highly recommended to ensure the bin is filled from the center, or as close to center as possible in order to avoid potential problems, damage or injury.
There are more Facts and Myths to come.