Reducing noise from a sugar beet cleaner loader

The problem

Old web arrangement

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.

The solution

New web arrangement

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.

The cost

No extra cost for the new web arrangement. Negligible difference between costs of the engines. (1995)

The result

Sugar beet cleaner loader

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.

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Updated 2010-04-02