No railroad services the parcel of land about three miles northeast of Delavan, IL, where Tremont Coop Grain Co. built its big new 3.2-million-bushel grain elevator (309-244-7154). That’s pretty large for a truck house, even in central Illinois with its jaw-dropping grain yields. (This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in September projected 214 bushels of corn per acre for the state.)
Those yields were more to the point than rail service, says General Manager Joseph Logsdon, who came to Tremont eight years ago from AgLand FS in Pekin, IL.
“We wanted to speed up receiving during harvest,” says Logsdon. “There were too many long lines. And we also wanted to speed up drying, which could be a bottleneck for us.”
The cooperative’s two sites at Tremont and Pekin had limitations on expansion, so the coop board looked to building a third location. It helped when some land became available on Tobaggan Road, which provides easy access to State Highway 122 and Interstate 155, and more importantly, has an Ameren Illinois natural gas line running parallel to the blacktop. Natural gas is much cheaper than propane these days, which is important for high-speed, high-volume drying.
So it was an ideal site for Tremont Coop to construct an all-steel elevator featuring a 12,000-bph Zimmerman tower dryer, the largest GSI currently builds and the first dryer of its size to be built in Illinois. The facility began receiving grain Sept. 4, 2018, and the coop held an open house Aug. 28.
Coop utilizes Grain Flo Inc. for contracting
Tremont Coop hired Grain Flo Inc., Heyworth, IL (800-842-4875), as general contractor and millwright on the project. “For more than 30 years, we’ve done all of our construction projects with Grain Flo,” Logsdon says. (See page 24 for a list.)
Other important subcontractors on the project:
- Engineering firms on the project included SKS Engineers LLC, Decatur, IL (217-877-2100), for structural work, and Land Engineers, Bloomington, IL (309-827-4393), for civil engineering.
- KDJ Sales & Service Inc., Mackinaw, IL (309-359-3611), c served as electrical contractor and supplied control systems including a unique control system for the dryer (at right).
- Wieber Steel Construction, Altamont, SD (605-874-8247), erected the steel storage tanks.
- Wagenbach Builders Inc., Pekin, IL (309-925-5205), supplied concrete and constructed pre-engineered buildings.
Construction on the new elevator broke ground in August 2017 for an undisclosed sum.
Variety in storage
Elevator operators at Delavan have a variety of choices for grain storage:
- Three GSI 788,000-bushel tanks standing 105 feet in diameter, 99 feet tall at the eaves, and 121 feet tall at the peaks. These are equipped with flat floors, outside stiffeners, 12-inch GSI X-Series zero-entry sweep augers, a 24-cable CMC grain temperature monitoring system installed by Canary Systems, and Vega radar-type level indicators. A set of four 60-hp Chicago Blower centrifugal fans provide 1/7.5 cfm per bushel of aeration with 13 roof exhausters.
- Two 392,000-bushel GSI tanks standing 75 feet in diameter, 99 feet tall at the eaves, and 121 feet tall at the peaks, one for wet corn and the other for soybeans. These tanks have flat floors, outside stiffeners, 12- and 16-inch X-Series sweep augers, and Vega level indicators. The soy tank has a 13-cable CMC grain temperature monitoring system; the wet tank has none. Four 50-hp Chicago Blower fans provide 1/8.5 cfm per bushel of aeration.
- The elevator also has a GSI 58,000-bushel, 36-foot-diameter, 62-foot-sidewall hopper tank and a 5,000-bushel Schuld/Bushnell overhead surge tank for truck loading.
Incoming trucks are weighed on a 70-foot pitless Cardinal truck scale and sampled with a Gamet JaHam probe. Samples are tested for moisture using a DICKEY-john GAC 2500 moisture meter. An AgVision scale interface captures the weights from the scale, moisture, and test weight from the GAC 2500 meter and RFID information from Kahler scale automation equipment and generates the initial scale ticket information. AgVision sends that data plus routing directions to the Kahler digital sign.
That sign routes trucks to one of two 1,200-bushel mechanical receiving pits. These feed a pair of 30,000-bph GSI legs equipped with two rows of Maxi-Lift 18x8 TigerTuff buckets mounted on a 40-inch Contitech belt. AgVision produces the final scale ticket and trucker receipt when the second weight is captured.
The legs, which include a third leg serving as a dry leg for the dryer, feed a Schlagel six-duct triple swing-set distributor. This sends grain out to storage via overhead GSI 30,000-bph enclosed belt conveyors, although it also can c reach the wet tank via gravity spout.
