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Thursday 23 November 2017

Six steps to getting your diet feeder in shape for winter feeeding

Regular maintenance is required for diet feeders
Regular maintenance is required for diet feeders
Check that all lights are clean and fully functional. Replace bulbs or entire lights as necessary. Many road accidents happen during winter as diet feeders with broken indicator and brake lights are brought between farms.
Ensure the display screen is kept clean. The display screen is linked to the four weigh cells on the machine. The accuracy of these cells can be verified by hanging a weight of greater than 5kg from the rear ladder. If the cells are returning bogus figures, check all electrical connections first. Look out for a faulty or dirty plug or connector.

Diet feeders require regular maintenance and now is a good time to do some pre-season checks before things get busy over the winter feeding period.

This week I give some pointers as to where to start, and the machine featured here is a Redrock 20 cubic metre capacity feeder that has a power requirement of around 90hp.

It is typical of many paddle type feeders in Ireland and so a lot of the tips will apply for other popular makes as well, such as Keenan and Hi-Spec.

As always, a special word on safety; before carrying out any checks or work on your machine, ensure it is parked on a hard, level surface.

Inspect the crook of the tractor and the eye of the diet feeder drawbar for wear. These components are very cheap to replace compared to the cost of the accident they could cause. Never operate any PTO driven machine without an undamaged PTO cover. The cover needs to include an anti-rotation chain.
Inspect the crook of the tractor and the eye of the diet feeder drawbar for wear. These components are very cheap to replace compared to the cost of the accident they could cause. Never operate any PTO driven machine without an undamaged PTO cover. The cover needs to include an anti-rotation chain.

Stop the tractor and keep the key in your own pocket, and never work alone.

All chains serviced by the oiler should be damp to the touch. If your machine doesn’t feature an automatic oiler, apply chain oil manually every second day.
All chains serviced by the oiler should be damp to the touch. If your machine doesn’t feature an automatic oiler, apply chain oil manually every second day.

Also Read


The bearings of the feedout auger will require more regular greasing than the main rotor bearings at either end. The former run at higher revs per minute. Other points requiring grease include sliding doors, chain tensioners and moving parts on the axle.
The bearings of the feedout auger will require more regular greasing than the main rotor bearings at either end. The former run at higher revs per minute. Other points requiring grease include sliding doors, chain tensioners and moving parts on the axle.
Ensure all knives are present and sufficiently sharp. Good knife condition is essential for obtaining correct chop length within the feed ration.
Ensure all knives are present and sufficiently sharp. Good knife condition is essential for obtaining correct chop length within the feed ration.
Check that all lights are clean and fully functional. Replace bulbs or entire lights as necessary. Many road accidents happen during winter as diet feeders with broken indicator and brake lights are brought between farms.
Check that all lights are clean and fully functional. Replace bulbs or entire lights as necessary. Many road accidents happen during winter as diet feeders with broken indicator and brake lights are brought between farms.
Ensure the display screen is kept clean. The display screen is linked to the four weigh cells on the machine. The accuracy of these cells can be verified by hanging a weight of greater than 5kg from the rear ladder. If the cells are returning bogus figures, check all electrical connections first. Look out for a faulty or dirty plug or connector.
Ensure the display screen is kept clean. The display screen is linked to the four weigh cells on the machine. The accuracy of these cells can be verified by hanging a weight of greater than 5kg from the rear ladder. If the cells are returning bogus figures, check all electrical connections first. Look out for a faulty or dirty plug or connector.

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