Facility Feature
Assumption Coop Grain Co. Branch Elevator Upgrade Serves Current, Future Needs

Assumption Coop Grain Co.’s branch elevator in Westervelt, IL, with new 788,000-bushel corrugated steel tank at right and new tower housing a new leg and manlift near center of photo. Aerial photo by Prairie Sky Cam, Pana, IL.

Illinois cooperative increases steel storage, speeds up grain handling, adds space for expansion

Westervelt, IL — When a cooperative branch elevator runs out of storage space, the solution usually is simple – build more.

Assumption Cooperative Grain Company, Inc. did just that in 2018-19 at its elevator in Westervelt, IL (217-738-2321), adding a new 788,000-bushel GSI corrugated steel tank and bringing total storage capacity there to 1.76 million bushels.

But more needed to be done, says General Manager Randall L. Sexton, who joined the cooperative in 2011. Truck traffic spilled out onto village streets during the harvest rush. Beyond that, the coop board felt a need to provide for future expansions. So in addition to the new tank, the coop:

  • Added a second receiving pit, leg, and distributor while boosting the capacity of an existing leg and conveyors.
  • Moved the existing office building to a site about 300 feet to the north and east and added two new scales and truck probe to improve the traffic flow.
  • Purchased about three acres from a neighboring farmer to make room for up to three more 105-foot-diameter tanks as needed.

Project calls for new 788,000-bushel GSI steel tank

Selected as general contractor and millwright was Grain Flo Inc., Heyworth, IL (309-473-2512). “We’ve had a good relationship with Grain Flo,” Sexton says. “They have built four tanks for us since 2015.”

SKS Engineers LLC, Decatur, IL (217-877-2100), did engineering work on the project. GAB Electric, Assumption, IL (217-561-6143), was the electrical contractor.

Project construction was done in phases beginning in June 2018 and completed in September 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

The 788,000-bushel GSI tank stands 105 feet in diameter, nearly 99 feet at the eave, and 127 feet tall at the peak. The flat-bottom tank has outside stiffeners and a 24-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring system. Sexton particularly likes this system’s radio transmission of data to the facility’s office computers without having to leave your desk. “We have this system at our elevators in Assumption and Pana, too,” he says.

A set of four 60-hp Chicago Blower centrifugal fans from Decatur Aeration provide between 1/8 and 1/7 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting.

To the south of the new tank, crews installed a 1,000-bushel receiving pit adjacent to some existing steel tanks. The pit feeds a 20,000-bph GSI bucket elevator equipped with 20x8 heavy-duty low-profile Tapco buckets on 7-1/2-inch centers mounted on a 22-inch Continental belt. The leg, which stands 178 feet tall, is housed, along with a new Sidney manlift with a 500-pound weight limit, in a 16-foot-x-16-foot GSI tower. It feeds a new six-duct Schlagel electronic distributor.

Existing GSI Zimmerman dryer moved to new location

During the course of construction, workers disassembled an existing propane-fired GSI Zimmerman 5,000-bph tower dryer into top and bottom sections. These were moved to a new location next to the new tower and reassembled.

The existing dry leg was moved inside the tower and extended in height from 130 to 178 feet. Capacity was increased from 7,000 bph to 10,000-bph by switching from standard to low-profile Tapco 14x7 buckets.

A new GSI 25,000-bph enclosed belt conveyor receives grain both from the new receiving leg and the dryer’s dry leg and feeds the new tank. Another overhead 10,000-bph GSI drag runs to two other tanks and replaces some older conveyors, which were moved to reclaim the new tank in below-ground tunnels.

The office building was moved onto an elevated foundation, raising it high enough to allow truck probe operators to see into grain trucks without climbing more stairs or relying on video cameras. Adjacent to the building is a new Fairbanks 12-foot-x-70-foot inbound pitless scale (sold and installed by Southern IL Scale Co.) an AGI Union Iron truck probe. Outbound trucks are weighed on a second Fairbanks scale elsewhere on the property. The two scales help speed up truck flow through the facility.

From left: James Gee, Westervelt operations; General Manager Randall L. Sexton; and Location Manager Shelby Dennis.

Assumption Coop Grain Co.

  • Assumption, IL
  • 217-226-3213
  • Founded: 1934
  • Storage capacity: 13 million bushels at six locations
  • Annual volume: 12 million bushels
  • Annual revenues: $70 million
  • Number of members: 1,150
  • Number of employees: 27
  • Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising

Key personnel at Westervelt

  • Randall L. Sexton, general manager
  • Shelby Dennis, location manager
  • James Gee, Westervelt operations
  • Micah Wood, operations manager
  • Dan Beard, assistant manager and merchandiser

Project Suppliers

Aeration fans  Decatur Aeration

Bin sweep • AGI Hutchinson/Mayrath

Bucket elevator • GSI

Catwalk • Grain Flo Inc.

Concrete • MBI Concrete

Control system • Harvest Engineering LLC

Conveyors • GSI

Contractor/millwright • Grain Flo Inc.

Distributor • Schlagel Inc.

Electrical contractor • GAB Electric

Elevator buckets • Tapco Inc.

Engineering • SKS Engineers, LLC

Grain temp system • Rolfes@Boone

Leg belting • Continental

Manlift • Sidney Mfg. Co.

Motors • Siemens

Sampler • GSI Intersystems

Speed reducers • Dodge

Steel storage • GSI

Steel tank erection • Wieber Steel Construction

Support platform • Grain Flo Inc.

Tower support system • GSI

Truck probe • AGI Union Iron

Truck scale • Fairbanks Scales/Southern IL Scale Co.

Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Reprinted from May/June Grain Journal

Assumption Coop Westervelt Gallery

Upgrade Serves Current, Future Needs

  • Assumption Coop Westervelt Gsi Tower Tank Sidney Manlift
  • Assumption Coop Westervelt Aerial
  • Assumption Coop Westervelt Fairbanks Truck Scale Agi Union Iron Truck Probe
  • Assumption Coop Westervelt Gee Sexton Dennis
  • Assumption Coop Westervelt Gsi Zimmerman Dryer

Company Directory

Equipment Directory