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Check Your Bearings

March 17, 2011
By: Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor

Worn clutch assemblies in your planter transmission could contribute to hours of down time, not to mention expense, during the critical planting period this spring.

A simple test can help you identify and prevent potential planter problems, says Missy Bauer, Farm Journal associate field agronomist.
“First, spin the planter with the boxes on to help you determine if there are issues with the seed shaft alignment to the meter,” she notes. “Then, with the planter boxes off, run the planter and look for frozen links or problems with idlers or rollers.”
The best way to conduct this test is via a small motor, like those used to calibrate dry insecticides, which can be hooked up to the main driveshaft and used to spin the planter at low RPMs.
In the following video, Bauer demonstrates how you can check for worn planter bearings by taking a long screwdriver, placing the tip on the bearing housing and holding the other end to your ear.  She says bearings that are beginning to fail will have a gravelly sound.

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