Efficiency is key when it comes to harvest, and this has become even more important in recent years as farm sizes increase yet the amount of time to harvest remains the same.
To ensure farmers have the most efficient harvest possible, Jennings recommends they perform preseason maintenance on their grain carts, says Phil Jennings, service manager at Kinze Mfg.
“In farming, there are so many factors that we cannot control. Preventive maintenance helps us maximize the opportunity to be effective and efficient at harvest time,” says Jennings.
Kinze offers the following tips on what to inspect before harvest:
• Inspect augers for noticeable wear – over time augers may become smaller in diameter, which will diminish their performance.
• Check for proper adjustment of the drive belts and make sure serviceable parts of the power take off (PTO) shafts are greased or serviced.
• If wheels carry your cart, reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check the tire pressure.
• If tracks carry your cart, check the torque on various bolts and tension on the track itself.
• Check the oil in the gearbox.
• Look over the tarp to make sure there aren’t any tears or spots showing wear.
• Confirm the accuracy of the scale system by checking the weight and load of your cart with the legal for trade scale at your local grain elevator.
Inspect the hydraulic hoses to ensure they have no visible wear spots or leaks.
• Make sure the lights are working properly.
• Check to see that the safety chains are attached securely and in good condition.
• Make sure your “Slow Moving Vehicle” sign is clean and clearly visible.
Grain carts are inherently simple products compared to other farm machinery, so most of the pre-harvest maintenance can be done with visual checks in a short amount of time, says Jennings. Farmers who perform these pre-harvest measures will be prepared when the crop is ready.
“By the time harvest rolls around, it may have been 10 months since your cart has been used,” says Jennings. “Carts get used hard at harvest, and usually don’t get looked at again until the following year. When you rely on a piece of equipment this much, it’s imperative to take preventive measures to be certain there are no surprises in the field.”
For more information on grain cart maintenance, consult your local Kinze dealer or visit www.kinze.com.