Sponsored: Be ready for your harvest
When it comes to the busy harvest season, every hour is important. That’s why preventative maintenance is critical to avoiding downtime – whether producers are harvesting forages or grain.
Erin Atkins, a marketing specialist for CLAAS of America, says regular, scheduled maintenance can translate to more hours on the field. “You want to manage your downtime and do maintenance when it’s convenient for you,” she says.
“The biggest thing about maintenance is that it reduces the need for repairs in the future. For example, we all know that addressing lubrication points or changing oil and transmission fluid will keep your machine running better. And that’s far less than the cost of replacing gearboxes or a transmission.”
Bert Roos owns a custom farm business near Brownsville, Ont. He says his operation puts a focus on preventative maintenance to keep things running smoothly during harvest.
“We do preventative maintenance ourselves. It’s hard to describe the value of maintenance in dollars, but I do think that it’s worth a lot when your down time is reduced,” he says.
New advancements in tractor technology also mean maintenance requirements are simpler than they used to be.
Patrice Dery, a CLAAS territory manager for Canada’s eastern provinces, says the company’s Jaguar forage harvester is built to make maintenance as easy as possible for producers.
“The automatic central greasing and sharpening device with counter-knife setting are just two of the many features that reduce maintenance times and lengthen usage times,” Dery says. The Jaguar harvester comes equipped with an eight-litre grease reserve and is capable of auto-lubricating for up to 120 hours of use.
Maintenance operations are simplified by accessibility, Dery adds, with engine components easily reached from all four sides of the machine.
“Large side hoods provide optimal access to the cooling system, corn cracker and accelerator,” he says. “The corn cracker disassembles easily and quickly for maintenance purposes, and the accelerator can be disassembled by two people in less than an hour.”
The Jaguar’s components are extremely resistant to wear and tear, he adds.
CLAAS Lexion combines are also engineered to work long hours in the field with minimal maintenance requirements, Dery adds. “The Lexion machines have exemplary performance with extended maintenance intervals and a hydraulic oil drain at 1,000 hours,” he says.
Advances in ag equipment technology might make things easier, but it’s critical that producers stay on top of maintenance, Dery adds.
“These machines still require regular and careful maintenance,” Dery cautions. “The operator must be aware of the maintenance rules and operations instructions that apply to every piece of equipment. These specify the mode of use, advise on necessary maintenance, and point out the potential dangers. They should be read carefully.”
Atkins also advises looking into extended protection plans, to help producers calculate costs up front.