Facility Feature
Gerald Grain Center, Inc. Builds Second Rail Terminal With Loop Track

Gerald Grain Center Inc.'s new rail terminal on the Norfolk Southern near Delta, OH. The terminal features 1.6 million bushels of upright storage and a 1.1 million-bushel temporary pile.

Ohio cooperative looks to Norfolk Southern for increased business opportunities

Delta, OH — Since 2011, Gerald Grain Center in northwest Ohio has been loading 90-car trains on the CSX at Hamler. However, a number of factors led the cooperative to look more toward the Norfolk Southern (NS) for increased business, says General Manager Clark Carroll, who joined the coop in January 2016 after working eight years for ADM.

Carroll says the idea of building a new rail terminal on an NS main line originated with his immediate predecessor as general manager, Chet Phillips, now partially retired.

Several factors drove the decision. CSX recently had raised its freight rates significantly. A new rail terminal in the northeastern part of the coop’s trade territory could attract new patrons, even a few from across the state line in Michigan. Interest rates were low at the time. And a suitable 148-acre site along the NS near Delta, OH was for sale. (Carroll notes that much of that acreage inside of a 7,500-foot-plus loop track is being leased for crop production.)

New 2.67-million bushel rail terminal

To build the $16 million, 2.67-million-bushel terminal, Gerald Grain selected Custom Agri Systems Inc, Napoleon, OH (419-599-5180). “We’ve always had a good relationship with Custom Ag,” Carroll says. “They’re located five miles from our home office, and they were available to start immediately.”

Also on the project:

• Poggemeyer Design Group, Defiance, OH (419-599-5180), did design and engineering work.

• Anderzack-Pitzen Construction, Metamora, OH (419-644-2111), did site preparation work.

• Miller Construction Ltd., Archbold, OH (419-267-3368); Krietemeyer  Concrete, Fort Jennings, OH (419-286-2415); and Gray’s Concrete Construction LLC, Holgate, OH (419-264-0815), supplied concrete.

• Rupp Rosebrock Construction, Liberty Center, OH (419-533-7999), built the steel-sided facility office building and grain lab and pit building.

• Great Lakes Rail Service, Millbury, OH (419-837-2751). consructed the loop track.

The coop board approved the project in September 2016, and the terminal loaded its first train in September 2017.

Grain storage at Delta includes 1.6 million bushels of upright Brock corrugated steel tanks and a 1.1-million-bushel LeMar center file temporary pile.

Brock storage includes four 360,000-bushel tanks standing 78 feet in diameter, 83 feet tall at the eaves, and 103 feet tall at the peaks. These include outside stiffeners, flat floors, Daay bin paddle sweeps, 14-cable wireless Safe-Grain temperature monitoring systems, and BinMaster level monitors. A set of four Brock 40-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/7 cfm per bushel of aeration.

Upright storage also includes a pair of Brock 65,000-bushel wet tanks standing 36 feet in diameter, 75 feet tall at the eaves, and 84-1/2 feet tall at the peaks.These tanks are outfitted with Brock 10-inch bin sweeps, 6-cable Safe-Grain temperature monitoring, and BinMaster level monitors. A pair of Brock 15-hp centrifugal fans per tank provide 1/5 cfm per bushel of aeration.

Loading 85-car trains takes about nine hours

The temporary ring is 290 feet in diameter with 4-foot perforated steel sidewalls and asphalt floor. The pile is filled at 15,000 bph using a LeMar open belt conveyor. While it is a center fill tower, there are no aeration fans atop the tower. Instead, a set of of ten 7-1/2-hp Airlanco axial fans provide aeration through the sidewalls. The pile is unloaded using a 10,000-bph drag conveyor in a trench.

Incoming trucks are sampled with a Gamet Apollo truck probe and weighed on a set of B-Tek 105-foot pitless inbound and outbound scales adjacent to the facility’s office building. At this time, there is no scale automation system.

