Lexington, KY - A&P Grain Systems of Maple Park, Illinois, owned by Dave Altepeter, offers service and installation on a variety of grain business handling equipment for the top third of Illinois and into eastern Iowa. At Gensler Family Farm in Rochelle, Illinois, A&P Grain used their new Link-Belt 75-ton (70-mt) HTC-8675 Series II hydraulic truck crane to lift a 17,000 lb. (7 711 kg) dryer. The dryer dries up to 4,000 bushel of #2 shelled corn an hour. The farm has a storage capacity of 654,000 bushel of corn to better handle market fluctuations.

“I tell people we do agricultural construction, primarily with grain systems. We design, do the dirt work, pour the concrete, build the bins and service grain systems in Illinois and Iowa. We do all the work ourselves,” explained Altepeter.
With the need to increase efficiency and not rely on renting bigger equipment as often, Altepeter purchased a HTC-8675 75-ton Link-Belt truck crane.

“I started doing some research and looking at different cranes. A friend was using a Link-Belt crane and I liked the low profile look to it. I also liked the fact that it looked compact. While going down the road, I didn’t want it drawing a lot of attention as being an oversize machine or possibly an overweight machine. I wanted to keep it under 80,000 lbs. (36 287 kg) which is the legal limit on Illinois highways. The 75-ton hydraulic truck crane is about 78,000 lbs. (35 380 kg) if we take everything off when we transport it. So that fit for us,” said Altepeter.

A&P Grain built the Gensler family farm’s initial system in 2010 and over the years has added two 207,000 bushel bins, two 120,000 bushel bins, and a 30,000 bushel wet bin.

“We are now replacing a 12 foot diameter, 240,000 bushel capacity tower dryer with a larger stacked 4,000 bushel an hour mixed flow dryer. The older dryer is 86 feet tall and will be taken out in two sections. The first section will be 46 feet tall and weighs approximately 17,000 pounds, depending upon the residue in the dryer. We will swing it 260 degrees at the same height to go over any obstructions and then lower and anchor it to an existing 72 foot diameter grain bin until we take it away,” Altepeter continued.

“All these grain systems keep getting bigger and bigger, so we’ll be using this crane more and more. Our heights are normally in the 150 ft. range and capacity needs are like today, a 25,000 lb. pick, but with the specs, I was rated for about 30,000 lbs. The crane is performing good and handles well. It’s got plenty of power and has a smooth swing. The winches function smoothly. It’s nice to be able to watch the cable and drum moving through the cameras when you can’t see the load you are picking,” Operator Stoxen explained.