7 steps to prevent combine fires
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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When Jenny VanDeHei left for college to study business, she thought she had picked her last stone and fed her last calf. She loved the family farm she grew up on, but she saw her future as an accountant, in an office building in the city, far from the country fresh smell of cow manure.
When you’re born into a farm family, on the job training begins the moment you can walk. You learn quickly where it’s safe to play, not to startle the animals, and that there’s always a way you can help – no matter your age. Curt Weis, Manager – Farm and Agribusiness Training, can attest to this because he earned his keep by working on his family’s farm right up until he left for college.
Patti Lemke, Sr. Agribusiness Underwriter, spent her entire young life living and working on a farm. Her parents owned and operated a small farm in Eden, Wis. that milked 65 cows in a stanchion barn, and she worked on a large dairy farm that milked 700 head from the time she was 14 until she left for college.