Review: Farm King 1050 auger

With the Farm King 1050 auger, Farm Trader's Jaiden Drought learns that he should never judge a machine before experiencing it for himself.

Being from Taranaki where we have very little grain, I wasn’t very excited about the Farm King 1050 auger until I realised it was motorised. I like things with motors as they generally generate smoke from burning some sort of fuel, which fits with my allergy to manual labour and physical work in any form.

The best way to describe this machine is a cross between a go-cart and an auger – power on the bottom and business on the top. The technical name for it is an auger mover and it essentially avoids having to move the auger around by hand – which at 51-foot-long would be less than ideal.

Tom Rudge and his team are the proud owners of our test auger mover and given their appetite for grain and seeds you can see why they like it. With 2000 acres in crop on dry land in the Rakaia district they have enough capacity and machinery to get their harvest done before most people have even washed the bird poo off their combine. This efficiency is achieved by having large equipment, allowing the next rotation to be in the ground quickly.

The auger mover is ideal for shifting the material between the two huge drying sheds and the 11 large silos on site. A separate 12-inch swing-away auger is used during harvest as the swing hopper makes lining up the trailers much easier. However, it is too bulky to move during the drying process, which is where the auger mover comes into play.

Farm King conventional auger

Here’s a brief overview of the auger itself:

  • The wide undercarriage improves stability, strength and durability.
  • The top drive is in a sealed oil bath and features a chain tensioner.
  • Sealed top drive is grease-packed at the factory and then sealed for continuous lubrication.
  • Four bearings carry the load of the auger flight.
  • Relief door on discharge spout in case you get a block.
  • Multiple drive options are available, direct PTO, belt driven from the PTO, plus engine or electric drive both of which can be either belt or direct drive.
  • Gearbox can be PTO driven from either side.
  • The engine mount is alongside the belt guard system which self levels as the auger is raised or lowered to keep it level with the correct tension regardless of the auger height.
  • The plastic multi-cone spout allows for both flexible and accurate filling while the plastic hopper is flexible enough to take a few bumps but keeps spillage to a minimum at the intake end.
  • The auger flighting runs in a wooden, self lubricating bush which is resistant to contamination and maintenance free – the best of both worlds.

Farm _King _1050_6

Farm King auger mover

The motor is fired up, allowing you to use the hydraulics. There is a hydraulic motor which drives the wheels, another which operates the winch (to raise and lower the auger) and then the auger itself is belt-driven directly off the engine which is engaged via the red lever at the rear of the motor.

This is where the go-cart hybrid comes in as the handle bars up front allow you to steer the auger around the yard in conjunction with the hand grips which give forward and reverse control. Drive is on the rear wheels which are powered individually, allowing for a short turning radius making it very manoeuvrable.

While you are taking your auger for a walk you also have two additional levers, one operates the winch and the other operates two hydraulic rams mounted above the steering wheels. The winch lifts the auger to the correct height (in this case the top hatch of the silo) while the rams adjust the pitch for the correct height of the feed hopper (if need be) and lift the steering wheels off the ground for transport. Once the auger is in the right spot the handbrake can be put on and the auger engaged and revs set accordingly.

The belt guarding is also the engine levelling device, which keeps the belts at the same tension no matter the height. Additionally the rear support beams hold two plastic tanks, one for fuel and one for hydraulic oil which when the auger is in the working position stand upright to give a constant flow without the risk of sucking air.

The verdict

This machine works very well for the Rudge’s operation as they don’t have a large amount of gear but it is all big scale to get the job done quickly. For them to have to use this big gear to then shift and swap material around by idling on an auger is not a great use of that investment in which case the auger mover fits the bill perfectly.

Not only is it a one man machine you don’t have to move the tractor and auger between silos while lining it all up with the grain trailer or truck and the silo which all takes time, simply you just jump on the T stick, take the auger for a walk.

Also with no pto shafts to get wrapped around it is also much safer, and in the fast paced, PC world we live in now, being faster and safer should suit most down to the ground.

Farm _King _1050_5

Thumbs up

  • One-man operation
  • No need for a tractor
  • No more lugging heavy augers around by hand
  • Much safer than using a tractor powered auger
  • Belt cover is also self levelling beam which maintains ideal belt tension no matter the height
  • Plastic spout and loading hopper reduce spillage
  • Wide support beams increase strength and reduce the risk of bending
  • Sealed top drive and grease bath bearings

Thumbs down

  • This will only fit some operations as it does make an otherwise relatively cheap conventional auger quite expensive

For the latest farming news and reviews, subscribe to Farm Trader magazine here.

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend