Upgraded Shuttle Loader Provides West-Con Access to the Union Pacific Railroad

West-Con Photo Page 1

Starting in fall of 2014, West-Con upgraded Terminal A, its Appleton, MN shuttle-loading facility, with 1.2 million bushels of steel storage and an improved loadout and rail system to accommodate 110-car shuttle trains. Aerial photo courtesy of West-Con.


Western Consolidated Cooperative (West-Con), Holloway, MN, in 2002 purchased Benson-Quinn Commodities’ Terminal A shuttle-loading facility in Appleton, MN, after leasing the site since 1992 with a plan to renovate and develop the 400,000-bushel grain elevator into the coop’s third shuttle loader.

After numerous minor upgrades, West-Con broke ground in fall 2014 on its third major project at Terminal A since 2012. The project was completed in time for the 2015 harvest.

General Manager Dean Isaacson explains that Terminal A’s location provides the four-site cooperative with access to new markets via the Twin Cities & Western Railroad short-line, which connects to the Union Pacific (UP) railway.  “We wanted to develop Terminal A to give us a way to access the UP main line,” says Isaacson.

Grain Department Manager Paul Mattson explains that the coop now is able to ship its wheat and soybeans to terminals on the Mississippi River and facilities in Chicago, IL. It also can ship corn to the Pacific Northwest or to feed markets in the West and South. West-Con also operates shuttle loaders in Holloway and Twin Brooks, SD.

The 105-foot and 72-foot tanks are equipped with Springland Mfg. 16-inch, 10,000-bph bin sweeps; BinMaster level indicators; and CMC Industrial Electronics motion sensors.

A set of four Rolfes@Boone 30-hp fans supply the 105-foot tank with 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting. The 72-foot tank has four 50-hp fans for 1/7 cfm per bushel of aeration also through in-floor ducting.  Mattson says “the additional storage allows us to carry more grain and significantly reduces our risk of storing grain outside in the fall.

“Terminal A also is designed to be expanded easily in the future, as it becomes necessary,” he adds.

Western Consolidated Cooperative, Appleton MN #2

Trucks are sampled by a Gamet probe before proceeding to a Rice Lake inbound scale.

Dual Scale System
Inbound trucks first are probed by a Gamet Mfg. Apollo truck probe and each truck’s unique RFID card is scanned by a CompuWeigh SmartTruck system. Trucks then proceed to a Rice Lake 80-foot inbound scale to be weighed automatically and directed to the correct dump pit by the CompuWeigh system. Once scanned and weighed, truck information is processed automatically to begin the scale ticket process for the scale operator, as trucks move to one of three dump pits.

Pits 1 and 2 are new 1,000-bushel mechanical dump pits that feed two new S-M Enterprises 20,000-bph receiving legs. The new pits are equipped with S-M Enterprises dust collection systems and R.C. Peterson Electric mineral oil systems. The coop’s existing 15,000-bph receiving leg also will be used during times of high demand.  The two new receiving legs are equipped each with 852 Maxi-Lift 20×8 CC-Max heavy duty buckets on 22-inch Price Rubber MSHA nitrile belts. Three new Schlagel 20-inch rotary distributors – 6-hole, 7-hole, and 8-hole models, respectively – were added to route grain to storage or loadout.

After dumping, trucks proceed to a new, fully-enclosed Rice Lake 80-foot outbound scale and are identified by their RFID card, before receiving automatically printed scale tickets.

Additional Renovations
West-Con also installed a Zimmerman 7,000-bph, propane-fired tower dryer for five points of moisture removal to replace an old dryer.

The terminal also replaced its 20-year-old, 30,000-bph bulk loadout system with an 80,000-bph system featuring a C&A Scale 80,000-bph bulk weigh scale equipped with a CompuWeigh scale controller and a Gamet bulk sampler.  A pair of Meridian 5,000-bushel truck-loading surge tanks were added above pit 1.

Tucker Scharfenberg, Associate Editor