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Thread: Elevated IBC Totes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Crivitz, WI
    Posts
    75

    Default Elevated IBC Totes

    Evening, I have access to cheap, and clean IBC Totes. I can get 275, or 330 gallon tanks.

    Was thinking about elevating them so the valve is 5 to 6 feet off the ground. I'm concerned with building a strong enough platform to hold two of them, plus myself if I need to adjust anything during the season.
    What is the safest way to do that?

    Digging thru old posts couldn't find anything that specific, but did come across using a smaller head tank, and pumping up from a tote or barrel. Thoughts on that as well?

    I'm small time up to about 100 taps, plus I can buy sap. 12v, solar, power unless I run extension cords across driveway. Collecting sap in a small ATV trailer with a 30 gallon leg tank. Want to be able to only pump it, or gravity feed after collecting and dumping it into ATV tank.
    2013 15 Homemade Taps, Milk Jugs, Turkey Fryer, 3 Gallons Syrup
    2014 Finishing my college degree, looked longingly at the Maples all spring
    2015 26 1/2 Real taps, Milk Jugs, Homemade 20x25 pan on propane, 5+ Gallons Syrup
    2016 50 Taps, Milk Jugs, Homemade 25 by 48 pan on propane block arch, 8 1/2 Gallons Syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    14145
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Could stack 2 totes and leve some water in bottom tote. Or put a stack of good pallets under tote. Or build 4x4/6x6 wooden frame with cross supports like x's

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,604

    Default

    If you have access to railroad ties, stack them like they do when raising a house
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 100 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    Leader Micro2 RO (for sale)
    Gast 3040 vac pump, Lapierre electric releaser
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,779

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    My head tank platform is 5.5' off the ground. I built it using 4x4 PT posts with 4x4s setting on top of them. I have the legs and the cross 4x4's directly under where the tank legs on my original tank were. The in-ground legs set on concrete blocks down 3.5'. Then above that I have 2x4's side to side 16" O.C. and on those I used 2x6, for floor boards spaced about 1.5" apart. I have one diagonal on the end of the platform and all lumber except the diagonal is PT (pressure treated)
    While I don't use IBC totes for a head tank, I originally had a 415 gal SS milk tank on the platform, I then changed to a 200 gal one and I changed again to a 150 gal sap tank. The changes were never because of the weight, but rather because I don't like having that much concentrate ahead. That platform has been up and shows no need for repair in 9 years use. I'm sure at some point I will need to change the in-ground legs but the rest should outlast me. One end of my 8x12 platform is attached to my sugarhouse, which is also on 4x4 posts, 4' in the ground and on big slabs of concrete.
    Last edited by maple flats; 07-01-2019 at 09:36 AM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    504

    Default

    We built the platform for our 4x8x4 (1200G) head tank last year. Ran out of time and money so we used a 500 G poly tank last year but should have the new one this fall. We built it similar to what mapleflats described but with 6x6's due to the size of our tank. It's all about a good foundation, so definitely set it all on concrete blocks.
    In regards to a pump, we pump across my buddy's lawn to avoid tearing it up in the spring. Probably 80' of line and a 8-10' rise from where we pump to the head tank. We use the 1" predator pump from Harbor Freight and it works great. Pumps about 13G per minute in our setup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    517

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    Your answer will depend on what you have to build with or attach to. For my elevated tanks, I have 2x elevated platforms built. Both are built like mini decks. On the building side there is a ledger board attached with bolts through the kitchen concrete block walls. On the other side I used reclaimed 4x6 posts sunk 3ft into the ground. Then build decked platforms beefy enough to support the weight. When estimating weight just use 8 pounds per gallon. One platform has a 550 sap gallon tank and the other is 50 gallon head tank.

    You can build the platforms just the size of the tank but my recommendation would be to build it oversized enough to be able to safely stand on the platform and access the tank opening to wash or rinse them out. I usually rinse mine out every time it is empty.
    2019 - 150 taps 3/16 shurflo, Deer Run 125 dolly RO - 73 gallons
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Canton, Maine
    Posts
    62

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    My sap tank is stacked on pallets behind the sugarhouse so it's 5ft or so high. (500 gallons) Inside I have 2 totes, stacked. The top is the concentrate from the RO/head tank and the bottom is the permeate tank. Having the tanks this way has worked out fairly well for me.
    Road's End Farm - Starting small with no end in sight!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Lenawee county, Michigan
    Posts
    46

    Default

    20190302_144016.jpg
    Here is what I did. The timbers are from large pallets. I also got metal grate material under the totes.
    2013 25 taps 2.5 gallons
    2014 60 taps 9.5 gallons
    2015 12 x 16 sugar shack 200 taps 1500' 5/16 lines gravity. Home made arch, 2 x 3 pan and 18" x 24" steam pan.
    2016 2 x 5 Smokey Lake hybrid pan. Custom steam hood and float box. Number of taps yet to be determined.
    2017 Made 27 gallons. Added 60 taps on 3/16 lines.
    2018 Adding more 3/16 lines. Made 55 gallons
    2019 Added 4 totes for sap storage. Big shack upgrades.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,779

    Default

    Remember to provide deck enough to walk around at least 2 opposite side for cleaning. Also, you should be aware that pressure treated lumber gets real slippery when wet or worse when it has a dusting of snow on it. Be careful to walk as if you are on glare ice.
    My first 2 tanks (see reply #4) did not give as much extra platform as I like, the 150 gal tank gives me plenty.
    On my set up, in all 3 cases the tank sat tight to the sugarhouse so the valve is inside. The current tank (150 gal SS round bottom) does have a close nipple, an elbow and about 6" of a 10x1.5" SS nipple exposed outside, the rest and the valve is inside. I only had to heat the exposed portion to thaw once in the 5-6 years it has been that way. The sugarhouse is not heated (except by the evaporator), but it has never frozen the lines in there. I drain them all at the end of each boil, into the evaporator, just after my last fueling so that concentrate all boils for several minutes. I also now drain the cold sap float box and put that into the flue pan while boiling sap from the flue pan back feeds to the float box. I just started doing that after I had my first ever "ropy syrup event" in the 2019 season during a mid boil cleaning.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    I also now drain the cold sap float box and put that into the flue pan while boiling sap from the flue pan back feeds to the float box. I just started doing that after I had my first ever "ropy syrup event" in the 2019 season during a mid boil cleaning.
    Quick hijack - I have been rope-free since I started bringing the back pan to a hard boil after the flood and scooping boiling sap from the pan and pouring it into the cold sap float box. I put a thermometer in the box and keep scooping until I hit 200 deg. I'm curious how you disconnect your cold sap box with hot sap still in the pan.

    To the original topic - ditto on having something to stand on to make cleaning easier. My tanks are outside under a lean-to on top of single cinder blocks with pallets laying on top of those. I got this great folding work platform that has been perfect. It's long enough that I can clean two tanks at a time and it's super light to slide over to clean the third tank. It folds up and it's out of the way as needed.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gorilla-...-55A/302159317
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Something north of 250 taps
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 125 RO
    6 hives of bees
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

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