7 steps to prevent combine fires

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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.

Follow these steps for a safe harvest:

Before harvest

  • 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

  • Use a leaf blower or broom to get rid of chaff, dust, and crop residue on your machinery every 4-6 hours.
  • 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.
  • Shut off the engine and let it cool for 15 minutes before refueling.

Daily

  • Inspect the exhaust system for any leaks or damage, and look for any exposed or deteriorated wiring.
  • 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
  • Clean off the combine at the end of harvest each day.

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