in The Shop: Rock Damage Insurance for Combines

Published on: 09:28AM Dec 08, 2019

Many of you have insurance for rock damage to your combines. For the past 10 years many insurance companies have placed a time limit on when claims for rock damage can be filed. It's now common for insurance companies to require claims  due to rocks passing through combines be filed within six weeks of harvest. Claims filed when you start working on the combine in mid winter, or when you get the combine out next summer, may not be accepted.

Beyond the trick of determining the full extent of rock damage to a combine during the post-harvest rush of fall tillage/putting away equipment/satisfying bankers' needs for business information, it can be a challenge to identify all the damage a single rock can create in a combine.

Start at the corn head or bean head. Don't forget to check for bent auger flighting, auger trough or other damage. Then examine the feederhouse conveyor chain (every crossbar) and feederhouse floor. Check every lobe on pre-threshing cylinders and the floor under them. It's a no-brainer to check the threshing cylinder/rotor threshing elements and concave for damage, but don't overlook the housing ON TOP of the cylinder/rotor.  Discharge beaters ahead of the chopper need to be inspected, and every knife on straw choppers, as well as the upper and lower chopper housing, should be examined.

After the "noise producing" damage has been identified (and you probably listened and identified damage to each component as the rock traveled through the machine,) be sure to check for quieter damage. Pieces of broken rock can cause damage to chaffers, lower clean grain augers and clean grain elevator housings and conveyor chains.

Once you meet your deductible on the insurance claim, you might as well nit-pick and create the biggest insurance claim possible. Even if the insurance agent pro-rates the wear on conveyor chains and other wear components, it's not a bad idea to get new parts for the pro-rated price.