The Cotton Picker Spindle: What It Is and Why It’s Important

The first step to keeping your cotton picker well maintained and in good repair is to understand how it works. One part that Certi-Pik, USA stocks for replacement is the cotton picker spindle, which requires cleaning and maintenance unique to its function. As one of the most essential parts to your harvester, it is one you need to be familiar with if you wish to keep your cotton venture profitable and avoid delays due to avoidable repairs. Here is an explanation of the cotton picker spindle and how it works.

Spindles: Essential to machinery

Spindles are machine tools which rotate on an access. They are present in wood lathes, milling equipment and drill presses, as well as cotton pickers. On a spindle harvester, their job is to rotate at high-speeds to remove the seeds from the cotton. As this step used to be performed by hand, it is an incredible labor-saving device. The technology is so effective that it has changed very little since its initial invention.

When spindles fail during harvest, you will likely end up with cotton that is picked but not useful, or damage to your plants and crop. Well-maintained spindles are the reason older models continue to work well decades later. You will find maintenance is a good idea with new harvesters, too, as your cotton picker is an expensive capital investment.

Before picking: Check spindles

Maintenance requires being aware of the conditions of spindles at all times during harvest season. When it is time for the first cotton harvest, check the spindles before going forward. You want to check for worn or damaged spindles, along with the parts that support them. Moistener pads keep them from debris buildup, and doffers, bushings, bearings and cam track also contribute to overall functioning of the spindles and overall harvester operation.

Also check adjustments of the moistener pads and the doffer. These should run close to the spindles so they can perform their functions. Once you confirm everything is aligned and working well together, it is time to start the harvest.

Post-harvest maintenance steps

If you experienced any rough operation during harvest, check to see if anything is broken. Wear and tear you couldn’t see before harvest may have manifested once you started work. Since the plants are greener at the first picking, it is easier for spindles to gum up or develop issues. That is why it is a good idea to check them again once you end work, even if you did a pre-harvest inspection.

You also need to clean spindles after every harvest, even if the conditions were optimal. Remove the plant juices, as that can jam them. Check for cotton stuck in the grates. You can use tap water to keep the moistener system full and the spindles clean. If you have hard water, spindle oils are also highly recommended.

Understanding the importance and operation of spindles will help you preserve them. When they wear out, contact Certi-Pick, USA to replace the damaged cotton picker spindle. Review our catalog or call us today to find what you need.