Harvest season has arrived, and in a few short months the fields will be nothing but chopped stalks and bean stubble, combines and auger wagons will be back in the machine shed, and the deer will be the only thing harvesting what is left in the fields.
Before harvest is completed, we first have to fill up our combine, tractor, and semi fuel tanks -- all of which are getting larger with every model year.
Year after year, operations are upgrading their machinery, grain storage, fuel storage systems, but still using their fuel pump from years ago.
That fuel pump can slow down an operation considerably over the course of a year. Each time a piece of machinery needs to be fueled, the other machinery used in conjunction with it comes to a stop as well.
Most machines now are manufactured with 300-plus-gallon fuel tanks which are a drastic step up from the 75-gallon fuel tanks of the 1970s and 1980s.
Upgrading your fuel transfer pump from a 12- to 15-gallon-per-minute (GPM) pump to a 25- to 30-GPM pump can save an operation up to 40 man hours per year per machine.
Simple calculations show a saving of $400 for a $10 per hour worker, multiple that by three or four machines and we are looking at a savings of up to $1,600 per year.
The average list price of a 25- to 30-GPM pump is $1,4500, which ends up being a savings of $150 the first year, and the full $1,600 going forward.
Over the last several years, operations have grown in size substantially, and the distance these new locations are from the home base has grown with them.
This has created a demand for another style of fuel transfer -- portable fuel transfer pumps.
Since it is not economical to return all machinery to the main fuel source, the fuel source needs to go to them. Twelve-volt fuel transfer pumps have provided a fuel source that is not only reliable but also high in GPM. This gives you the option to fuel at the same 25 GPM, but on location.
Overall, the fuel transfer pump might be easy to overlook, but no matter how big the machines get, they are always going to need fuel. And the shorter that refueling time the less time you spending waiting to finish your work. Have a safe and smooth harvest season.
Matt Thomas is GROWMARK’s facility equipment product manager. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org