Gavilon Carries Out Acquisition Upgrade

Gavilon Carries Out Acquisition Upgrade


Omaha, NE

Founded: 2008
Storage capacity: 350 million bushels at 140 locations
Number of employees: 2,100
Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, specialty grains
Services: Grain origination, storage, and handling; transportation and logistics; marketing and distribution; risk management
Key personnel at Avalon:
• Derek Reed, location manager
• Taylor Nordstrom, superintendent
Supplier List
Aeration fans ........ Sukup Mfg. Co., AIRLANCO
Bin sweeps ............Springland Mfg.
Bucket elevators .......... Intersystems
Bulk weigh scale ......... Intersystems
Catwalks ............Tri-Co Fabrication
Cleaner ....................... Intersystems
Contractor ............ Buresh Building
Systems Inc.
Distributor.................. Intersystems
Elevator buckets ......Maxi-Lift Inc.
Fall protection ..............Tritech Fall
Protection Systems Ltd.
Grain dryer ........... Sukup Mfg. Co. Grain temperature system Tri-States Grain Conditioning Inc.
Level indicators ..... BinMaster Level Controls
Millwright............. Buresh Building
Systems Inc.
Moisture meter ... dickeyJohn Corp.
Samplers ..................... Intersystems
Steel storage .......... Sukup Mfg. Co.
Temporary storage....LeMar Industries Corp.
Tower support system ......... Tri-Co Fabrication
Truck scale..................... Fairbanks Scales/Badger Scale Co.

The former Millard Grain was wanting to get out of the grain business and focus instead on fertilizer and agronomy. So the privately held company sold its 1.2-million-bushel steel grain elevator in Avalon, WI to Gavilon Grain LLC in October 2011.

“We were looking for a way to have a presence in southern Wisconsin,” says Gavilon Location Manager Derek Reed, who has been with the company for eight years, most recently at a bargeloading
terminal in Catoosa, OK. “The site here is served by a short-line railroad and has good truck access. And this is a large corn-producing area.”

Once it was in possession of the in-town property, Gavilon set out to make its new acquisition a more efficient operation.

The process began by tearing down a total of six structures, including the old office building, a wood feed mill, and some flat storage buildings. All of this provided more room for grain trucks to maneuver, says Superintendent Taylor Nordstrom, who came to Avalon from another Gavilon location in Rockport, MO.

The upgrade that followed the demolition included the addition of a 2-million-bushel temporary storage pile with its own receiving pit and leg, a new 160,000-bushel steel wet tank, renovation of three existing tanks, two new a new receiving pits and legs for the elevator, a new tower dryer, and a bulk weigh loadout scale for 100-car trains.

As contractor and millwright, Gavilon hired Buresh Building Systems, Inc., Hampton, IA. Reed notes that Buresh had done an upgrade project at another Gavilon location in Dubuque, IA, and the grain handler was impressed with its quality.

Construction began after the demolition was done in 2012, and everything was operational by October 2013.

Storage Additions
The new oval-shaped LeMar ground pile measures 650 feet by 150 feet. It includes a nine-foot perforated steel sidewall, concrete floor, and 18 AIRLANCO 10-hp axial fans.

A small bushel-capacit truck pit was installed adjacent to the ground pile to feed a 20,000-bph Intersystems receiving leg outfitted with 20x8 Maxi-Lift Tiger-Tuff buckets mounted on a 22-inch leg. The leg feeds an overhead 20,000-bph. Intersystems enclosed belt conveyor running out to a center fill tower. Front-end loaders are used to recover the grain.

The new Sukup wet tank stands 60 feet in diameter, 80 feet tall at the eave, and 97 feet tall at the peak. The tank has a flat floor; outside stiffeners; 16-inch, 10,000-bph Springland sweep; seven-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring system; and BinMaster level indicators. A pair of 30-hp Sukup centrifugal fans provide 1/5 cfm per bushel of aeration, along with four roof exhausters.

The new tank is filled with a 20,000-bph Intersystems overhead belt conveyor and empties onto a 48,000-bph belt in an above-ground tunnel.

The wet tank was necessary during the 2013 harvest, Nordstrom notes, when up to 80% of incoming bushels required drying. In addition to an existing 1,500-bph MC dryer, Gavilon utilized a new natural gas-fired 7,000-bph Sukup tower dryer to keep the grain moving. Buresh retrofitted an existing wet leg to bring its capacity up to 10,000-bph and added an Intersystems 10,000-bph dry leg to service the dryer.

Grain Movement
The company hired Gilbank Construction, Clinton, to build a 35-foot-x-86-foot brick office building similar in design to offices at other Gavilon locations.

Adjacent to the building are a pair of 80-foot Fairbanks pitless inbound and outbound scales and a Gamet Apollo truck probe. Reed says the scales utilize an automation system developed by Gavilon, but the company is looking into switching to a Cultura Technologies system.

To speed the flow of grain through the facility, Buresh installed two new receiving pits and legs, including a 20,000-bph truck receiving pit and 15,000-bph combination truck and rail pit and leg. Nordstrom says Gavilon takes in grain from other elevators located along the Wisconsin Southern branch line that serves Avalon.

Additional retrofits at Avalon include a new six-hole Intersystems rotary distributor and all new 20,000-bph Intersystems belt conveyors for filling tanks and 48,000-bph aboveground Intersystems belts for reclaim.

Rail loading is done with a new 60,000-bph Intersystems shipping leg that feeds a 70,000-bph Intersystems bulk weigh loadout scale with an Agris one-Weigh control system from Cultura. The operator has the option of running grain through a 40,000-bph Intersystems gravity screener mounted atop the bulkweigher. Railcars are loaded in a Behlen steel shed, and workers atop the railcars are protected by a 260-foot Tritech trolley-type fall protection system.

Nordstrom says it takes about eight hours to load a 100-car train utilizing Gavilon’s own remote controlled switching locomotive.