Drivers proceed to one of two enclosed 900-bushel receiving pits to unload. These feed a pair of CAS Industries 15,000-bph legs equipped with a single row of 4B 18x8 buckets mounted on a 20-inch belt.

The legs empty into a Schlagel six-duct SwingSet triple distributor. This sends grain out to storage via 30,000-bph CAS enclosed belt conveyors.

The tanks have no sidedraws but instead unload everything onto CAS 40,000-bph enclosed belt conveyors in above-ground tunnels.

These run to a CAS 40,000-bph loadout leg equipped with two rows of 4B 16x8 buckets on a 36-inch belt. Grain can be routed through an InterSystems 40,000-bph gravity screener and is sampled with a Gamet sampler before being deposited into a 40,000-bph CompuWeigh bulk weigh loadout scale under control of the supplier’s CD-4000 scale control system. Workers atop railcars are protected by a 300-foot-tall trolley system from Fall Protection Systems.

Carroll says loading 85-car unit trains from the NS has been taking 8-1/2 to nine hours.

The terminal also is equipped with a Brock 7,000-bph tower dryer fired by natural gas and serviced by a pair of CAS 10,000-bph wet and dry legs. Carroll calls the dryer’s performance “flawless.”

From left, Gerald Grain Center's Steve Bostelman, grain superintendent, and Clark Carroll, general manager.

Company Info, Gerald Grain Center Inc.

  • Napoleon, OH • 419-598-8015
  • Founded: Early 1900s
  • Storage capacity: 12.5 million bushels at six locations
  • Annual volume: 16+ million bushels
  • Annual sales: $100 million
  • Number of members: 1,200
  • Number of employees: 70
  • Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, one feed mill, two agronomy locations

Key personnel at Delta:

  1. David Carroll, grain originator
  2. Steve Bostelman, superintendent
  3. Jason Desgrange, Delta superintendent
  4. Lynnsey Maassel, grain assistant
  5. Tyson Murdock, operations

Supplier List

  • Aeration fans • Brock Grain Systems, Airlanco
  • Bin sweeps • Sioux Steel Co., CAS Industries
  • Bucket elevators • CAS Industries
  • Bulk weigh loadout scale • CompuWeigh Corp.
  • Catwalks • LeMar Industries Corp.
  • Cleaner • InterSystems
  • Concrete • Gray’s Concrete Construction LLC, Miller Construction, Ltd., Krietemeyer Concrete, Inc.
  • Contractor • Custom Agri Systems Inc.Conveyors CAS Industries
  • Distributor • Schlagel Inc.
  • Electrical • Custom Agri Systems Inc.
  • Elevator buckets • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Fall protection • Fall Protection Systems Corp.
  • Grain dryer • Brock Grain Systems
  • Grain temp system • Safe-Grain Inc.
  • Hazard monitoring • CMC Industrial Electronics
  • Level indicators • BinMaster Level Controls
  • Millwright • Custom Agri Systems Inc.
  • Motors • Baldor Motors
  • Office building • Rupp Rosebrock Construction
  • Rail construction • Great Lakes Rail
  • Site preparation • Anderzack-Pitzen Construction Inc.
  • Sampler • Gamet Mfg. Co.
  • Speed reducers • Dodge
  • Steel storage • Brock Grain Systems
  • Temporary storage • LeMar Industries Corp.
  • Towers • LeMar Industries Corp.
  • Truck probe • Gamet Mfg. Co.
  • Truck scales • B-Tek Scales LLC

- Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL May/June 2018 Issue

Gerald Grain Center, Delta, OH

  • Gerald Grain Center Inc. aerial
  • Gerald Grain Center Bostelman Carroll
  • Gerald Grain Center aerial train loop track
  • Gerald Grain Center B-Tek Scale Gamet Apollo probe
  • Gerald Grain Center CAS legs LeMar tower Brock dryer

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