Jim Franceschetti is the product marketing manager for harvest and hay and forage at Case IH Parts and Service.  He says winter is a great time to prep your equipment for the year ahead.


“Within the operator's manual, there's going to be specific instructions for you to utilize as you are conducting your post-harvest maintenance and inspection and getting that combine and that piece of equipment ready for winter storage. It's also a good time to consider the harvest that you had and make a note of any issues or things that you need to service. I would certainly recommend that operators take care of their equipment immediately, but at the very least, making a mental note and even writing it down of what you may need to replace or anything that you noticed that you want to address before next year's harvest. It's always good to be prepared. And then lastly, I'd also encourage operators to consider scheduling their inspection with a Case IH dealer.”


Protecting your combine before storage, he noted, starts with a front-to-back visual inspection.


“You'll certainly want to clean away any dust and debris from the season. That can lead to some infestations from rodents. Those creatures like to make that thing aa home, they can chew through some wiring, and just cause a headache that you don't want to experience when you're first pulling that combine out. And then it's also important to lubricate, oil, and grease the combine before storage. I recommend leaving it with a full tank of gas just to prevent any condensation issues from happening over storage.”


Franceschetti noted its important to check the combine for damage.


“So, I always recommend you let the combine run for a little bit just in a stationary position and just let it heat up, and then shut the engine off and use your senses Look for visible signs of damage. If you heard anything funny, and you smell anything that doesn't seem right. It's also good practice to use an infrared thermometer and point it at various different parts of the machine to see if any bearings are running hotter than they should be.”


Franceschetti talks about which parts typically need the most service.


“So, anything engaging the crop is something that you want to take a look at on a yearly basis, especially post-harvest season. You can often encounter some foreign material, and that can break or chip or wear things unexpectedly. Starting with your header, any of the belts and the cutting parts that are found on the header, checking them for signs of damage. From the header, moving on to the feeder house, and then lifting up the sides of the panels of the combine to take a look at all the chains for proper tension, checking your RAS bars, concaves and sieves. Continue your way through the straw chopper knives on the back of the combine, any chains, hydraulic hoses, all those fittings and bearings and lines you want to make sure are in good working order before you put it up for storage.”


To learn more about servicing your combine and header, Franceschetti recommends talking with your local Case IH dealer or visit CaseIH's Website.


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