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View from the Cab: Ready, set, go!

Final combine preparations ahead of fall harvest / CIFN photo.

On your mark, get set, go! If only the start of harvest was this simple.

There is no blanket answer to when everyone will start harvesting this fall as some crops are farther along than others. Now is the time to finish up combine preparations as we prepare for a long period out in the field.

I visited with Tim Kelly at KSR Equipment in Pontiac the other day and he told me it seemed like combines went through a war zone last year due to the adverse weather conditions in the fall with plenty of mud and muck.

“An overall buildup of mud is our number one issue this year,” Kelly explained.

This means there are extra items to double-check on your combine preparation list such as mud buildup. This can occur at the top and bottom of the machine, so be on the lookout.

“We have been changing a lot of transmission oil and final drive oils because of the heat we put them under due to the extra torque it takes to pull those big combines through the mud,” Kelly added.

It is always good to get new lube in the bearings and pivot points. Farmers should follow the operator’s manual to grease everything properly and inspect belts. Blowing trash off of the combine every evening is also important – especially around the exhaust system.

Kelly has noticed mud buildup on corn heads between the cross augers or near the gathering chain gear boxes. In order for the head to work properly, it should be free of debris from the start.

“On the platforms, there is a buildup this year under the skid shoes,” Kelly noted.

KSR folks have also observed damage on the ends of platforms likely from last year. There have been several broken stabilizers they don’t normally see – simply due to the stress of the season.

Thanks to KSR for the timely advice as we embark on another fall season. They have locations in Pontiac, Streator and Lacon.

Our equipment preparations continue as we wait for that first trip out to the field which is still several days away I’m sure.

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