Imagine the following: The harvest is going well. Then the combine breaks down. The harvest comes to an abrupt halt while you spend the day communicating with a dealer and fixing the problem.
“I can’t think of anything more costly for a producer than a situation in which he is in the middle of the harvest and something should go wrong,” says Jim Franceschetti, Marketing Manager for Harvested Products at CNH Industrial Aftermarket Solutions. “If they are not proactive before harvest, they expose themselves to various scenarios.”
While plant failures are not necessarily inevitable and never predictable, planning maintenance before harvest can save time and money.
Without pre-harvest maintenance, farmers could expect additional costs – more than just paying for a service visit and parts, says Franceschetti. Equipment failures and service can also affect the efficiency of grain storage.
Something like the rasp strips on the combine rotor are a prime example of a simple solution that makes a big difference, says Franceschetti. If the part wears past the mark, yields could be negatively impacted, he says, as worn rasp bars will make it harder to separate the crop. Traders will likely have rasps on hand, and it’s an easy pre-harvest fix.
And while there are many things farmers can inspect and see, Franceschetti suggests arranging a pre-harvest inspection with a local dealer to spot problems big and small.
Franceschetti recommends waiting several weeks before harvesting before harvest, but a self-inspection the day before you go into the field can save you headaches later. A last-minute pre-harvest check is better than nothing, he adds.
After the last field is harvested, consider an after-season inspection.
Then all the warning signals are fresh in the mind of the farmer during the harvest, says Franceschetti. Some dealers even offer a 12 month warranty on the parts installed by the dealer, ensuring the next harvest season.
In addition, dealers can only process a certain number of devices at the same time. Servicing earlier after harvest can mean shorter waiting times for an inspection appointment. And an early inspection allows enough time for repairs before storage and the next harvest.
“The sooner you put it in, the more time you have to make sure the next harvest is coming, you have had these discussions, carried out the inspection and replaced the parts,” says Franceschetti. “It’s kind of a domino effect that makes it so much easier.”