With all the hustle and bustle of harvest, there’s plenty on every farmer’s mind during fall. One thing which can’t be overlooked, however, is keeping your equipment running properly. Your combine is essential to your operation, and ensuring it is running at peak performance level is one of the most important things you can do this harvest season. That’s why this week we’re going to go through a quick, step-by-step guide which every farmer can use to ensure his or her equipment is running smoothly to keep harvest on track for success.
Step 1: Make A List
Opening the owner’s manual for your equipment and getting to know the ins and outs of how it works is important for fall maintenance. Take a look at the index and make a checklist of everything from the threshing cylinder to the chains to the air filters. That way, if you don’t get to check everything in one day, you’ll know right where you left off when you start again.
Step 2: Clean the Combine
Major problems can arise in machinery that isn’t properly washed and cared for. In some cases, it can begin to restrict proper movement or lead to erosion on moving parts over time. Regularly cleaning your equipment will ensure it’s longevity over time.
Step 3: Check Parts for Quality
There’s a good chance that in any given season, one or more parts on your machine will need replacing. It’s important for your bottom line to look at which parts are in the worst shape and make note of them on your checklist. Try using a 1-5 star rating: one meaning a part is in terrible shape and five meaning it looks brand new. This list will give you a visual representation that’ll help you decide which parts need to be replaced and which ones can hold out for another season. Pay extra attention to your roller chains as they tend to wear out more quickly than other parts.
Step 4: Safety First
All shields should be replaced as soon as you notice problems. Also be sure to inspect parts like chains without the power engaged. Read all warnings in the owner’s manual about fire safety and other hazards which can arise during use.
Step 5: Recalibrate Monitors
Recalibrating your monitors is important before you ever hit the field. If something seems off, call an expert to help you. They can hook your monitors up to special equipment which will tell them where any problems lie.
Step 6: Keep Rechecking!
Rechecking your combine after each day in the field is important. While you don’t need to inspect every little part every day, a thorough assessment should be done before harvest, and an overall assessment is helpful when you’re done for the day. By making sure your equipment is running well overall, looks clean, and meets safety standards, you’ll set yourself up for a successful harvest season.