How Many Bushels of Corn Fit in a Semi-trailer

How Many Bushels of Corn Fit in a Semi-trailer

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It is now the harvesting season and you have successfully reaped your corn production and is now ready to be transported straight to your customers or to be delivered to the manufacturer. Alternatively, perhaps you own trucking business and you have to take note of the maximum capacity your truck can hold, to avoid any mishaps or complications during transportation. Either way, you may have concerns about how many bushels of corn can actually fit in a semi-trailer.

Roughly around 900 up to 1,000 bushels of corn can be loaded into a semi-trailer. Ideally, the test weight of each bushel of corn plays an important role in finding out the total number of bushels you can fit in a semi-trailer. Depending on the actual size of the trailer and its maximum capacity.

It is crucial to know the different factors and aspects when hauling goods in a semi-trailer. Companies have to be aware and closely monitor the cargo loads and stay within the rated limits designed for each trailer. In the rest of this article, we will talk more about this topic and what factors to put into consideration when loading your crops in a semi-trailer. 

How Many Bushels of Corn Fit in a Semi-trailer

When transporting cargoes, companies commonly use semi-trailer. They can haul different kinds of payloads from one location to another in a convenient way. They are also locally used to deliver agricultural products from the farm to the manufacturer or straight to their customers. Knowing the limits and maximum capacity of a trailer is one way of finding out the total number of bushels of corn you can fit in it. 

A semi-truck with an empty trailer weighs around 35,000 pounds and the one without a trailer is about 10,000 to 20,000 pounds. However, a semi-truck with a loaded trailer has a gross weight of 80,000 pounds that is legally allowed in the United States. Regardless of the type of semi-trailer, you are supposed to use, it is essential that they meet certain requirements such as the width and its overall weight capacity. It is also relevant to learn how to do the proper weight distribution when loading your products to avoid overload and certain difficulties during the transport.

Given the fact that 80,000 pounds are the maximum capacity limit of each semi-trailer, it can generally hold bushels of corn at an estimated number of 900 to 1,000 bushels per semi-trailer since each bushel weighs 56 pounds. Speaking of which, a bushel is a type of volume measurement that was created for agricultural products such as corn and wheat. The modern American bushel has an equivalence of 8 US dry gallons or a metric unit of 35.2391 liters. It is commonly used in a symbol of bu or bsh and is currently considered to have a volume of about 1.25 cubic feet. 

Test Weight of Corn

The test weight concept was established to check the varying densities caused by certain factors such as weather and production process and to measure the unit volume of grain. This is one of the few things to be taken into account when weighing your crops. This includes the weight of each bushel and the calculation of the weight of grain by volume measurement. A bushel of shelled corn has a standard weight of 56 pounds per bushel and the ear corn weighs about 70 pounds per bushel. This is adjusted based on the 15 to 15.5 percent moisture content of each harvested crop.

Additionally, there are roughly about 44.97 pounds per cubic feet, if 56 pounds of shelled corn is converted into volume measurement. More so, one bushel of shelled corn has approximately 112 ears of 8-inch corn. The total test weight of the corn can shift due to environmental stresses such as heat and drought, influence in the production process, and changes in the physical characteristics in terms of size, density, shape, and the surface of the kernel. Because of the volume element, test weight will impact the total number of bushels that can fit into a trailer or truck. It is necessary to consider these factors, especially when weighing your corn produce for much better weight results.

Types of Semi-trailer

Take note that there are different types of semi-trailer trucks available to haul a wide range of products. You have to carefully choose the right one to use in accordance with your needs. Here is a list of some of the commonly used types of semi-trailers:

  1. Grain Hopper Trailers

This type of trailer is capable of transporting large quantities of grain products such as corn and is designed for long-distance transit. It has a cover at the top part and normally comes in different sizes with a minimum capacity of 900 bushels. 

  1. Covered Hopper Rail Cars

These trailers are designed to haul dry and granular products that consist of a top cover to protect the loads from the harsh weather. It has a capacity of 5,200 cubic feet. 

  1. Refrigerated Trailers or also known as “Reefers”

Reefers have a temperature-controlled technology and are generally used to transport perishable goods. These trailers have a dimension of 53 feet in length, a width of 96 to 102 inches, and a height of 12.5 to 13.5 feet. It has a maximum capacity of around 43,500 pounds.

  1. Dry Bulk Tank Trailer

Dry tank trailers are usually used to haul food-grade products such as flour, wheat, and corn. A standard type of tank trailer has a length of about 42 feet, a width of 8 feet, and a depth of 12 feet. It has a capacity of over 1,000 cubic feet up to 2,800 cubic feet. 

  1. Dry Van

A dry van is another type of semi-trailer that is fully sealed and enclosed to protect the products from outside elements. It is one of the most commonly seen trailers on the road which is about 53 feet in length, 96 to 102 inches in width, and 12.5 to 13.5 feet in height. It has a capacity of 45,000 pounds. 

  1. Flatbed Trailers

These are the basic forms of trailers without roofs or sides and are designed for an easier way of loading and unloading. These trailers have a capacity of around 48,000 pounds. It has a total length of 53 feet, with a width of 102 inches, and a height ranging from 58 to 62 inches. 

  1. Drop Deck Trailers

This is also known as the Step Deck Trailer which is an open type of semi-trailer that can carry heavier loads than the flatbed trailer. Drop deck trailers has a dimension of 53 feet in length, 102 lengths in width, and a height of 38 to 42 inches. The capacity of this trailer is around 48,000 pounds. 

  1. Conestoga Trailer

This specific trailer has a cover with a sliding feature and an approximate length of 53 feet. The width of this one is 102 inches with a height of 8 feet 2 inches. It can hold about 42,000 to 45,000 pounds of payload.

Quick Tips on Loading Bushels of Corn in a Semi-Trailer

How Many Bushels of Corn Fit in a Semi-trailer

One important thing you need to know when loading your corn produce is knowing how to do it properly and efficiently. Let’s take a look at these quick and simple tips on loading bushels of corn into a semi-trailer.

  1. Make sure that the semi-trailer you are about to use is the appropriate type and can guarantee the absolute safety of your products during transit. It should hold the shipment securely in place and at the same time ensure to maintain its quality.
  2. Double-check your list and the overall weight of the goods. Make sure that each bushel of corn meets the allotted weight and is in a good condition. 
  3. Examine the technical aspects of the vehicle and ask the necessary questions that you deem essential for a better and efficient transaction. Give specific instructions if needed. 
  4. Monitor weather conditions and other environmental factors that may affect the transportation process. This will help in making sure that the cargo will reach its destination without any problem.
  5. Keep your lines open for communication. You have to take note that any loss of communication between the supplier and the delivery team could possibly result in the delay or unsafe arrival of the products.
  6. Overseeing the whole process is also important especially when complications and other issues arise. In this way, you can appropriately and effectively address the situation.