Every tank except the hopper has two sidedraw spouts. Below that, tanks empty onto GSI 30,000-bph belt conveyors running back to the leg.
The distributor also deposits grain into the 12,000-bph Zimmerman natural gas-fired dryer, which has been in frequent use since the elevator opened. Logsdon says it’s the coop’s seventh Zimmerman dryer and, by far, the largest. The dryer empties into a 30,000-bph GSI dry leg running back up to the distributor.
KDJ and Tremont collaborated on software controls for the dryer using a Dryer Master platform. The controls provide digital readouts and maintain a historic record of the dryer’s performance.
“There were a few bugs with the elevator during the first week, as you might expect,” the manager says, “but after that it’s been smooth operations.”
Company Profile: Tremont Coop Grain Co.
- Tremont, IL • 309-925-4981
- Founded: 1911
- Storage capacity: 15 million bushels at 3 locations
- Annual volume: 12 million bushels
- Number of members: 800
- Number of employees: 12
- Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat
- Services: Grain handling and merchandising
- Joseph Logsdon, general manager
- Doug Huette, outside supervisor
- John Freitag, outside supervisor
- Jennifer Fuller, bookkeeper
Suppliers for the Project
- Aeration fans • Decatur Aeration
- Bearing sensors • CMC Industrial Electronics
- Bin sweeps • GSI
- Bucket elevators • GSI
- Concrete • Wagenbach Builders Inc.
- Control system • KDJ Sales & Service Inc.
- Contractor/millwright • Grain Flo Inc.
- Conveyors • GSI
- Distributor • Schlagel Inc.
- Dryer erection • Dixon Builders
- Electrical contractor • KDJ Sales & Service Inc.
- Elevator buckets • Maxi-Lift Inc.
- Engineering • SKS Engineers LLC/Land Engineers
- Grain accounting • AgVision Agribusiness Software
- Grain dryer • Zimmerman Grain Dryers
- Grain temperature system • CMC Industrial Electronics
- Grain temperature system installation • Canary Systems, Inc.
- Level indicators • Vega Americas Inc.
- Liner • General Rubber
- Manlift • Sidney Mfg. Co.
- Motion sensors • Electro-Sensors Inc.
- Office building • Wagenbach Builders Inc.
- Motors • Siemens Industry Inc.
- RFID equipment • Kahler Automation
- Scale interface • AgVision Agribusiness Software
- Steel storage • GSI
- Steel tank erection • Wieber Steel Construction
- Tower support systems • GSI
- Truck probe • Gamet Mfg. Inc.
- Truck scale • Cardinal Scale Mfg. Co.
- Truck scale installation • Scale Service
Grain Flo’s 30+ Years With Tremont Coop
Tremont Coop Grain Co. has had a working relationship with the contracting firm Grain Flo Inc. for over 30 years. Here is a list of projects.
- 1986 Two 350,000-bushel storage bins with conveyors.
- 1987 350,000-bushel storage bin with conveyor.
- 1990 Three legs, pit, and 30,000-bushel wet tank.
- 1991 4,000-bph Zimmerman dryer and conveyors.
- 1993 350,000-bushel storage bin with conveyor.
- 1995 Pit with 15,000-bph leg.
- 1998 30,000-bushel wet tank.
- 1999 Pit with 20,000-bph leg; 7,000-bph Zimmerman dryer; 58,000-bushel wet tank; two overhead loadout tanks; 10,000-bph dry leg; two 510,000-bushel storage bins; 700,000-bushel storage bin; 400,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2000 Pit upgrade; 10,000-bph receiving leg; dry leg; 7,000-bph Zimmerman dryer with conveyors; 400,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2004 Pit with 20,000-bph leg; 430,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2005 440,000-bushel storage bin; 700,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2006 Pit leg; 450,000-bushel storage bin; 700,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2007 Dry leg; 7,000-bph Zimmerman dryer with conveyors; wet tank with conveyors.
- 2008 15,000-bph receiving leg; 450,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2009 700,000-bushel storage bin; manlift.
- 2010 730,000-bushel storage bin; 53,000-bushel wet tank; 7,000-bph Zimmerman dryer with conveyors.
- 2014 788,000-bushel storage bin.
- 2015 750,000-bushel storage bin.
Reprinted from Grain Journal November/December 2018 Issue