If you are looking to minimize the time it takes to unload trailers at the site of your grain bin, or you want to streamline throughput, you need to consider investing in a bucket elevator. The benefits are numerous, such as greater reliability factors, lower requirements for long-term maintenance as well as greater capacity with less horsepower requirements than an auger system with comparable capacity.
Perhaps you are thinking that you need to set up a bucket elevator and you are looking to get some cost estimates. You may have even gotten a few bids already from a number of contractors. The problem is that the bids are for different elevator heights. You want to know how much it should cost to set up your elevator, but you must first determine the height that you want it to be.
The height that you will need to set your bucket elevator to will be determined by three main factors. First, you will need to consider the required spout angle and how far away to you need that spout to be. You will also need to determine the height of your highest discharge point.
You will quickly determine that everyone has an opinion about the right way to do it. You may also hear about what you might get away with in regards to the spout angle. The safest bet is to stick to the rule of thumb that dry grain is typically going to flow consistently when the spout angle is at 45 degrees or more. In the case of sunflowers, ground feed and high moisture grain, you will be better off to set your spout angle at a minimum of sixty degrees.
You may be told that you do not have to be at 45 degrees with the leg spouts, 40 to 43 degrees should be significant. However, the shallow spout angles are a way of shortening the leg height. You may save a couple of dollars with the shortest leg, but this is generally not the place where you need to be cutting any corners.
The reason for this is that with the bucket elevator too short, you are going to have quite a time later down the road when you need to fix it. If the material is not able to flow down the spout at the right capacity, you are going to have to slow down the equipment upstream.