There are several good practices in helping your grain bin last longer to get more use out of it. Buying a bin is a significant investment, and you want that bin to last as long as possible. Just like anything you have put your hard earned money into, you want to get the full value out of that product. The greatest enemy to metal is rust, which is what will eventually ruin your bin. These simple tips will not only help your bin last longer, but they will also help in storing your grain properly and keeping it clean.
Here are a few tips to making your bin last:
#1: Sweep it Out
Whenever the bin is emptied out, sweep out any leftover feed or dust in the corners of the hopper and around the bottom door. Also brush the side walls off to make sure nothing is left sticking to them. Wherever there is grain, dirt, etc. that will draw moisture which then causes the metal to rust. Rusting metal is the quickest way for a bin to go bad.
#2: Grease, Grease, Grease
Grease the bottom door, door slide and handle to help them operate smoothly. Greasing the bottom door will help especially if you are holding salt, fertilizer or a corrosive product. It is a good practice to grease your bottom door and clean it every couple months. This will help it with stand water and moisture to keep from rusting out.
#3: Clean the Roof
Clean off the roof of the bin around the outside of the top door, and under the vent. Debris from filling the bin, and dust blowing out the vent that sits on the roof cause that area to peel the paint and rust sooner.
After years and years of sun, rain, hail and wind paint will eventually fade, crack and chip off. Bare metal rusts quickly, and so taking the time to repaint the bin is worth it. Even touching up spots that start to rust with a good primer with help. Having it sand blasted and repainted could add up to 20 more years to the life of the bin.
*Note: Use a safety harness and strap with a partner to watch you if you are going to be climbing around on the inside or on the top of the bin.
Using these simple tips will help you get more use out of your investment and will make your operate more efficient in the long-run.