Large, articulated liquid manure tanks easy to handle, increase hauling capacity.
Hauling liquid manure goes a lot faster at Gary Hellickson's 25,000 hog finishing operation near Preston, MN, since he started using a 12,000-gal. twin tank system manufactured by Nuhn Industries, based in southern Ontario, Canada.
The Nuhn Quad Train tandem tanks are linked with Kevlar-covered hoses and a recirculating pump that can be pulled using a four-wheel drive or a front wheel assist tractor. The system uses a strong tandem suspension system with no moving parts. It has one hitch and four axles to provide extra strength, and the pivot points are designed so the rear tank follows in the exact track of the first tank.
“The geometry of the quad is such that when you turn off a road, you don't have to make that big square turn because the quad does not cut across the corner,” says Dennis Nuhn, Nuhn Industries. “As you turn, the back end swings out in an almost identical track of the first one.”
Even though the twin tank system is nearly 50% bigger than the single 8,500-gal. Nuhn tank it replaced, Hellickson says it handles like a dream.
“You've got a tractor and two tanks hooked together, but you can back one of them right around a corner,” Hellickson explains. “I think it's because the wheel base between the front tank and the back tank are so far apart that it doesn't react real quick, so it gives you time to correct yourself. The back end follows the front tank within a couple of inches, so you turn as sharp as you want. And, the quad tank pulls probably 25% easier than a single.”
The tractor and twin tanks measure 70-80 ft. long. “The nice part is, when I come to the end of the field and start turning around, the trackers are turned quite a ways before the back tank even starts turning. When I take the knives out of the ground, I can actually see the knives and the manure coming out of them,” says Hellickson.
The Quad Train has a low center of gravity, which makes it more stable. It meets the strictest per-weight axle restrictions for agriculture equipment that some states are now putting into place, according to Nuhn.
With fertilizer costs skyrocketing, more crop farmers are taking advantage of the nutrients in liquid hog manure. But, just as it's a challenge to get consistent nutrient application with chemical fertilizer applications, the rate and consistency of application with hog manure is key. The constant in-tank mechanical mixing ensures the quality of the manure is always consistent. This constant mixing is much like the big sprayer units keep crop chemicals in suspension, Nuhn explains.
The two tanks are connected and work as one unit, but since each tank has its own fill point, loading and unloading can be done at either end.
“They gave me the big sales pitch before I bought it. But once you have them, you'd be hard pressed to go back to anything else,” Hellickson explains. “I can go to a field with 25% or 30% more manure in the tank than I had before. That's a lot more gallons in a day.”
The Quad Train is available in 8,000, 10,000, 12,000 and 15,000-gal. capacities. Prices start at about $65,000 and go up to about $160,000 with all the bells and whistles included. Purchasing just the tank, without injectors, reduces the price to the $70,000-80,000 range.