1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Fox self propelled chopper

Discussion in 'Agricultural Operations' started by Monte1255, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    317
    Occupation:
    Farming/forestry/TSI
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    when I think about it I cannot actually tell you of one fond memory with those darn things. I think I actually had less problems when I was pitching the smaller of the two silos out by hand (because the unloader was broke down and we couldn't afford the replacement) I mean 4000 lbs of silage every day comes out a lot faster when yer trying to keep the down draft going in the chute on windy days so you don't wear it down the back of yer neck!! LOL:Banghead:Banghead:Banghead

    good ole days..............yeah right! many days the cuss words flew enough to make a sailor blush!!!:D
     
  2. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    iowa
    I have a lot of fond memory of upright silo's, the day I tossed the cord in and shut the door behind me on the way out of the last one when I'd had enough and never looked back is the first one, and all the rest are the days I knocked the silo's I demolished down, other than that no others come to mind.

    I'm not sure who invented cement stave silo's but whoever he was, I've often thought if we all could go back in time, he's definitely one who needs to have his a** kicked, that's one invention we all could have lived very nicely without, I can't tell you how many times over the years I've thought of that.

    Did you ever drop an unloader while raising it to the top? I came close a few times but if never actually fell, one we ended up filling the silo by blowing silage over it and when we got to that level we let it down or more like it fell about 5 feet onto the fluffy silage and we repaired the cable and winch so we could finish raising it to the top and filling the silo full. Another time the winch gears stripped out and it fell about 10 feet free fall until the gears locked back up again and almost jerked the winch off the side of the silo, it frayed the cable so badly when it jerked we thought it would just snap, that one we also filled to the level of the unloader but we ended up putting in a new tripod, winch, cable and some bands around the silo where the winch was attached, I was pretty sure I'd see that one crash to the bottom but luckily for me it didn't, I was holding the string at the top that was attached to the unloader so it didn't spin while we raised it and the string was caught around the platform I stood on, the last time we ever let the string hang outside the silo and we also never wrapped it around our hands after that either, when it went free fall it almost jerked my hand off, lucky for me I had a glove on and it took that right off my hand along with a lot of skin, but it left my fingers intact and not broken, after that we always pulled the winch cover to see how the gears looked before raising any unloader. As for not affording repairs, I did most of the fabrication work to rebuild the parts myself, we also put bearings and stuff in and rebuilt paddles and augers myself, I even built a few augers from scratch, so parts wasn't a big issue, the problem came in order to "cobble" we ended up climbing the silo so many times to get the parts to fit, finally we ended up with an unloader that was no longer factory but mostly shop built, but the rust gets everything in the end, at the end there was nothing to put parts on anymore, it was so rusted out and shot, even the main frames were pretty well gone and that's when we quit working on them. As for pitching out silage by hand.................... its called a skid steer out of a bunker and that's as close to by hand as I got, I'd pitch out wagons with broken aprons, around the blower to clean up, around the conveyor to clean up but by god I wasn't going to pitch it out of the silo too, that and as many cattle as I had to feed I'd have died with a fork in my hand, we usually went from one silo to another when one was broke down and as we fixed on one we usually had another to feed out of, only a few times did we have no silo's to feed out of anymore and had to figure out how to feed cattle and pitched it out, but I'd work around the clock on the unloader before that happened. AAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhh the good old days and the memories that flood back from the past.
     
  3. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    317
    Occupation:
    Farming/forestry/TSI
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    Honestly I can say I've never had an unloader fall, but I came close one time. I was in the silo shoveling it out on a bit of a windy day and I could see the unloader hanging above my head swaying slightly, all of the sudden the unloader which was quite rusty dropped and tore loose from the collector ring where it swivels about half way dropping on one end about three feet! the augers were pointing downward at about a 30 degree angle and just hanging there on the last of the remaining bolts in the collector ring housing. This unloader was an old clay surface drive unloader which had been hanging in the silo since about 1965 or so so it was completely rusted as you mentioned. Needless to say I was out of that silo like a shot!!!! But as far as dropping ............no the unloader never did drop and later that same morning I was up there with a cutting torch cutting it up and throwing it down the chute. (there was no conveyor below) I was so fed up with it that I didn't even care if the motor dented the chute as it went down. It was all scrap Iron anyway.
     
