Four hours of work will save time and money next fall
There’s often a mad dash to wrap up harvest and field work in the fall. When the last rows are out, don’t just head to the shed and park your combine. Four hours spent prepping your combine before storage will save time and money next fall. At a minimum:
- Use a leaf blower or compressed air to blow off all the shucks, silks and crop residue from every nook and cranny. It’s a filthy job, but removing all the crop debris not only makes combines less attractive to mice, rats, raccoons and other varmints, but it also reduces corrosion. A college professor once told me when rainwater or dew soaks through grain or crop residue, it creates a mild acid that is more corrosive than water alone.
- Run the entire machine for 15 minutes, then lube the chains and grease the bearings while they’re warm.
- If you have a Tier 4 Final combine that uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), check the owner’s manual to see if the manufacturer recommends draining the DEF tank and system for long-term storage.
- Consider putting anti-gel in the fuel tank. If you have to start or move the combine during the winter, there’s less risk of the machine gelling-up halfway out of the machine shed.
- If the combine has a battery disconnect switch, flip it “off” once the machine is parked in the shed.
- Take a minute to write down all of the things that need to be fixed on the combine. No matter how hard you try, you won’t remember them all next fall. Don’t expect your mechanic to remember all of those little glitches and gremlins either.