Equipment Roundup

BigIron Buys Sullivan; Tip-Top Dryer Checklist

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
GSI offers a pre-season maintenance checklist for dryers outlining steps for safety, cleaning and inspection. (Photo courtesy of GSI)

In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at BigIron Auctions penning an agreement to acquire Sullivan Auctioneers, creating one of the nation's largest unreserved online auction businesses in rural America and tips from GSI to get your grain dryer in tip-top shape for the coming harvest.



BigIron Auctions has penned an agreement to acquire Sullivan Auctioneers LLC, headquartered in Hamilton, Illinois, the two companies announced in a news release.

"Our shared philosophies of transparency, trust and hard work solidified our decision to combine organizations," said Big Iron CEO Mark Stock. "Together we are better."

With almost 80 years of combined expertise, BigIron Auctions and Sullivan Auctioneers will continue as a BigIron Company. BigIron says its acquisition of Sullivan Auctioneers will grow it to one of the largest unreserved online auction businesses serving rural America.

With its purchase, BigIron Company now has locations in Omaha, Columbus and St. Edwards, Nebraska; Hamilton, Illinois; Huntington, Indiana; and Bird Island, Minnesota. Ron and Mark Stock will continue to head the Nebraska locations, while Dan, Joe, Matt, Luke and Michael Sullivan will continue to lead the Hamilton, Huntington, and Bird Island locations.

"We've always had great respect for the Stock brothers. They are visionaries and true leaders," said Dan Sullivan. "We believe the future of our companies will allow us to provide bidders, buyers, and sellers the best possible auction experience, while securing top dollar for their land and equipment."



GSI, a brand within AGCO Grain & Protein, has crafted a suggested pre-season maintenance checklist for grain dryers. Here are their suggestions:

-- Safety: Lock out the electrical main safety disconnect before checking or servicing any electrical or mechanical device on the dryer. Follow the dryer manual for safety guidelines, and do not attempt any electrical or gas repairs unless you are trained to do so.

-- Cleaning: Make sure all supply augers, downspouts and columns of the dryer are completely free of any debris or birds' nests. Thoroughly clean the control box, if not done last fall, and make sure any floors or internal areas are completely free from fines or debris.

-- Inspection: Check all belts for wear, hardness from age and proper tensioning, and replace any belts that are questionable. With all valves closed and lines empty for safety, check all gas hoses and connections to ensure all are in good shape and not leaking. Inspect the burner to confirm there are no insect nests or other obstructions that would prevent proper operation.

-- Test Run: Check the dryer for proper operation before filling with grain.

-- Emergency Switches: Carefully turn on main power to dryer and make sure all emergency stop switches are closed. Be sure all personnel are safely away from any moving parts or electrical connections.

-- Load, Metering, Unload: Bring up the control circuit to check safeties and operational screens, then start the load, metering and unload systems while testing automatic safeties and shutdown systems. It is very important to do this before the dryer is loaded with grain to make sure the unload system is operational.

-- Fans and Burners: Start fans and burners with the gas supply off to check for proper operation of the safety system. The dryer should shut down within a minute.

-- Proper Lighting: After carefully and slowly opening the gas supply, start the fans and then burners to make sure they properly light and operate with no unusual voids or color in the flame. On some dryer models, burners may not be operational until the dryer is filled with grain.

-- First Fill: Make sure the columns fill correctly and that dryer load automatically shuts down after it is full. Do one final inspection after starting the fan, then the burner to make sure the gas pressures are correct and the temperature control system is operating properly. Use the manual to start the regular operation of the dryer.

A complete preseason check, preferably by your servicing dealer, is important to ensure dryers are in good working condition. For additional information, owners should contact their dealer, access university extension resources or visit

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Dan Miller