Harvest season is still a little ways away, but it’s never too early to get your equipment in gear for this year’s haul. Addressing the maintenance needs of your combine is typically the first line of business for most farmers, but don't forget about your grain carts.
The grain cart is a hard-working piece of equipment, so you’ll want to be sure it’s in good shape before heading to the field this fall. Here are some preseason preventative maintenance tips for your grain carts.
Inspect Augers for Noticeable Wear
This is key because over time augers will become smaller in diameter, diminishing their overall performance. Inspect for wear especially where grain transitions from the horizontal to vertical auger or from the lower to upper vertical auger. These grain transition areas are high wear areas and when worn cause slow unload times and extra strain on other driveline components.
Check the PTO/Drive Belts
Make sure they are properly adjusted and that the serviceable parts of the PTO shafts are adequately greased. Check adjustment, alignment and for heavy cracks in the grooves or other visible damage. Also ensure linkage is free to move and engages and disengages smoothly.
Check the Gearbox Oil
Check gear box oil level and condition and replace oil if needed. If gearbox is run by chains check the chain condition and lubrication.
For Cart Wheels
Reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check the tire pressure. Check wheel bearings for wheeled carts and lubricate or repack bearings as necessary. For carts with tracks, check track alignment (see operators manual for proper steps) and belt tension to ensure even wear of track.
Check the cart weight of at least five different loads with a legal for trade scale. Inspect all grain cart scale wires for damage and routing to prevent damage in the field.
Look for visible wear spots or leaks.
Make sure they’re in good condition and securely attached.
Lights and SMV Sign
Make sure your safety features are functional and fully visible.
General Lubrication Points
Make sure they are all functional and greased prior to heading to the field. This covers track wheels, auger hinge area, PTO vertical auger bearing, etc.
Look over the tarp and make sure there are no tears or wear spots, making sure that it rolls freely and has proper tension when closed. If using electric tarp make sure power cables are clean and in good condition. Validate proper operation and that the remote works correctly.
For more grain cart maintenance tips, visit with your local Kinze dealer.