As we approach the end of growing season for this year's cotton crop, now is a better time than ever to ensure that all of your harvesting equipment is in perfect working order.
Quality equipment is one of the most important investments you can make as a farmer, and proper equipment maintenance is essential in not only getting the most out of your harvest but ensuring worker safety and machinery lifespan as well. Failing to prepare for or respond to an equipment malfunction can be incredibly devastating, delaying your harvest and putting your business at risk.
Follow these simple preparation steps to ensure that your equipment delivers the best performance when it matters the most.
Recording an accurate inventory of your equipment is the first step to properly addressing any issues that it might have. Whether it's a sophisticated piece of software or a simple Excel spreadsheet, using an equipment management system is a great way to stay organized by storing, documenting, and tracking your equipment prep progress. This will help you determine how many pieces of equipment you actually have and use, as well as what type of maintenance each one requires.
When it comes to your high-dollar farm equipment, being proactive is always better than being reactive. Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to save your farm operation time and money by catching the issues before they have a chance to happen, thus preventing downtime and maximizing capacity.
Use your equipment management system to schedule the following tasks for each piece of your inventory:
- Scan the equipment for immediate problems
- Check, change, and top-off fluids
- Change filters
- Inspect and replace any hoses, fittings, seals, and other worn or loose parts
- Inspect wheel bearings and inspect/inflate wheels and tires as needed
- Check for signs of wear
- Prevent rust by thoroughly washing and properly storing all equipment
As you complete these tasks for each piece of equipment, document them in your equipment management system. This will serve as a great reference later on and will give you a good idea of how often different equipment will require which services as you work season-to-season.
Bats & Brushes
Properly caring for and adjusting your bats and brushes is the best way to keep your cotton clean and free of any foreign material while harvesting.
When adjusting your stripper rows, consider the average height/width of your plants and the amount of moisture and defoliation to ensure that you gain the most yield for your efforts.
Once you have made the proper adjustments, it's important to closely monitor the condition of your bats and brushes to ensure that they haven't worn out or broken apart as you work, and that any foreign material hasn't made its way into the baled cotton lint.
Keep your cotton clean by contacting Hurst Farm Supply for any and all of your bat, brush, and saw replacement needs. Now is the time to prepare for harvest season and we're proud to offer 7% off all stripper and combine parts to help you get started. Come and pay us a visit before the sale ends on September 15th!
In the case of a cotton stripper fire, it can take no more than 15 minutes for complete destruction to occur. The sheer amount of lint, diesel fuel, grease, and high-pressure hydraulic oil found inside and around a cotton stripper can cause the tiniest flame to develop into a devastating inferno in a blink of an eye, causing a substantial amount of equipment damage, crop loss, and even loss of life.
In addition to educating employees about the risk of and responding to fires, following these steps to properly inspect your fire extinguishers is the single most important step in reducing harvesting fires:
- Check to make sure seals are intact.
- Inspect fire extinguishers for dents, rust, or cracks.
- Check the pressure gauge to ensure enough pressure is present to work properly.
- Keep records of each fire extinguisher inspection date. (John Deere recommends inspecting them at least every 10 hours or once a day.)
No farmer can afford to grow lax about their fire extinguishers during harvesting season and at Hurst Farm Supply, we understand that better than anyone. In addition to offering brand new fire extinguishers for purchase, we also offer trade-ins for your old, damaged, or defective ones.
Don't wait till it's too late; pay us a visit today!
When it comes to the bigger and most important pieces of harvesting equipment, nothing beats the professional care that Hurst Farm Supply is prepared to provide.
To ensure that your cotton stripper is in tip-top shape, we're proud to offer an 81-point John Deere cotton stripper inspection program designed to give you the confidence you need to have the most successful harvesting season possible.
This inspection process includes:
- Inspection of the engine, stripper air system, cleaner, powertrain, lights, header, basket, activation switches and controls, and all machine operation warning lights
- Checking of all fluid levels
- Verification that all safety features are in working order
- And more
If any malfunctions are identified and any adjustments are needed, our staff of certified John Deere technicians has what it takes to get you back on track.