Where To Cut Corners on Harvest Maintenance
Sep 02, 2015
Once again I preface this blog by saying these are my opinions, they're free, and they're probably worth exactly what you're paying for them.
So, everybody is trying to find ways to cut machinery maintenance costs going into this year's harvest. My theory is to never cut corners on anything that will stop, halt or slow harvest, so I tend to replace any drive belt, roller chain or other component that is required to make a combine or tractor do its job during harvest.
What I question is the necessity of repairs to components or systems that are peripherals to harvest. If it's going to take a new $1500 wiring harness to fix an auto-steer system, or repair the self-steering system on a cornhead…what is the ROI on that investment? Yes, I can run the numbers and pencil out that an auto-steer system has the potential to save a certain amount of grain and reduce the fuel-per-acre used, but….
Maintaining yield monitors, GPS satellite subscriptions, auto-steer systems and all the other guidance and information systems can be expensive. How much of it is absolutely, without-a-doubt necessary for you to have, to get your crops out of the fields? I know I'm stepping on a lot of toes with this opinion, but when I have customers ignore worn, cracked belts in favor of making sure their auto-steer system on their combine works…it makes me wonder.