Blowing Sawdust into a Big Trailer

Woodworkers discuss pipe and damper setups to evenly distribute dust into a 40-yard trailer or container. September 27, 2008

We now blow our sawdust into a 16' trailer with a 5hp blower below the airlock. It actually seems to "pack" the sawdust in and it works great. We are going to replace the 16' with a 48' semi trailer. Will a 5 hp blower with 8" duct connecting to the back of the trailer fill the front? Do I need a bigger blower or do something different then I am now?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor L:
Don't really know, but 3x the distance will be a push. You can always take the blower out of the truck and measure how far it blows the dust. It'll be messy but you'll have real world test data.

From contributor C:
If you own the trailer body, create 3 access ports spaced out down one side near the top. Take 2, 8" angle ring flanges and weld them together at the straight leg to create a spool effect. One face gets bolted to trailer over 8" diameter hole, and the other face is out bound. Then take another ring and have an od collar for flex hose welded to straight leg of ring. Clamp 8" flex over collar and bring the two faces together and secure with a quick clamp for angle ring flanges. The quick clamp is connected and disconnected by only 2 bolts. Once a portion is filled, move to next spool. Cut a circle of plywood or metal and bolt to flange face to cover opening.

Another option is to use full blast gate housings. Remove the perimeter bolts from full gate housing. Cut 8" holes in side of trailer. Stick one side into hole. Drill through perimeter bolt holes and use long bolts to secure blast gate housing on side of trailer. Now you can connect flex or duct to blast gate collar. When done filling, close the slide on blast gate and pin with the set screw.

One more option is to come in back door of trailer and strap a few pipe sections to ceiling. Connect pipe with flanges or another quick connect or disconnect method. When front is filled, disconnect a 10 foot section and so forth until trailer is filled to the back.

From contributor A:

Is it feasible to mount an auger to the roof of the trailer?

From contributor T:
Our setup is similar. The blower is under the airgate (connect with a tee) and re-circulates dirty air to 40 yd dumpster with lid on. We just installed an extended internal pipe in the dumpster to a couple of tees where the sawdust would just reach the back wall and the returning air would circulate it throughout the dumpster. Pipe stays in lid when we remove it. Return air pipe should be one size larger than outlet of blower. We produce 40 yd plus every five days and this works real fine.

From the original questioner:
We went with 8" diameter internal ducting that goes half way to the front of the trailer and it works great.