When shopping for a new grain dryer, I had several features in mind. I wanted the most efficient grain dryer available. I wanted to switch from dryeration with hot grain to a dryer that would both dry and cool the grain. I wanted a dryer with as much or more drying capacity per hour as the dryer that I had. I wanted a dryer that would speed itself up or slow itself down in order to dump grain at a consistent moisture level. (I was tired of doing all of the moisture testing myself.) Plus, I wanted a dryer that had similar electrical requirements to the one I had so that I wouldn’t have to replace underground wires and my other electrical boxes.
I thought that a tower dryer was my only option, but my salesman suggested a Brock SQ Series horizontal dryer. He said it worked on the same principle as a tower dryer and it was as efficient or more efficient than a tower dryer. And it would be a better fit for my operation since it would allow me to continue to use the auger that I already had to fill the dryer and I wouldn’t need to buy a leg.
I ordered the Brock SQ 16 horizontal dryer with the optional Quantum computer control. It tests the grain moisture coming in at the top of the dryer and going out at the bottom five times per second and sets the speed of discharge and the temperature of the plenum so that the discharge moisture stays exactly where you program the dryer to have it. After the dryer was set up, I asked my salesman where the printer was. He said one was not needed. The Quantum control has two graphs — one of the incoming moisture and one of the discharge moisture — and you can see several hours of operation on them. You also can scroll quickly back to look at as many hours of operation as you want. My salesman programmed the dryer for discharging the grain at 15%, and it stayed within two-tenths of a percent of that. At times the graph was a flat line reading out at 15% moisture. I was extremely pleased to go into my control building and see that!
The Quantum was first marketed in 1997 and has proven to be dependable. It isn’t sensitive to lightning strikes and power surges. It needs to be in a relatively clean building, away from the heat, dirt and moisture of the dryer. I put mine in my electrical shed 10 ft. from the dryer. It can be located as far away as 1,000 ft. from the dryer.
An added advantage of my dryer is that the optional heat recovery shields capture the heat being released from the grain column and recycle it back into the dryer.
The Brock dryer makes a fraction of the noise of my previous dryer. There is no visible flame and there is no blow-torch-like sound from the flame. The only way I can tell that the burner is on is by looking at the Quantum control, which gives the temperature readout. The quietness of the fan and the burner is an incredible advantage. I can talk to my helpers in a normal tone around the dryer.
The Brock dryers use a patented conveyor system that gently discharges the grain. This system also makes metering rolls unnecessary, a feature that is a Brock exclusive.
The dryer can sense low pressure in the grain column when it is not receiving grain. It shuts down immediately if it detects that. My old dryer worked on timers, and it might have been a third or more empty before the timer would shut it off. That wasted a lot of propane.
The Quantum can be connected with your home computer via a phone modem to alert you to any problem, or it can call your cellphone.
The only drawback of this dryer was that it required more on-site assembly than my previous dryers did. A crane was needed to set the dryer in place because of its weight. The delivery, electrical work, the cement pad, crane work, setup and start-up cost extra. In my case, the cost was $10,000 more than the original trade price that I had agreed on with my dealer.
The list price of the dryer is $97,916. My model SQ 16 dryer has a standard 15-hp fan (single phase) with Quantum control and recycling sheets.
Contact Brock Grain Systems – A Division of CTB, Inc., Box 2000, Milford, IN 46542, 574/658-4191, or visit www.brockgrain.com.