The Benefits of Plastic Grain Bins vs. Metal

Ever wonder what the benefits are of transitioning from traditional metal grain bins to their plastic counterparts? Keep reading before you decide to make the commitment because there are a lot of factors that go into making this decision.

Bulk grain storage is an essential part of farm life. It’s a significant investment and these bins perform an important job. When most of us envision grain bins, we see a traditional metal cone reaching into the sky, but modern technology has led the way to new plastic (polyethylene) bins, sometimes referred to as a poly hopper bin.

Bulk grain

Why Farmers Invest in Grain Bins

Eventually, a farm can grow to the point where it’s no longer feasible to store grain in the barn or in grain storage bags. So farmers have two choices – they can either pay hefty fees to elevators to store their grain or they can invest in a grain bin. Of course, your need might be much smaller. Maybe you need a place to store chicken feed? Whatever the case, there are a lot of different reasons to invest in a grain bin.

  • Want to save money by purchasing in bulk.
  • Want more control over when you sell your hard-earned grain.
  • Keep grain on hand to use as feed.
  • Need safer storage to protect grain from the weather.

Whatever the case, investing in a grain bin can be advantageous. But then you start researching and find information about plastic grain bins. Like so many other farmers, you wonder might if they are actually worth it.                                                           

Commercial grain bins

Plastic Grain Bins Have a Lot of Benefits

One of the biggest benefits is cost and maintenance. They are much more affordable than their metal counterparts. Furthermore, they are also easier to install and maintain. This affordable material doesn’t compromise the quality of the grain either! Polyethylene will certainly protect grain from the elements.

They also come in clear materials so you can see the level of grain without having to install sensors or climb to the top.

Thick walls are designed with UV-treated materials so the sun doesn’t damage them. High-density plastics ensure that grain is held securely. Unlike metal, plastic doesn’t rust or get dented by hail, so the bin lasts longer.

We mentioned easy installation earlier, so let’s discuss it in more detail. Metal grain bins are built using steel sheets that have to be bolted together. Plastic designs are shipped in two parts – an upper section and a lower section. All you have to do is bolt these two pieces together and the installation is finished. This is quick and easy, so it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to have the bin installed.

Furthermore, plastic grain bins are less susceptible to bridging due to their smooth design. There aren’t as many bolts for grain to get caught on as it feeds into the hopper.

Plastic Grain Bins Come with Several Options

The most notable optional feature is an auger system. Just like with metal bins, if you plan to feed the grain into another location (like a feeding system), then you will probably want to install an auger. They also make it easier to offload the grain onto a truck for shipment. Augers can range anywhere from 6 inches to 21 feet in length so you have a lot of options.

Most plastic grain bins come equipped with an easy-to-install ladder so you can reach the lid if necessary. There’s also a ground-operated bin lid controller too so you don’t have to scale the bin in order to open and close the top.

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