Farm equipment fires: 7 steps to prevent combine fires

August 12, 2019 | SECURA Insurance

A combine fire during harvest could be devastating. Not only do you risk losing your crop, but a fire could also result in costly damages to the combine and other property, and limit your time to complete the harvest.

What is a farm combine?

A combine harvester is a farm machine designed to efficiently harvest and clean a variety of grain crops. These different crops can include flax, rapeseed, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. These are two different types of combines, the first one is called a control combine. This type of combine harvester is pulled by a tractor, which means they don’t move forward under its own power. The second type is called a self-propelled combine harvester, this type of combine is the most people and often used today. This combine powers itself with its own engine.

Follow these steps for a safe harvest:

Before harvest

  1. Do a complete maintenance check of the combine. This includes:
    • Cleaning the combine to remove any oil, grease, or residue buildup.
    • Checking the guards, brakes, and safety devices.
    • Reviewing all working parts for any damage or leaks.
    • Reading the manufacturer’s instructions.

While operating the combine

  1. Use a leaf blower or broom to get rid of chaff, dust, and crop residue on your machinery every 4-6 hours.
  2. Carry a fire extinguisher in the cab, plus another that can be reached from the ground. Check these extinguishers periodically to make sure they are working properly.
  3. Shut off the engine and let it cool for 15 minutes before refueling.

Daily Farm Safety 

  1. Inspect the exhaust system for any leaks or damage, and look for any exposed or deteriorated wiring.
  2. Check the following parts of the combine:
    • Bearings – look for excessive heat or wear
    • Belts – make sure they have the proper tension to reduce friction and wear
    • Fittings – make sure they are greased
    • Fuel, oil, and hydraulic lines
    • Lubricant Levels

      7. Clean off the combine at the end of havest day.

Following these tips will help keep you safe this harvest season.