Before You Park Your Combine
Nov 13, 2014
I know there's a mad scramble to get field work finished right now, but 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, 'coons and other varmints, but it reduces corrosion. A college professor once told me that 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 10 or 15 minutes, then lube the chains and grease the bearings while they're "warm."
-if you've got a new Final Tier IV combine that uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), check the owner's manual to see if they recommend draining the DEF tank and system during long-term storage.
-Consider putting anti-gel in the fuel tank. That way, if you have to start or move the combine this winter, there's less risk of the machine gelling-up halfway out the machine shed door.
-If the combine has a battery disconnect switch, flip it "off" once the machine is parked in the shed.
-before you park the combine, take a moment to write down all the things that need to be fixed. No matter how hard you try, you won't be able to remember them next fall. And don't expect your mechanic to remember all those little glitches and gremlins--we're still trying to help customers get the last fields harvested. Once they're finished, we're going to do our best to forget the harvest of 2014.