A Midwest seed production and transportation company is using pneumatic vibrators with an innovative vacuum mounting base that allows the units to be located wherever needed on a given truck or load. The result is improved productivity and safety on its hopper trucks. Noeske Seed Farm and sister company NSF Transport were having problems with compacted material clogging hopper bottoms and clinging to hopper surfaces. This required the drivers to pound on the hopper with hammers, with unloading times occasionally as long as four to five hours. By utilizing Martin® MT-FASTTM Hopper Trailer Vibrators, operators are able to move the units to virtually any point on the hopper bottom trailers to free up adhered material. The result is faster unloading — with reduced risk — leading to more loads per day.

Started in 1991 by three brothers, Noeske Seed Farm grows and conditions seeds, and is a dealer/distributor of seed products. During busy harvest periods in the fall, the company requires reliable access to 1,968ft3 double-axle hopper bottom trailers. To ensure consistent availability of this essential service, the brothers formed NSF Transport, with four trucks running year-round, hauling seed, distiller’s dried grains (DDGs), chicken byproducts and pelletized feed throughout the Midwest in the summer and Southeast in the winter.

“A consistent and frustrating problem we ran into was clogging issues on the hopper trucks,” Bill Noeske explained. “Whether it was seed or any other cargo, the road vibration caused the material to compact at the chute mouth, so during offloading our drivers would spend hours completely emptying the trailer. They would have to get under the truck to poke at the plug or get on the truck and pound at the wall, and it would still not dislodge all of the material that clung to the sides. It was unsafe, frustrating and costly.”

Seeking a solution, the Noeskes reviewed various options, including permanently mounted vibration units. “One of our trailers already had dealer-mounted vibrators at the slope, which worked okay, but we needed more versatility,” Noeske pointed out. “To access all parts of the trailer we purchased one MT-FAST Vibrator from Martin® Vibration Systems, and it worked so well that we bought two more for the remaining trucks that weren’t equipped with vibration.”

Powered by a rig’s onboard compressor, the vibrator suctions securely to any flat surface of the trailer using a patented vacuum mounting system. Requiring less than 15CFM for effective operation, the lightweight unit delivers 200 lbs of linear force. Well suited to large particle sizes and low bulk density materials, such as grain, meal and other agricultural products, the low-frequency, non- impacting energy loosens stubborn loads without damaging the hopper. Weighing in at only 8 lbs, the units are explosion-proof and washdown-safe.

With fast spot-to-spot mobility, operators are able to apply the proper vibrational force at any point on the trailer to dislodge bridged or clinging material. All hoses and connectors are supplied with the unit. No assembly is required.

Since they’re not limited to a bracket on the knock rails, the units can be positioned at corners, valleys or other problem areas where material flow tends to stall. And because they are affixed directly to the hopper wall, energy is transferred more efficiently than with a permanently-mounted vibrator on a bracket.

“Our drivers tell me they’re asked about the vibrators all the time by other drivers who are stuck pounding and poking their loads, while our people are unloading and driving away within a few minutes,” Noeske said. “There are some friendly disputes within our crew over who gets which truck, because the Martin units work a lot better than the permanently-mounted vibrators.”

With improved safety and a considerable increase in productivity on the trucks, Noeske said that employees are a lot happier. “I’m glad we found the MT-FAST,” he concluded. “I would recommend it to anyone.”
® Vibration Systems Solutions is a leading innovator and supplier of industrial vibrators, compaction tables, feeders, hoppers and other material handling products for a wide range of industries, including chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals and foundries. The firm supplies both electric and pneumatic models. MVS has built its reputation on developing the quietest and most energy-efficient designs available, engineered and built to deliver precise energy transmission, long service life and low maintenance.