Kinze Blog - Sparks of Innovation

How the Kinze Grain Cart Got Its Start

Published May 6, 2014 by Mike Dykstra


For over 35 years a giant Kinze grain cart has been hoisted in the air above the Williamsburg, IA exit 216 on I-80. Why? Because it represents the first major product innovation developed and manufactured (1971) by Jon Kinzenbaw and what was then his new upstart company, Kinze Manufacturing, Inc.

The original Kinze Model 400 Grain Cart concept was the brainchild of Jon to fill the needs of a local grain producer. It allowed farmers to transfer huge volumes of their grain from their loaded combines to standing trucks – which was a major time-saver during the harvest rush, especially when fields were soft or slippery.

This unique low-profile design was the first ever to use giant high-flotation tires on a single axle for greater stability and mobility. And the first to use large-diameter PTO-powered dual augers, which could empty the 435 bushel capacity load in less time – three minutes. This allowed the tractor operator to easily navigate between the combine and grain truck without interrupting or slowing down the combine operation.

Ultimately, the Kinze grain cart set a new higher standard for speed and performance in grain handling and it totally revolutionized the process of grain harvesting. Ironically, however, it didn’t start out that way. The Model 400 was initially considered a luxury item. Some even considered it somewhat impractical. But, it didn’t take long for farmers to appreciate its high-production capacity and time-saving potential. Today, Kinze grain carts are universally used around the world … with flotation tires, row crop tires and rubber-tracked undercarriages. And they unload at speeds up to 750 bushels/minute. That means you can empty all three Kinze Grain Carts – 1100 / 1300 / 1500 bushel capacities – in just two minutes or less! Imagine what this has meant in terms of speed, labor and efficiency – compared to moving grain with a bunch of the old 4-wheel, 120 bushel grain carts. 

What's next? When Kinze launches their autonomous tractor system, you will be able to do it all – harvest and move up to 1500 bushels of grain from the combine to the grain truck – with just one operator!



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