Old web arrangement
In the agricultural sector, cleaner loaders raise the vegetable crop to a suitable height for loading on to a trailer, removing excess earth as the product is lifted.
In one company, sugar beet was carried on a conveyor web of metal bars, about 10 mm in diameter with 50 mm spacing between the bars. The ends of the bars were bent round to form a catch which linked to the next bar, resulting in a loosely linked steel chain. As the web rotated, the slackening and tightening of the different parts of the chain emitted A-weighted noise levels of 103 dB at the operating position.
Noise from an air-cooled 8 horsepower (hp) engine was also a problem, with an A-weighted level of 95 dB while idling.
New web arrangement
The new design for the cleaner loader used the same rods, but with the ends embedded in a continuous rubber loop. This eliminated the impact of steel on steel in the web and at the driving gear.
Engine noise was reduced by replacing the old air-cooled machines with ones run by water-cooled 50 hp engines.
No extra cost for the new web arrangement. Negligible difference between costs of the engines. (1995)
Sugar beet cleaner loader
A noise reduction of 9 dB after the installation of the rubber web and a 7 dB reduction in engine idling noise. Further reductions could be achieved by upgrading the engine silencer, or by using a power take-off drive from a tractor at low engine revs some distance from the operating position.
Equipment designed and manufactured by Jones Engineering.