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Convertible hopper???

Oct 20, 2015 at 04:58 PM CST
I'm looking at buying a convertible hopper and I was wondering if anyone runs them and are they really worth buying? Or do I just lose payload because of the extra weight... Are they hard to convert? Can you feasibly haul grain somewhere and convert and then haul a palletized load And convert it back or is it a big pain in the butt?
Replied on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 08:11 AM CST
+ 1
We ran Cornhusker Convertables and Wilson Convertables for years and years. They were a fairly high revenue trailer for us. The Cornhuskers were by far easier to convert than the Wilsons were but the Wilsons seemed to be more sturdy built. You will have to get into an entirely different mentality pulling a convertable than pulling a straight hopper. There will be times when you wonder why you just don't have a hopper because you are never using the floor, and there will be times when you wil wonder why you don't just have a dry van because you are never using the hoppers. Where they really shine is when you can put palletized product on the ends and bulk in the middle. You will make a lot of customers happy with that. Being a specialty trailer you are able to ask a higher rate because you will be one of the only games in town that can handle material like that. Be ready for some manual labor because not every load is forklift on and forklift off. I personally have tossed 50# bags off several loads. Be ready to use a hand cart and your muscles. You will find that some bulk products are fine in a convertable and some products are not fine in a convertable. Be extremely careful when unloading a product out of the hoppers that hangs up a bit. You can wind up singing soprano if you slip on the crossbeams that go across the hopper. Overall if I had to do it again, i would hook up to a convertable in a heartbeat. There is a little work involved but a little honest hard work never hurt anyone and it will keep you in shape.
Replied on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM CST
I would also give the nod to the cornhuskers we ran around 25 of them. They are easy to setup. The only issue with the converitble part was splitting the hoppers for different products the divider doors at that time were a pain
Replied on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 02:53 PM CST
Thanks for the info!
Replied on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:26 PM CST
Get a Walking Floor and do it the right way.

Art Pfluger
Replied on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 11:43 AM CST
Originally Posted by: ROSE PFLUGER
Quote: "Get a Walking Floor and do it the right way. Art Pfluger"

Ouch....right thru the heart!!!!!!!!!! I ran walking floors for several years also and loved them. We used to run beet pulp shreds out of California out to dairies in Pennsylvania years ago. They worked fine until one day my wet kit decided to fail. Spent a lot of time with a pitchfork tossing out beet pulp shreds out of my walker onto a bunch of little Amish horse drawn wagons. Twas a fun day at the office that day!!!

Replied on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 08:31 PM CST
Originally Posted by: ROSE PFLUGER
Quote: "Get a Walking Floor and do it the right way. Art Pfluger"

Hey I do know how to run one of those walking floors? I had a good teacher...
Replied on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 08:33 PM CST
Truth is I can't afford a walking floor. Used hoppers are in my price range
Replied on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 09:14 PM CST
Originally Posted by: ROSE PFLUGER
Quote: "Get a Walking Floor and do it the right way. Art Pfluger"

For some reason I want a walking floor. I think it would work great in 90% of the loads we haul and the type of stuff I want to get into. How do they do with running a fork lift on them? Do shippers complain about the tarp top? I know Monsanto is picky about leaks and doesn't like or won't load reefers. Of course I see the convertible hoppers for sale and usually the price is cheap. I think dang we could haul taters on the floor and meal or fertilizer back. Of course could do that with a floor and could unload our selves.
Replied on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 08:06 AM CST
My walking floor was set up to walk both ways. When I hauled a pallet load, they would set two pallets on the tail and then i would walk them forward. I know some Wilkens floors are set up to handle fork lifts, but the Anji that i had would not. We hauled potatoes and onions on it, also apples and other produce as well. I had produce vents put in mine so if the weather was shabby we could open the vents and still be ok. Also had a vent in the tarp header front and rear to be able to maintain air flow. Cool trailers but when i pulled one they seemed to be a little more high maintenance than my convertable. The teflon seals between the slats in the floor would wear out fairly quick if you moved anything that was abrasive. We also had a hopper put in the back end of the trailer so we could more readily control the flow of the product if we ever had to dump in a small pit. Opening the doors and letting 102" of material fall out works well in some applications but not in all. How bout it Art....Any thing else you can add? I need to change bandages on that massive wound you gave me about my convertables!!!! :)
Replied on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 10:01 PM CST
Sorry about the wound damage there Duane. I think modern floors are somewhat easier than the older Keith version. The pressure seal floors are good but as you say they are high maintenance. However you aren't going tell me that there are many today that are willing to do the work of a convertable. You also have to factor in the time involved to do the conversion. That could be a big thing if your haul doens't give you the time. I own Walking Floors, how that happened is a long story. I wouldn't do it again. The rates rarely support these trailers this year, but I'm not finding any good rates in and out of my area regardless of trailer type. Reefers are running for crazy cheap out of here. Not really sure where to go from here.

Art Pfluger