Machinery News

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Correct maintenance and operator training essential to maximise combine performance, says Case IH


One of the latest-model Axial-Flows, with improved features and specification to boost productivity.

Withharvest just around the corner, farmers should ensure that combines have beenfully serviced and operators have sufficient knowledge to maximise machineperformance, according to Case IH.

Gettingthe best from any combine depends on it being in first-class working order andthe operator knowing how to get the best from the machine, states Case IH productspecialist Paul Freeman. Combining is the culmination of the entire yearsinvestment and efforts, so it should be carried out by the most experiencedstaff with a long-term interest in the success of the farm.

Going intoharvest, it is essential that operators refresh their knowledge of the combine,either by attending one of the courses which some Case IH dealers offer theircustomers or by reading the handbook thoroughly.

Weatherand crop conditions vary from season to season and it is difficult foroperators to remember exactly how they set their machine the previous year. Iwould advise them to note the settings used for each field and crop, record howthe combine performs in every condition and refer back to this informationsubsequently. Having these records will also make it easier for the dealer tohelp them to get the most out of the machine and diagnose any fault that mayarise.

Correctservicing can make an enormous difference to combine performance. The key is tohave your machine serviced by an authorised dealer prior to harvest in order tobenefit from the latest knowledge, software technology and genuinemanufacturers parts. The key ingredient is our dealers specialist experienceand just by running a combine up and stopping it technicians can often tell howthe machine is performing.

Somefarmers believe that the annual service is a job they can do themselves andsimply change the things that are easily visible or readily accessible, such asoil and filters. Some will often use aftermarket parts and poor-qualityreplacement fluids which are simply not up to the job and will inevitablycompromise machine performance and reliability. One item which commonly getsmissed is the air-conditioning system and every year this results in numerousunnecessary call-outs.

TheAxial-Flow is one of the simplest, most efficient combines on the market, butnevertheless prior to harvest every aspect of its operation must be checked,adjusted, serviced and, if necessary, repaired, to ensure that the machineoperates perfectly. A key part of the pre-harvest service which our dealerscarry out is to ensure that the power-plant and drive system is operating atoptimum efficiency. Doing so requires specialist knowledge and equipment butwill maximise performance and reliability, saving the customer money.

Every farmis different, every harvest is different so when the dealer services a machinethey evaluate all aspects of its performance with the customer, discuss theirrequirements and tailor the servicing programme accordingly. Last year wasdifficult for many farms, crops were frequently not in the best of conditionand many had to be harvested within a tight weather window. Despite thesechallenges, Axial-Flow combines proved to be very versatile.  

Everythingstarts at the front of the machine, so it is critical to ensure, for example,that the header is correctly adjusted to suit the crop conditions and that theknife is kept sharp, as this is vital to clean, efficient cutting and feeding.Further back, the concave must be set correctly and zeroed, yet often this ismissed, even though it will have a significant impact on machine performanceand sample quality. At the back of the machine, the blades on the straw choppermust be correctly adjusted, balanced and kept sharp, as they have a massiveimpact on power consumption, which will reflect adversely on combineperformance and fuel use.

Duringharvest the combine must be maintained thoroughly on a daily basis according tothe manufacturers instructions, with key areas around drive-shafts, engine andexhaust kept clear of crop residues to avoid fire hazard. Axial-Flow combinesare known for their simple, straightforward design and excellentserviceability, so this is quick and easy to do.

The Case IHAxial-Flow range currently includes six models, the 5130, 6130 and 7130 from299415hp, together with the 7230, 8230 and 9230 from 449571hp.  Thelatest Case IH Axial-Flow combines, launched at Cereals 2013, incorporate aredesigned cab which creates the ultimate in operator environment, togetherwith new unloading technology that incorporates a folding auger andindustry-exclusive pivoting spout option to improve trailer filling accuracy.

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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