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: Things To Check On Combines
Sep 11, 2011
Some of you are well into harvest, others are on the verge. When prepping combines for harvest or maintaining combines during harvest, don't focus on the "big stuff" so much that you overlook less obvious components.
On older machines everybody worries about worn rasp bars and concaves. Don't overlook the feederhouse floor, feederhouse transition seal and concave sill door. Everything that goes through the concave goes over those high-wear components. If during harvest you see strange strings of grain on the ground from directly below the center of the machine---check those areas for holes.
On newer machines, check the floor of the transition that feeds into the rotor. Check "elephant ears" on the front of the rotor for wear.
On grain tanks, tap on the sheet metal of sump areas associated with the vertical unloading auger housing. Tap on the sheet metal underside of grain tank cross auger troughs where they empty into the unloading auger sump. If the sheet metal is worn enough to dimple or dent when you tap it lightly with a small hammer--there will be grain leaking through a hole before harvest is over if you don't fix it now.
The other frequent culprit to grain losses due to wear is in the area of the clean grain elevator lower housing. Check for worn sheet metal on the auger housing that feeds into that elevator, as well as the lower end of the elevator itself.
And, if you find yourself leaving occasional piles of partially threshed beans or half-shelled ears of corn in the middle of each swath (as did a frustrated customer who called me to his combine last year because, "the darn thing won't clean the cobs..."), check to make sure you closed the rock trap door before you started combining.