Out in the field, growers are pulling bigger implements than ever before. Tractors are getting more powerful, but because rows aren't getting any wider, tires aren't getting any larger. Duals on the front are out of necessity becoming more common.
The law of unintended consequences states that sometimes good things can cause unforeseen problems. The need to increase load capacities with chemical and fertilizer tanks is making it more difficult for tractors to have the proper turning radius.
With the help of Agri-Products, Inc., based out of York, Neb., growers can now order a custom-built, wide-frame saddle tank that increases load-carrying capacities while still giving growers clearance to do their job in the field.
Mark Brown, sales manager at Christiansen Implement in American Falls, Idaho, saw the need in 2011 to increase the load capacity for tank mounts on tractors with dual wheels on the front, without restricting the turning radius. They've been using side tanks and saddle tanks for years, but they just "got by" with single tires in front because there wasn't the need in the past for duals in front.
Brown contacted John Bulin at Agri-Products, Inc., which has been a tank supplier for them for a dozen years, and asked him to design a wide-frame tank that would increase the capacity while giving the grower plenty of clearance.
Agri-Products went to work and came up with a new design that became a hit for Christiansen Implement last spring.
"Other saddle tanks didn't give us the coverage and clearance to where we could put dual tires on the front to carry bigger loads," Brown says. "And growers demand more flotation through the fields so they're not getting compaction."
The response was immediate. Growers loved how they could carry 800-gallon rather than 500-gallon tanks. And when growers run tractors with duals on the front, they have better traction on rougher terrain. These tanks made it easier for them to tackle rough terrain and not fill up with fertilizer or chemicals as often.
"It's made them more productive," Brown says. "They can carry heavier loads if they need to, they don't need to fill them up [as often]."
And unlike other side tanks, these tanks don't impair vision.
"The ease of getting in and out of the tractors is head-and-shoulders above other side tanks," he says. "By being able to put the front duals on, it gives us more flotation, better traction and we're not overloading our tires like with single tires in front."
The response was so tremendous for Christiansen Implement, which has locations in Twin Falls and Burley as well as American Falls, that they sold 17 sets of tanks in 2012-the first year-alone.
Tanks come in either white or yellow-which is convenient for John Deere dealers-but you can order the mounting brackets in whatever color you choose. Christiansen Implement has been putting these custom side-tank mounts on John Deere 8R Series tractors, which is from 280- to 360-hp.
Starting in 1992, Agri-Products introduced an innovative design for tractor-mounted liquid application tanks. Rather than make the tanks a "universal fit," their team made brackets designed to fit individual models of tractors. The resulting products have been widely accepted as a standard for comparison.
Agri-Products designs and develops tank mounts to best meet the needs of their customers, taking into consideration the installation and application limitations presented by various tractor models. Design considerations include cab access, operator visibility, tractor frame design, tractor wheel/axle design and ease of mounting. They custom-design tank mounts for each series, eliminating the need for field modification.
All steel components are powder-coat painted, and all tanks carry a three-year limited warranty. Tank mounts are available to accommodate inboard and outboard trac tractors as well as tractors with front duals. Side-mount tanks are clean and easy to install-maintenance is just a matter of keeping the bolts straight.
A great product is something Brown expects from Agri-Products.
"Agri Products itself has been a great company. They're not afraid to look at solutions for problems that we have in farming so we can stay on the cutting edge," he says.
For more information on Agri-Products' products, visit http://agriproductsinc.com, complete a brief Product Information Form and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org.