The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
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.
This is a follow-up to yesterday's post about how to avoid damaged to chaffers and sieves in combines. In that post I talked about manually inspecting chaffers and sieves before closing them via the button in the cab, to avoid damage from cobs wedged in the louvers.
Another important thing to check before heading into harvest is to make sure, on combines that allow adjustment of chaffers and sieves from the cab, that those components are calibrated. By calibrated, I mean, do the numbers displayed in the cab match the actual, physical setting of the chaffer and sieve inside the combine? It is possible, especially if cobs got wedged in the louvers, or if somebody was crawling around on the chaffer for some reason(?), for the display in the cab to say the chaffer is halfway open when it is fully closed--or fully open.
There are directions in the owner's manual on how to re-calibrate chaffers and sieves to ensure that "half open" is actually "half open." Never start a harvest without calibrating the chaffer and sieve, and if you get bored on a rainy day during harvest--it wouldn't hurt to re-calibrate them to keep them accurate.
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