The Next Time You Walk Past Your Planter
Jul 18, 2018
I was going to offer these suggestions about storing planters a month ago, but time got away from me. So the next time you're in the machine shed and walk past your planter:
-make sure the closing wheel down pressure adjusting handle is set so there's no tension on the spring. I've seen closing wheel downforce springs that stretched due to constant tension, which made the first one or two adjusting detents useless.
-relieve pressure from pneumatic downforce air bags.
-remove downforce pressure from any adjustable downforce springs ahead of the planter units.
-check the chrome shafts of the main frame hydraulic lift cylinders. On many large, folding planters, those cylinder shafts get a lot of mud splattered on them during transport down wet roads. Leave that mud on the shafts long enough, and it can tarnish the chrome finish on the shaft, leaving rough spots that can erode the cylinder's shaft seals when you raise and lower the planter next year.
-remove seed disks from vacuum seed meters. Leaving the disks in the seed meters during storage can distort the rubber seals and encourage air leaks next spring.
-on the new high-speed planters that use a brush-belt to deliver seeds to the seed furrow, be sure to relieve tension on that belt during storage. Hopefully, you also "ran the brush-belt dry" so there are no seeds in the belt during storage. Seeds left in the brush can deform the belt and cause problems next spring.
- be sure to lube all the chains. Figure out a way to turn the drill shafts and liberally coat every chain with foaming chain lube. Especially if the chains were bright and shiny when you got done planting. Bright and shiny chains are prime candidates for corrosion due to condensation while planters are in storage.