High maintenance - key points for your silage mower
Silage season has really burst into life in the last fortnight, with many farmers already having completed first cut.
As one long day runs into another, for contractors and farmers alike the name of the game will be machinery maintenance in order to give the best chance of avoiding expensive downtime and needless repairs.
This week I run through some of the key maintenance points you should look out for an older silage mower conditioner. From the pictures you can see we go from the drawbar right through to the conditioner, and explain what to look out for.
It's a good idea to have a few of the most commonly used spare parts in the van so that they are available when needed - knives, belts and replacement oil. It is helpful that most good dealerships are offering extended out of hours service during the busy summer months, with extra staff laid on for on call management of machinery breakdowns.
KEEP IT OILED
Use 80/90 gear oil in both the swivel hitch gearbox and the main gearbox at the slip clutch. This oil should be changed once a year and should be checked regularly. In this picture we are looking at the top and bottom gearboxes of the swivel hitch. This mower (an older John Deere model 1316) takes 0.8 litres of oil in the bottom and 2.4 litres in the top compartment.
WEAR AND TEAR ON THE JOINTS
Watch out for wear in the knuckles of universal joints. As always, make sure your PTO covers and holding chains are in place. Heavy knocks to the mower can crack the drawbar so check its structure regularly.