Do you have a pre-harvest combine maintenance checklist? If not, now is the time to start one. A great checklist should cover anything that has been overlooked or uninspected since last harvest: technology, fluids, filters, post-harvest maintenance routines and more.
Check out these productivity-enhancing tips to add to your master list, and make sure your combine is ready to hit the fields this harvest season:
- Do an efficiency check for grain-enhancing results.
When harvest is going smoothly, everything seems right — but are you really achieving your highest yields if your equipment is not properly calibrated for peak performance? Here are three things you can do right now to ensure you get the most grain possible in the tank:
- Invest in paddle tines: With their unique “five-finger” design, anti-debris buildup and easy-to-install snap-on features, paddle tines can help gather short or sparse crops more accurately. That means greater returns and improved feeding of crops such as soybeans, wheat, canola, chickpeas, lupins and flax.
- Check your feeder latch: Before you harvest, check your feeder latch and make sure it has some preload in one of the notches when the head is attached. This helps strengthen the clamp between the head and feeder so there are no crop loss gaps.
- Clean your feeder house connections: Cleaning and inspecting your feeder house and feeder house connections and adjusting the feeder chain to its optimal tension will help you improve efficiency out in the field. Keep the feeder running in high position for corn or soybeans and low for wheat.
- Inspect and protect to maximize uptime.
The only thing worse than sub-optimal equipment performance is an equipment breakdown. You may have done everything in your power to harvest at the right time and in the right field conditions, but if your equipment falters, all of your preparation and planning can quickly go to waste. Take these equipment-protecting tips into consideration before you head out this harvest season:
- Inspect machine concaves: Inspecting machine concaves can safeguard against poor threshing. Not sure where to start? Consult your Case IH dealer for a thorough equipment examination.
- Know when to replace rasp bars: Replacing rasp bars at the right time is one of the most effective ways to prevent grain damage. Signs such as twists, breaks, chips, cracks or other damage can mean a replacement is due. Here’s the best way to tell: if you can’t read the number on the bolt head anymore, it’s time to switch out your rasp bar for a new one.
- Use stalk stompers: Stalk stompers are designed to protect tires from costly stubble damage, helping you to avoid downtime and improve your overall harvest performance and residue management.
- Replace fluids and filters: They might not be flashy, but fluids and filters are one of the most important factors when it comes to maintenance prevention and equipment protection. Make sure to invest in genuine fluids and filters from Case IH — other generic filters simply do not hold up in comparison tests.
- Complete a harvest tech tune-up.
Technology is critical to achieving peak productivity during harvest — but it’s important to make sure your systems are ready to go with the latest software updates. Plus, you might consider investing in the latest harvesting technology for greater efficiency. Fine-tuning automated settings during harvest can help maximize the amount of high-quality grain you harvest. For instance, AFS Harvest Command™ makes harvest simple by reducing the number of functions producers need to monitor from 12 to just three. AFS Connect™ and AFS AccuTurn™ can help you take your precision farming practices one step further.
4. Check back with your Case IH dealer
You know your equipment best, but your Case IH dealer can help you check blind spots to avoid otherwise unseen problems. If you want to make sure you’re completely ready for harvest season this year, get your list double-checked by your local Case IH dealer, and visit www.mychnistore.com.