Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ever build a grain bin?

We made a valuable purchase of organically  non gmo grain for animal feed. Part of the list price is due to bulk delivery...  No totes for storage.  So...  We needed to build a storage spot...  A grain bin....  To hold about 40 tons of grain.

Hmmmm...  What a challenge!

We decided to build 3 bins they are 4 feet deep,  16 long and 8 wide.  The design is standard stud walls of 2x4 with 2x6 top and bottom plates,  with the interior walls covered in plywood. The walls are through bolted together on the corners.

Time was shirt to start with,  harvest being only a few days away.  And then the weather shortened that even more with rain coming.  So the we were last night   generator purring thy o run lights saws and drinks to assemble the first bin to be filled in the  morning.  The remaining 2 bins will be assembled as the first one is being filled.

Let's hope this design holds...  The clock is ticking and gain is coming...  It would be a shame to lose a bin to collapse!

Tomorrow I hope to post an update with good news. For now here are some pics of the first evening events.


  1. I have a couple of concerns regarding this design, and maybe you thought of it and will be adding to the structure beyond what you have in the pictures. Another round of outside bracing to long wall would help, at least one in the middle, but considering you are not anchoring them in concrete, probably two would be stronger. I don't see any anchor of the bin to the ground, so I'm afraid the bin will rise up or float up as the grain pushes along the lower edge. Maybe you are already planning to fold the tarp up tight against the walls and secure it well, and that could keep the bin down. Just some thoughts I had in case it helps.

    1. Those are all good point.. and things we are concerned about. I "think" the weight of the walls, given the incredibly heavy 1 1/4 inch plywood flooring we used, is enough to hold it down, plus a slight outward slope on the walls. It is a concern though, and I like your idea of running hte plastic up the inside. We should do that! for extra strength on the long wall, if needed, we are planning io install a metal cable across the top in the middle of hte long side, with a turnbuckle. I hope its not needed, but we will see in a few hours! Watch for the video of the thing collapsing!

    2. Great idea on building in the outward slope. That does transfer more of the weight to the corners, so if you haven't reinforced the corners with some metal strapping on the top plate, I'd consider that. The metal cable will add strength, but once the grain gains an inch, it won't give it back, no matter how hard you cinch down the turnbuckle. I'd do it sooner rather than later. I know I'm only looking at the picture so I'm missing alot, but I know you have hog pens to build, animals to move, a new employee to settle in at the satellite farm and don't have time to shovel grain into a new rebuilt bin. ;-)

  2. Another concern we have is the slope. we didnt dig down to get hte ground totally level, so i worry that the slight grade might cause a problem.