During the main harvesting period, every minute counts – the major challenge is to coordinate crop ripeness, meteorology and the use of harvesting machinery. All contractors and farmers know this only too well. It’s wise to carefully prepare harvesting machinery and maintain it during the harvesting period. This is because machinery breakdowns are not only annoying and costly, but also pose certain dangers. Damage caused by a PTO shaft flapping around uncontrollably after a universal joint break or, even worse, a combine harvester fire in the middle of a grain field – often the result of neglected maintenance! The tried-and-tested lubricants and operating supplies in the FARMER LINE contribute to the safety of successful harvesting. They are part of any reliable harvesting machinery.
Careful maintenance is an integral part of the operational process. Which staff member is the main person responsible for looking after and maintaining which machinery? What about the maintenance and lubrication schedules and documentation? Is there a checklist for the small parking service during harvest? Optimum preparation also includes having a grease gun, lubricants, cooler protection and the most commonly used sprays, plus flushing fluids and tools, e.g. for re-tightening chains and belts, either in every item of machinery, or centrally accessible.
Summer is a busy time for all agricultural machinery workshops. That’s why it’s worthwhile examining the neuralgic points on the machinery in good time before the main harvesting season. Here’s a brief, but not exhaustive, summary of some of the most important points:
Examine any heavily contaminated, hard-to-reach bearings in harvesting machinery for any noises, make sure that they are in proper working order, and replace/lubricate any if necessary
Complying with these points can help to eliminate a majority of the most common sources of error. This ensures that machine operators – who are often already under a lot of strain – don’t have to deal with emergency repairs, unprofitable downtimes or worse, such as complete breakdowns.
During the main harvesting season, the days are long and the nights are even longer. Often, work is done 24/7 and the machinery operators take turns on a fixed rotation. To ensure that the harvesting equipment can withstand such continuous use without any problems, the points defined on the checklist must be checked and maintenance performed, depending on the equipment. Typical daily (d)/weekly (w) tasks are:
|Carry out level control before commissioning, in a cooled-down state if required, and refill, if necessary||d|
|Make sure that the automatic lubrication systems are functioning correctly, and dosage systems are operating properly||d|
|Lubricate PTO shafts and all fast-moving total-loss lubrication points daily with FETT 190 EP||d|
|Clean and lubricate all drive chains with POWER CLEAN SPRAY and CHAINLUBE PROFESSIONAL if necessary||d|
|Examine the central greasing systems for fill level, and fill with the appropriate grease||w|
Clean the hydraulic controls, idler pulleys, electrics, cooling system, intake filters, exhaust systems, etc., taking care to remove any litter and dust
|Examine the hydraulic hoses for any leaks and damage||d|
|Visually examine all round balers/square balers to make sure that they are running smoothly and without any obstructions||d|
Equipment that is used sporadically, such as hay cranes, etc., must also be examined regularly, and crane booms must be lubricated with PTFE GREASE SPRAY 2002
|Examine the tyre pressure||d|
|Good visibility ensures safety. Clean all windows periodically with GLASS CLEANER or GLASS CLEANER FOAM||d|
The statement that «friction generates heat» is probably one of the oldest technical insights of all. To prevent or, at least, reduce friction and wear, equipment must be lubricated correctly, sufficiently and regularly. At the same time, the aggregates automatically operate within the correct temperature range. During harvesting, it’s particularly important to re-lubricate the total-loss lubrication points such as PTO shafts and drive shafts. The high-pressure grease GREASE 190 EP is ideal for this purpose. The NLGI 2-viscosity blue lithium grease is extremely resistant to flexing, easy to convey, oxidation-stable and covers a wide temperature range (from -30 °C to +120 °C). It may be used in all plain, ball and roller bearings. Always remove dirt from the lubricating nipples before greasing or lubricating. A grease gun with FETT 190 EP and some spare grease cartridges are standard harvesting equipment. The sprays POWER CLEAN SPRAY and CHAINLUBE PROFESSIONAL are essential for cleaning and lubricating of drive chains. When cleaning heavily soiled and/or contaminated chains, make sure that any cleaning agent that may drip off is collected in a cloth straight away (ignition hazard). Agricultural engineering professionals also recommend marking all lubricants and operating supplies used on the machinery with MOTOREX’s practical and handy product stickers. Together with a supply of the appropriate products at the farm or on site, any unit and/or equipment can be refilled quickly and correctly, whenever necessary.
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