In order to maximize time in the field, yields require preventive maintenance and adjustments to combines to ensure safety, efficiency and optimal performance. Combines should be cleaned and inspected prior to going into the field in order to reduce lost time - which cannot be made up if weather conditions become adverse.
Here are some additional tips for preventative maintenance:
Clean the combine.
- This is a critical part of the preparation. By removing any previous crop residue and chaff, efficiency will be improved and it will lessen wear on critical components. Remove old grain, any rodent nests that may have been built in storage and clean any oil and grease buildup. This will allow you to safely inspect the combine components more easily and safely.
- Give yourself enough time to order and install any worn or missing components.
- This will ensure they are operating at optimal efficiency.
- These provide safety and prevent machine breakdowns.
- Also, be sure to check lights and safety markers to avoid dangerous situations while transporting and using the equipment.
Once your equipment is tuned-up and ready for the field, some additional considerations can also help in making fall harvest safer and more efficient. When the field was planted, the seeding unit has a wider and more forgiving width pattern than the harvesting equipment. You were able to plant closer to edges of ravines, dips and other sloping areas. Harvesting equipment has a narrower center so caution must always be taken when addressing these areas.
Enjoy the harvest, reap the rewards of your hard work and be safe!