In The Shop: Those Wonderful Chopping Corn Heads

Published on: 18:45PM Nov 04, 2019

I know you're scrambling to finish harvest, but if you've got a chopping corn head that uses "lawn mowers" under the row units, be prepared to do some preventive maintenance before you put that corn head away for the winter.

Some of those chopping units have cutting heads/hubs that rotate around a small gearcase. There is a fairly small clearance between the spinning cutter hub and the stationary gearbox. Sap from green stalks and weeds, dew from cool mornings, and general crop debris collects between the hub and gearbox during harvest. No problem, as long as the components are rotated daily. But once the corn head is stored for the year, and especially if it's stored sitting on the ground, corrosion and other issues can freeze up the cutting heads.

I just spent too many hours with a 10 pound sledge hammer freeing up frozen cutting heads on a 12-row corn head. To prevent that from happening, take time to liberally soak the narrow gap between the cutting head/hub and the lower gearcase with penetrating oil or oily protectant before storage. You'll thank yourself next fall.