Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 8 December 2016

Prepping your diet feeder for winter's challenges

Derek Casey

Published 04/11/2015 | 02:30

In part two of our feature on preparing your diet feeder for winter we look at lights, paddles and knives.

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Wheel nuts should be checked for tightness weekly. Check the pressure and condition of tyres, and change as necessary.

Check the wheel bearings for play by jacking the wheel off the ground and checking for lateral movement in the wheel. Replace as necessary.

Check the travel of the ram on the brakes. Adjust the brakes by moving the brake actuator onto a different spline on the splined shaft shown with the pen in the picture if necessary. Grease the axle when you are under the machine.

Ensure the weighing screen is relatively clean. It is highly prone to having dirt thrown up onto and under it from the rear wheels of the tractor.

The display screen is linked to the four weigh cells on the machine.

The accuracy of these cells can be verified by hanging a known weight of greater than 5kg from the rear ladder. Use a variety of weights for greater accuracy.

If the cells are returning bogus figures, check all electrical connections first. Very many electrical problems can be traced back to a faulty or dirty plug or connector.

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Ensure all knives are present and sufficiently sharp.

A mower is not expected to cut grass with dull knives, and a diet feeder shouldn't be either.

Correct knife condition is essential for obtaining correct chop length within the feed ration.

Each paddle features a rubber along its trailing edge to help sweep the surface of the barrel. This is important for ensuring the feeder dispenses the entire ration upon emptying.

If this rubber is damaged or absent, there will be considerable amounts of grain and smaller feedstuffs left at the bottom of the barrel after the feeder has discharged its contents.

Check the condition of the viewing ladder.

Note - this ladder should never be used to gain access into the barrel of the machine, it is simply there to provide a view in over the top edge of the feeder.

Check that all lights are clean and fully functional. Replace bulbs or entire lights as necessary.

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