Harvest season is up next on your calendar and there are 8 things that must be done before you put that combine out into the field. Here are some tips to help get your combine harvest ready.
- Read up on the combine’s operator manual. The manual should provide information on maintenance procedures for when you take the combine out of storage. Know the combine and cylinder settings for peak performance. Appropriate combine preparation can help cut yield losses, conserve grain quality and reduce downtime.
- Inspect belts and chains for accurate tension. Chains should be properly adjusted, belts tightened, and oil roller chains in the evening so excess oil can drip off overnight. Replace any parts on the combine that shows signs of wear and tear now before a breakdown happens in the field.
- Cutter bars, grain platform, and skid plates, oh my! Always check cutter bars for flexibility and movement. Inspect knife sharpness for the grain platform and be sure to inspect skid plates.
- Clean the combine thoroughly. Make sure to remove field debris, grease or oil buildup and rodent nests that have accumulated on the combine before and during storage.
- Attend a combine clinic. Depending on the manufacture of your combine see if there is a local manufacture dealer that offers combine clinics to help you take that extra step in getting your combine ready for harvest.
- Stock up on maintenance supplies. Get all of those “little things” such as: fluids, filters, and any other items you’ll need for maintenance.
- Adjust and calibrate systems. Check yield monitors, GPS guidance systems and other gauges to ensure these tools are providing precise information.
- Clean it up. Don’t forget to clean the combine or any machinery for that matter before going into each new field to reduce the chance of weed transfer to clean fields.
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