Make time to give your combine a little TLC
With a spell of unsettled weather forecast as we hit the main harvest period, it will really pay to have your machine working well -- and free of pesky rodents
With the forecasters predicting unsettled weather as we get into the harvest proper, it will pay to have your combine in tip-top shape over the coming weeks.
Combines work flat out for only a few weeks in the year, spending the rest of it parked out of the way and protected from the elements. Being dormant for so long makes them a very attractive winter home for many roving rodents, providing, as they do, numerous delicacies to chew on from belts to elevator paddles, grain-pan seals or even wiring.
So it really is important to dedicate a little time to your combine's welfare.
A combine harvester is an incredibly efficient machine, processing all manner of cereals with minimal losses when set up and maintained properly. Up front is the header, which cuts the crop, gathers it in and, via the neck, delivers it to the main threshing drum.
Grain and chaff goes through the concave to the shaker shoes, where it is cleaned, processed and elevated to the grain tank. The drum transfers the separated straw to the walkers for its last processing.
All of a combine's driving mechanisms are a series of chains, belts, gears, shafts and motors of either an electric or hydraulic variety. The first step is to run the combine up for a good 10-20 minutes, but a word of caution first. On liquid-cooled machines make sure there is coolant in the radiator and the fan belt is intact.
This year, it was decided that one of the first jobs to do on the combine was washing out the home farm's V8 Deutz air-cooled engine. It was a lucky move as the 'V' in the engine had been made into a nice straw-lined home by vermin squatters.