Harvesting cotton comes with its own wide array of challenges—like dealing with machine failures and mold growth on crops—and all we can do is make sure we are as prepared as possible for any scenario. Though there isn’t much we can do to stop freak equipment failures or natural weather events, what we can do is take steps to ensure there aren’t preventable hazards present during the harvesting process. To avoid damage to cotton harvester parts, here are some things you should consider before firing up the combine and heading out to the field.
Nothing will put your harvester out of commission faster that scooping up a wayward tool or piece of debris misplace in the field. You’re likely familiar with the expression that something has “thrown a wrench in the works”—well, tools and debris can cause significant damage to mechanical parts and put a stop to any work that might have been possible. Even flexible things like rope and wire can be incredibly damaging to your equipment. Whether you misplaced a roll of baling wire or left an extension cord out, a harvester won’t fair well if it discovers debris in the field.
Animals and insects
While wild animals and pesky insects may wander into your cotton fields because of natural curiosity, they can also be in the way during the cotton picking process. Not only can wildlife wreak havoc on cotton plants—by crushing crops, removing matured cotton or spreading disease—they can end up in the way as the machines roll through. Cotton harvester parts may need replacing after running over an unseen animal or a swarm of bugs. Luckily, most growers work hard to maintain pest-free fields, avoiding such hazards altogether.
As with any crop, weather can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With cotton, moisture introduced after bolls mature can cause mold and result in a damaged crop. In expansive and flat fields, lightning can be a real danger for equipment operators and field crews. The large metal attachments and tractors are the perfect conductors for electricity. So remember, in an open field, you and your machine are the highest point and the perfect target for lightning. Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast to make sure everyone makes it back home safe and sound.
Just like your daily work vehicle, your combines, harvesters and balers need to be kept in tip-top shape. During the offseason, starting them regularly and checking all electrical systems can help avoid frustration and breakdowns during harvest time. If equipment has been sitting idle for months waiting for the harvest, they can stand to go through a thorough maintenance inspection before putting them to use. Also, check all vital fluids and change the oil in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you are in the market for new cotton harvester parts, give the team at Certi-Pik, USA a call today. From aluminum picker bars to stalk lifters, we keep in stock only the best quality replacement parts made by top manufactures in the industry, including CNH, John Deere and Case IH.