Ben Sander, Summers Manufacturing on the Agriculture Technology Podcast
From attending farm shows to working with dealers to teaming up with the sales staff, Ben Sander gets the opportunity to see Summers Manufacturing’s products through nearly every vantage point – key to his role as Marketing Manager.
Host Tony Kramer invited Ben on the podcast to talk about the range of agriculture equipment offered from Summers Manufacturing, both tried-and-true products to those brand new in the market.
Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation. Listen to the full episode here.
Before we get started, I’d really like to learn more about you and how you got involved in this industry.
I grew up around the agriculture market; my parents are both from farms that were right on the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota borders. I got into Summers Manufacturing about 5 years ago when I moved back home to Devils Lake, North Dakota. I’m familiarizing myself more and more all the time; I love learning new things.
Summers Manufacturing has a lot of products, including tillage, application, and just a lot of different aspects of the agriculture industry. I’d like to touch on a few key pieces equipment; getting started, tell us about what you have to offer in tillage.
We’ve been doing tillage for a long time. We started in 1965, doing harrows, so we’re very familiar with tillage. Now, some of our most popular products are things that supplement deep tillage, like our DiskChisel. It’s offered from 16 to 40 feet, does a great job to stir up the dirt and break up those compaction layers.
Another product, and one that always seems to sell well in the Red River Valley, is the Superchisel. It’s a pretty bulletproof chisel plow and one of our most popular chisel plows.
A couple years back, you released the VRT, which I believe stands for Variable Rate Tillage. Tell us why the product came about.
We started the true vertical tillage trend in 1999 with the Supercoulter. We started seeing more popularity with the angle gangs and adjustability, and we wanted to make sure farmers didn’t run into any issues with that. So we decided to leapfrog the adjustable gang thing and put disk blades up front and coulter blades in the rear of a machine that was similar to our Supercoulter.
This was done so, if you want to be more aggressive with your tillage, you can shift the machine to put more pressure on those front disk blades. If you want to not turn as much dirt, you can tip the weight more on the coulter blades. And you can do something in between too.
That machine was the VRT 2530 which then, and with the assistance of RDO, developed into the VRT 3530. It’s the same frame; the difference is the 3530 has disk blades across the front and across the back. What that does is allow fine tuning in the field.
Another line of products is your sprayers. Can you tell us about the Supersprayers?
Supersprayers have been around for awhile; ours is one of the first suspended boom sprayers out there, in a large capacity. Ours range from 60 to 132 feet, and offered in two different classes: LT and XLT. The LT line is 60 to 110 feet, then 120 to 132 feet is the XLT. We don’t put our booms on a pivot, it’s a parallel link system where it sways back and forth. Now others are starting to do that too, just keeps it level.
As far as application equipment, you have something new coming out, right?
Yes, we started showing it more in some fields this fall. It’s the VT Flex Applicator. Vertical tillage, we have the coulter blades up front as the first thing contacting the soil. The Flex part is we can set this to be, for example, 15 or 20, whatever spacing. We can do dry, liquid, anhydrous, or all at the same time. We can do low rate or high rate. It’s a highly customizable machine and low disturbance.
Ben and Tony went into greater detail about equipment from Summers Manufacturing, including another new product, designed for batching sprayer fill. They also discussed rollers, including alternatives to the application for certain soil types, so please listen to the entire episode. Catch up on older episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the Agriculture Technology podcast so you never miss an episode.
Host Tony Kramer is a product specialist at RDO Equipment Co. To contact Tony with questions or about being a guest on the podcast, find him on Twitter at @RDOTonyK.