The inevitable task of getting dust-ridden grain stores cleaned out and ready for this season’s harvest is looming ever closer.
To help take the tedium out of one of the most dreaded jobs in the harvest calendar, we’ve put together a quick comparison of a few of the latest and best grain store vacuums.
With big-bore hoses and plenty of suction these machines help get the job done without filling the air with clouds of filthy, itchy dust.
The Brigadier DS-3450 vacuum cleaner was conceived with grain stores in mind, so each of its three 1,150W motors can be switched on individually – so avoiding the risk of overloading a marginal electricity supply.
This arrangement also means operators can choose the level of suction appropriate for different applications – cleaning a store or vacuuming the pick-up truck, for example.
A 2sq m shake-clean fine particle filter sits beneath the motor head and while this assembly remains attached to the castor wheel-mounted chassis, pulling up a lever lowers the 120-litre drum so that it can be tipped and the contents emptied into a loader bucket or some other receptacle.
The £1,750 list price for the full kit package includes a 10m flexible hose, two 5m lengths with couplings and three cleaning tools.
Michael Williams Engineering produces a big range of industrial vacuum cleaners for different applications, the Popular and Warehouseman being the ones most commonly used for grain store clean-ups.
The Popular (pictured) , priced at £1,615, and the Warehouseman at £1,936, have a 180-litre container and three 1,200W electric motors, but the latter has a heavy-duty, four-wheel trolley with brake and a 710mm floor brush included.
Both are equipped with 5m of 63mm diameter hose as standard to minimise risk of blockages and a rigid scraping tool.
A 35mm reducer is included in the £210 tool kit, which comprises crevice, soft round brush and hose-attached floor brush tools plus extension poles and a storage bag. The “mole” device, produced to bespoke dimensions for cleaning drying floor laterals, is available at £264.
Lift-out bags for emptying and a dust extraction kit for intercepting dust coming off grain handling and other machine are also available.
Spaldings offers two Nilfisk Alto industrial vacuum cleaners, the 100-litre Attix 115 for big areas and the 75-litre Maxxi II 75 unit that is not only handier for smaller jobs but has a dual-filter system enabling wet or dry vacuuming. The Maxxi is priced £644.
The larger of the two machines, priced £1,653, comes with a trio of 1,000W electric motors with individual on/off generating 135-litres/sec airflow when operating in harmony. The “sit-down” waste container has its own four castor wheels and a handle for moving to a location for emptying once detached from the main body of the machine.
A filter shaker is standard and the machine is supplied with a 50m length of 50mm flexible hose, a connection pipe and floor nozzle. Larger diameter (70mm) hose can be had instead, and optional accessories include 400mm and 700mm floor sweeping nozzles, a rigid floor scraping nozzles and a rigid crevice nozzle with two handles.
The Suton SV90 from Gurney Reeve is a smaller, handier option for growers who don’t need a full-size cleaner – although the company can meet that need with the 200-litre drum-type SV200.
A coupling on the air outlet enables a second hose to be attached to provide a low-volume stream of air to dislodge dust from high surfaces and that is then captured by the suction hose.
Both cleaners come with a 2.5m length of 50mm flexible hose, which can be supplemented by further 2.5m lengths at £30 a time and a 600mm floor cleaning head is a £195 option.
The SV90 at £1,250 and the SV200 at £1,350 come with two 1,100W motors generating 10 litres/sec airflow and a third motor can be added for £195 if extra performance is needed.