Following up on our recent blog post about the importance of end-of-season maintenance we are now sharing with you our baler checklist. Just a few simple steps before storing your machine for the winter are keys to reliable machine performance and long life.
• Grease all grease zerks on wear points.
• Change hydraulic-system filters.
• After changing hydraulic filters, run the machine to purge air from the system and reduce the opportunity for condensation to form during the winter.
• Check gearbox fluid levels and change as recommended in the operator’s manual.
• Replace broken pickup tines.
• Oil chains before placing in storage.
• On round balers, inspect belts for checking and other wear. Loosen belt tensioners so they are not sitting under full tension through the winter.
Following up on our recent blog post about the importance of end-of-season maintenance we are now sharing with you our windrower checklist. Just a few simple steps before storing your machine for the winter are keys to reliable machine performance and long life.
- Begin your inspection at the header, looking for wear and components which should be replaced.
- For sickle-bar headers, replace cutter bar teeth and ledger plates. Replace the guards once yearly when storing machines or add this to your list for completion during winter.
- On disk mowers, replace knives and rotate or replace worn turtles covering the knives.
- Grease all lift-system wear points.
- For self-propelled machines, be sure to change engine oil and filters.
- Replace or blow out all air filters, including the cab air filter.
- Check all belts for checking and signs of wear. Inspect tires for wear that might require tire replacement. Inflate to the required air pressure.
- Check and blow dirt and debris from radiators. On machines with “smart” reversing fans such as the V-Cool™ system found on Hesston WR Series self-propelled windrowers, radiator screens already should be clean and free of dirt and hay.
After a long summer in the hayfield, it’s tempting to simply back haying equipment into the shed for the winter without giving it a second thought. However, conducting a thorough end-of-season inspection and writing down maintenance needs while they are still top of mind can be time well spent.
That’s the advice of Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay products and 35-year-veteran of the quality hay business.
“A full end-of-season visual inspection helps ensure you’re well prepared to complete needed repair and maintenance projects during winter downtime,” says Morrell. “Months down the road it can be hard to remember that noise you wanted to check out before next season. By writing it down, you have a big head start on maintenance that will leave your equipment in top condition, ready for another productive season.” Good machine care, with proper maintenance and repair not only helps ensure proper operation and long life, it helps maintain resale value, Morrell points out.
A clean machine simplifies fall maintenance and inspection. It also helps minimize rust which can start where dirt and moisture collect on a machine.
Begin with removing dirt, dust and hay debris by sweeping the machine or using high-pressure air or a power washer. While balers often carry the most dirt and hay material, it’s best to use air when cleaning balers because of their many moving parts and opportunities to create rust. High-pressure washing is best for cleaning mower or conditioner cutter bars. Rakes as well as self-propelled and pull-type windrowers can be pressure-washed to remove dirt, dust and hay debris.
Although some maintenance tasks can be deferred until winter, at a minimum, grease machines and change oil and filters before parking. Balers and self-propelled windrowers typically require the most care before going into winter storage. Rakes generally require minimal maintenance, but it’s still important to give them the attention they need before storing for the winter, says Morrell. He offers these “quick tips” for end-of-season maintenance and reminds producers to follow the operator’s manual and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Within the next days we will share more tips on how to prepare for end-of-season maintenance for your baler, rake, and windrower.
For more information about Hesston by Massey Ferguson products or to find a dealer near you, visit www.Hesston.com.
James Petrich, much like the other AGCO Combine Harvest Support (“Tech Van”) interns, spent his summer months helping custom harvesters and learning as much as he can about Gleaner combines and keeping them out in the field.
Being brought up in a farming family that runs Gleaner combines, James was already familiar with the advantages they had and how they worked. Being able to work on the latest combines, he was able to learn tricks and techniques that he could bring back and share with the rest of his family back at home. During his time there, James worked with people from all backgrounds to learn about electrical diagnosis’ on combines, replacing worn injectors and accelerator rollers, among other more common repairs that has helped him gain a deeper understanding of the support needed to have a successful harvest.
In addition to the technical knowledge that was learned, the interns were able to see the country like most other Americans could only dream about and hear stories from the harvesters that would shock even the extreme. The intern’s experience came with costs—12 hour work days, 7 days per week for three months.
Overall, the harvest this year was a success, even with the drought which struck much of America’s Great Plains. The Tech Van crew noticed that even with increased hours from previous years, combines had superior uptime that helped to lead to a smooth harvest. This superior uptime was attributed to higher quality from the factory and better dealership pre-delivery inspections that when combines give customers the great AGCO experience they expect.
The Tech Van crew will be heading to Kansas soon to help with the final harvest of the year. During the winter months, the crew stays at their base in Hesston, Kansas where they will review the 2012 season and plan ahead for next year.
Going over notes taken from the harvest, they decide on what parts they need to stock in the trailer and clear out parts for combines that are over the 5-year mark to make room for new models. From there, they will start the cycle all over again next Spring in Texas, with the AGCO Combine Harvest Support team leading the way to another successful harvest.