Two Ways to Avoid Climbing Bins This Harvest


Climbing bins to check levels can be exhausting, scary, and downright dangerous.

Using high level detectors in bins can save you time and keep you (your children and grandchildren) safe with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

A rotary level switch is a simple, mechanical switch that rotates a paddle until grain rises to the level of the paddle. When the paddle stops turning due to resistance from the grain, it sends a relay to a light, horn, or alarm panel to let you know the bin is full. For about $300 total—for a power pack, coupler, paddle, and mounting plate—you’ll never climb that bin again.

An alternative to a rotary is a diaphragm switch. This sensor alerts to a full level when the grain applies pressure to a sensitive micro-switch. Like the rotary, it can alert via a light, horn, or alarm panel. The diaphragm switch can be mounted internally or externally. Diaphragm switches come in a variety of models with prices starting under $150.

Both rotaries and diaphragm switches can be used to stop a process, such as turning off an auger when the bin is full. This protects the value of your crop and the hassle of cleaning up spills.

BinMaster of Lincoln, Nebraska sells both level detectors direct to farmers from their website at If you’re not sure what you need, give them a call at 800-278-4241, and they will gladly help you stay safe this season.


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