Prevent hydraulic oil from overheating caused by your air drill. Even if it’s not overheating to the extent that it’s shutting down your tractor, high temperatures break down hydraulic oil faster, and shorten the life of pumps and seals. You really want it to stay below 180 F, and preferably cooler yet.
There are plenty of farmer-built hydraulic oil coolers out there (in Australia, everyone runs them). But you can go one step further: instead of venting that heat into the atmosphere, you can use it to warm and dry the air going through the air delivery system. This has the advantage of reducing moisture in the lines, and helping to eliminate gunk buildup from fertilizer dust and seed treatments.
For a robust “heat exchanger” that’s designed specifically for this, check out our Smallaire unit. The universal, remote-mount version fits nearly any air cart (radiator attaches to frame using u-bolts, etc—this is do-it-yourself engineering, often quite simple, except for the JD 1910 carts where we have a special bracket/stand that is ready to go—see info below). Note that nearly all Australian air cart manufacturers (there are dozens) use remote-mount radiators rather than fan-mount, which results in less stress on the fan housing while allowing larger, heavier-duty radiators to be used—ours is 24 x 28″, and extra thick—nearly twice as big as some units on the market. Remote-mount radiators use flexible ducting to mount the unit higher up than the fan intake, to draw cleaner air (cuts down on dust and chaff clogging the heat radiator).
We don’t keep many, and it takes about four weeks to get them in from Australia, so plan accordingly. Don’t get sidelined in the heat, or with gunk accumulation in your air delivery system (especially secondary diffusers and distribution heads, dusty fertilizers, or high humidity).
Heat Exchanger Stand
The kit includes a rugged stand (bracket) that bolts onto the cart frame in a way that positions the radiator high up to draw clean air (away from dust and chaff swirling around down closer to the ground behind the drill and cart tires), as well as providing easy access to the radiator from the cart’s catwalk. The kit also includes 3/4″ hydraulic hoses, fittings, and the flexible ducting and other parts to connect the radiator to the fan intake.
“All in all, the Heat Exchanger did its job. It was noticeably warmer, drier air running through the system. Last year, some farmers had to stop seeding at times in the hot conditions due to hydraulic oil overheating, whereas I was able to keep going, even with an older tractor.”
“I didn’t think the [Smallaire distribution] head was going to be anything special, but they ended all of our plugging problems and we backed the fan speed off another 200 RPM. Never had a secondary hose come off, either. We got the [Smallaire] stainless risers from you, and they’re an undervalued product. Great product, and I will buy again [for my other air drill]. Thanks!”