During plating season we carry ATS liquid fertilizer on our tractor. The fertilizer is surface applied in a stream over the seed furrow behind the planter closing wheels. ATS is applies at a rate of 8 gpa so it is imperative that we carry enough to avoid stopping planting progress to refill tanks. We started our with 450 gallon tanks tucked between the tracks on our JD8310T tracked tractor. We were filling more often with fertilizer than we were with seed corn. We then added a cart mounted push tank to the front of our tractor to carry another 400 gallons of ATS. While not ideal, we already owned the cart and tank so no money was invested in the extra capacity.
Fast forward to 2015 when half way through the season our cart system failed beyond repair. It worked well while it lasted but now it was time to strategize for 2016 and beyond. Our research led us to adopting the idea of mounting outboard saddle tanks to carry another 400 gallons minimum. As we explored the idea, we decided that the ideal tank size would be 250 gallons on each size so we have room to easily carry 800 gallons on the tractor without having to fill each tank to capacity and risk overflowing fertilizer on the ground as well as on the steel with rusts easily when coated with fertilizer.
Our between track tanks are from Agri-Products in York, NE so we looked at what they had for outboard tanks. After conversing with a salesman, we were able to purchase a mounting bracket that allowed us to keep our inboard tanks while also supplying a place to build brackets for outboard tanks. We had planned to purchase used tanks to save some more $$ but the ones we had spotted earlier in the winter were sold, so we ended up purchasing new tanks from Brokaw Supply in Redwood Falls.
With all items procured, we set out to manufacture the tank mounting brackets that would mate to the Agri-Products supplied bracket. These had to be strong enough to carry 250 gallons of 11 pound fertilizer so we consulted with our steel supplies on steel strengths and sizes. As you can see in the photo, there is a lot of steel compacted into a very small structure. We are very pleased with the resulting product and are ready to take on the 2016 planting season.