Crops Technology

5 grain-cart maintenance tips to better your harvest

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Being on the cusp of harvest time, farmers can increase their chances of having a smooth harvest by checking their grain carts for any required maintenance.

Justin Render is a product specialist with Kinze Manufacturing, a company that innovates planters for row-crop production, grain auger grain carts, high-speed tillage equipment, and technology offerings. He recommends the following five maintenance procedures to be sure that grain carts are in top operating condition when the combines begin to roll:

1. Safety

Check safety chains, draw bar hitch pins and the clevis hitch to make sure they are not bent or broken. Confirm that lighting, turn signals, and flashers are working properly, and determine if slow-moving vehicle signs or luminous safety tape needs to be replaced. Make sure that power shaft guards are in place to cover the rotating drive shaft connecting the tractor and cart.

2. Wheels/Tracks

Determine if wheel lug nuts are tight and tires have the proper air pressure. For track systems, be sure the bogies are in good working order, belt tension is correct, and axle bolts are not worn or cracked.

3. Driveline

Repair or replace any worn driveline components, including gears, shafts and gear boxes. Check that hydraulic hoses and connectors are properly fitted as well as gearbox oil level to determine if it needs replacing.

4. Augers

For single- and dual-auger carts, repair or replace any worn parts. Proper auger function is essential to maximize capacity and avoid grain damage during unloading.

5. Cart body

Inspect the tarp to ensure a tight fit, and look for any cracks in the side panels or frame. Check that scales are in good condition and properly calibrated. Inspect harnesses for any wear spots or damage from the previous season.

“Reliable grain carts are essential for an efficient harvest,” Render said. “Proper maintenance of these machines can help farmers avoid downtime and realize the yield performance they’ve worked hard all season to achieve.”

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