Combines will soon begin knocking out corn and soybean fields. You've likely gone over your machine very carefully to minimize chances of a costly breakdown. But what about your grain cart?
"The grain cart is a hard-working piece of equipment," says Phil Jennings, Kinze Manufacturing's service manager. "Make sure it's in good shape before heading to the field." He strongly urges performing preseason maintenance on grain carts.
"In farming, there are so many factors that we can't control. Preventive maintenance helps us maximize the opportunity to be effective and efficient at harvest time," he adds. So here's his grain cart checklist:
Inspect augers for noticeable wear. Over time, augers wear down and become smaller in diameter, which diminishes their performance.
Check for proper adjustment of the drive belts and make sure serviceable parts of the PTO shafts are greased or serviced.
If wheels carry your cart, reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check tire pressure.
If your cart runs on tracks, check the torque on various bolts and tension on the track itself.
Check the gearbox oil. Is it clean or in need of replacement?
Look over the tarp to make sure there aren't any tears or spots showing wear.
If your car has a scale system, confirm its accuracy by checking the weight and load of your cart with the legal for trade scale at your local grain elevator or mill.
Inspect the hydraulic hoses to ensure they have no visible wear spots or leaks.
Make sure the lights work properly.
Check to see that the safety chains are attached securely and in good condition.
Make sure your "Slow Moving Vehicle" sign is clean and clearly visible.
"By the time harvest rolls around, it may have been 10 months since your cart has been used," notes Jennings. "Carts get used hard at harvest, and usually don't get looked at again until the following year. When you rely on a piece of equipment this much, it's imperative to take preventive measures to be certain there are no surprises in the field."
For more on grain cart maintenance, consult your local dealer or visit www.kinze.com .