More Bean Platform Prep Tips
Aug 23, 2017
One of the simplest ways to make a bean platform's automatic header height control system work better is to clean out all the crud on top of the skid shoes.
It's especially beneficial on older heads with 3- to 4-foot wide skid shoes. Dirt, dust and debris accumulates on top of the shoes and causes problems in two ways: First, the sheer weight of the junk impairs the flexibility of the skid shoes. Second, the crud packs between the front of the skid shoe and the bottom of the cutter bar, enough in some cases to keep the bar from flexing. Blowing out, or scraping away, the dirt on top of the skid shoes doesn't address the problem of crud packed at the hinge point where the skid shoes attach to the cutter bar.
Depending on the brand of head, the best solution is to carefully unbolt the front of the skid shoes, let them droop down, and then use high pressure air to blow that hinge point clean. Be sure to use high pressure air, and be sure to blow from the front, toward the rear of the head. Blowing from the rear toward the hinge point can pack that junk in there even tighter. And using high pressure water to blow out that area creates mud that hardens to near concrete consistency.
Newer bean platforms with multiple narrow skid shoes don't have as much problem with crud packing on top of those shoes, but those newer heads do have issues with crud packing on top of the wider skid shoes at the extreme ends. That can be a problem because the automatic header height sensors and mechanisms are attached to those skid shoes. Be sure to clean all the crud out of those areas to ensure the sensors and mechanisms can operate freely.