  4. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    WI
    My dad had an unloader fall down a 45ft silo. We filled it up and put the new one together on top. The last straw was when our sealed stave broke the end of the sweep auger. We had to hire two guys out of Minnesota to mine their way across the silo with an air operated chain saw to fix it - took over a week! Went to a bunker and never looked back. We made two walls out of rail road ties.

    ISZ
     
  5. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    N. IL
    Oh the good old days, boy am I glad some of those are behind me. For a few years we bought corn silage from a bunch of other farmers in the spring. I enjoyed the bunk silos but hated the unright stave silos. Most of them had a P & D unloader, we always said it stood for Piddle & Diddle unloader. The way they operated would not keep up with the cattle we had eating. So most of the time I was elected to throw the silage out by hand. All day from one silo to the next just to keep the cattle in fed. It is no wonder my back bothers me now. I also hated working under those loaders, hanging by that way to small cable. I was always so glad to see the hay being windrowed as it meant that no more silo cleaning for a while. We usually had 1000 head or more on feed, so lots of everyday was spent feeding and taking care of the cattle.

    Was great reading some of the other tales, and sure did bring back some memorys for sure. We had a Fox chopper most of the time, and it did have a grease zerk on just about everything that ever moved. Then we put drain oil from the diesel tractors to lubricate the chains. So your hands always had the black look to them, that just wouldn't wash away with Lava soap.
     
  6. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    317
    Occupation:
    Farming/forestry/TSI
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    Never was fond of the bottom unloaders either, scared the heck out of me, with the gas and all. But I think the one thing that bothered me the most was to have to tunnel to the outside to fix a section of drive track. We had a Laidig unloader which drove from a center gearbox to the outside drive sprocket/shoe. Every so often a section would give out and we'd have to go in there to take up the section and replace. It always bothered me to have four hundred ton of feed right above my back just inches away, and always seemingly ready to cave in . and then working in close quarters with an toothed auger.
    The last straw came when I heard on the news of a man near Eyota MN who was working on a bottom unloader, and for some reason through miscommunication, the man's partner turned on the unloader and turned him into hamburger. That next time the silo got empty we converted it to a top unloader which I liked better, but still after many years of fighting with them I have come to really hate those contraptions. Keep it safe gents if you do use those unloaders, if it ain't the machine that kills you its the fall and if it ain't the fall it's the gas.
     
  7. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    317
    Occupation:
    Farming/forestry/TSI
    Location:
    Minnesota USA

    LOL you named your unloader piddle and diddle...........LOL thats funny! but so true! we had an old Clay in one silo, it was surface drive and always got hung up it seemed, Dad and I named it hoppity cloppity...!!
     
  8. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    N. IL
    Most of those top unloaders were slow and just a little better than nothing. Fine if you had a few cattle to feed, but worthless to try and feed a lot of cattle. We had Harvestors so am familar with the bottom unload. We had a read good dealer and they had a couple great service guys. They would work inside under all that silage, never thought I needed to be in there. I might get in the way.

    I like the new name for a Clay, hoppity cloppity. Never around a lot of them but most all the surface drives seemed to bury the drive wheel. If you lowered it to fast it would just dig a hole, if you helped them they went for a while then the motor would over heat.

    Had friend that would start the feed auger then the silo unloader, then climb the chute with silage coming down to help the unloader go faster. He was alone and the auger feeder stopped running. So the chute filled up, he spent most of the day waiting for someone to come by and clean out the chute. I don't think he ever did that one again.