Do you have a checklist for pre-harvest combine maintenance? If you don't have one yet, now is the time to start. A thorough checklist should include anything that may have been missed since the last harvest, including technologies, fluids, filters, and post-harvest maintenance procedures.
Harvest is one case where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true. Trucks, combines, grain carts, and tractors can all run more efficiently and likely with less downtime, thanks to a thorough pre-harvest inspection. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare for harvest.
· Change worn sickles and guards: With conditions this year, it will be important to change any worn sickles and guards on the cutter bar. With some possible higher ground speeds, it is important to have these sharp.
· Chang worn skid shoes: It is
important to change any worn skid shoes. As headers run closer to the ground the skid shoes protect more valuable components above them and it will be easier and cheaper to replace these before harvest.
· Adjust the pivot block: Another
simple adjustment that can be made is the front pivot block for the front feed chain. If you are experiencing some problems feeding your crop from your header into the feeder house, you might check the position. Most of the time the block is left in the taller corn position. If you have feeding issues in lighter crop, make sure your pivot block is in the lower grain position. In the lower grain position, it will give you a little more aggressive bite from your header to your feeder house.
· Check your rock trap: As you harvest, dirt and material will accumulate in your rock trap, so it’s important to empty daily to allow room for rocks to collect as encountered. Especially this year for those that may harvest a shorter crop.
· Zero and level the concave: Every year it is important to make sure your concave is properly zeroed and
leveled. Consult your operator’s manual for this procedure per your combine. This will allow your crop to be evenly and thoroughly threshed across the width of your concave.
· Check the filler plates/bars: Another important thing to consider is filler plates/bars. They give your crop a little more time in the processor to ensure quick and complete threshing. The most common conditions of use are light and/or hard thrashing conditions. 100% of thrashing and 70%+ separation should happen in the concave section of the rotor.
· Check the accelerator rolls: An easily overlooked portion is wear on the accelerator rolls. In a lighter crop it will be important to have good accelerator rolls to accelerate that crop at the maximum velocity to give you the cleanest grain sample and reduce your losses. If the notches are worn smooth, they may be in need of replacement.
· Replace fluids and filters: Fluids and filters should be replaced on a regular basis since they are one of the most essential components in maintenance prevention and equipment protection. Invest in genuine AGCO fluids and filters; other generic filters just do not measure up in comparative testing.
· Consider running guidance: If you’ve been looking at adding guidance on your combine this would be a great year to try it out. Running guidance will allow you to focus your full attention on setting your header for optimum ground speed.
Your local LDI dealer can help you evaluate blind areas to avoid problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Get your harvest equipment double-checked by your local LDI dealer and invest in genuine AGCO parts, fluids, and filters to be ready for harvest season this year.