As many farms choose to run one high-output forage machine at full capacity, often dealing with tight weather windows, Krone UK is highlighting the importance of winter maintenance.
According to Ben Davies, product manager, the maize harvest can be particularly tough on machines, especially with the wet conditions this year.
“The last thing you need before your first silage cut is to be spending time fixing issues that were neglected the winter before,” he said.
He recommended booking a winter service, as this is the most cost-effective way of addressing issues before the start of spring silaging. More time will be available to complete any work, as well as to source any required parts.
“Post maize harvest, one easy win is to do a walk around your forager, baler or mower before washing to spot signs of gearbox or hydraulic oil leaks – you’ll wash away any evidence of these leaks or other issues,” he said.
Having an experienced professional look at the machines will also help identify any damage caused over the season. “They can pick up any minor problems, such as parts which have not been greased or adjusted properly and might otherwise fail when the machine is first used in the spring.
“There are also some checks the farmer can do themselves, such as inspecting or changing oils and ensuring the PTO shaft and guards are in good condition, as well as other items described in the operator’s manual.
“I’d advise farmers and contractors to protect their equipment from the elements by making sure it’s well lubricated, particularly if they’re unable to store kit under a roof.
“Refer to the operator’s instruction book and lubricate as recommended, grease unpainted metal parts, such as hydraulic cylinder rods, to avoid rust forming.”
Mr Davies also noted that carrying out these jobs during quieter periods means that greater care will be taken, as operators will not be under time pressure. “It’s far better to get the job done safely and thoroughly than make avoidable mistakes later down the line.”
He concluded: “Getting on with the odd jobs you might be putting off now, may mean you’re able to get out in the field that bit earlier come the spring, with the confidence that the machines are fit and ready to go.”
For more information go to www.krone-uk.com