In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
In The Shop: Misc. Planter Tips
Apr 06, 2011
In no particular order, here are some random tips, ideas and suggestions related to prepping planters.
-if your planter has rotary scrapers for the double-disk openers, the wear point to watch is the tip of the mounting arm, in the neighborhood of the hairpin/cotter key that holds the rotary scraper disk to that arm. As the rotary scraper wears, the tip of the mounting arm rubs against the disk opener and often wears through to the hairpin/cotter key.
-if your planter uses two short roll pins to hold the cast iron "divider" (lots of people call it a "frog") that mounts between the double-disk opener, you can pound all day with a hammer and punch trying to remove those darned roll pins. An air hammer with a pin-punch knocks them out in sub-seconds.
-if your planter has closing wheels with axles that are held to the closing wheel frame assembly by roll pins, you know how hard it can be to get that axle out of it's mount. Shoup Mfg. makes a nifty tool that you hammer between the closing wheel and closing wheel frame to drive them apart. It works about 50 percent of the time, which is much better than the 100 percent of the time when I was using a torch to heat the mounting bracket and STILL breaking the closing wheel when I, uh, used a large hammer to remove it.
-if a drive- or drillshaft bearing has frozen and spun on its hexagonal shaft so the shaft is rounded-off, you can normally pull the shaft out of all its carrier bearings, reverse it, and end up with all the bearings riding on fresh portions of the hexagonal shaft. You might have to drill new holes for cotter keys and drive pins, but it's cheaper than replacing the entire shaft.
-a lot of seed monitors and planters come with "bottle brushes" to clean seed tube sensors. Those are okay, but if you really want to clean seed tube sensors, remove the seed boxes, blow out the seed tubes with compressed air, then use a long screwdriver to swab a wet rag up and down the seed tube. Then swab it with a dry rag to clean out the "mud" residue the wet rag creates. It may be overkill, but you'll be surprised how much more accurate your seed monitor is after a swab job.