Every season, your cotton picker machines work hard to serve a purpose out in the fields. Without these machines, cotton farmers would still be picking cotton by hand and lugging the crop back to the barn in large containers. So it makes sense that you’d want to practice regular maintenance on equipment before and after each harvest to ensure proper function—this includes cleaning, making repairs, checking moving parts and replacing parts when they no longer work as they should.
Rows of cotton picker spindles make up one such component of a harvester—and an important part at that. These spindles must be in very good shape, especially since they’re the tools used to separate the seed cotton from the cotton plant. This is all the more reason to keep an eye open for the following signs that it’s time to replace your cotton picker spindles.
Broken or damaged spindles
Although spindles are made heavy-duty, it’s pretty common for picker spindles to sustain damage and wear and tear after years of use in the fields, even with regular maintenance. And since the spindles are rotating around constantly, it may or may not be obvious to see that a few grouped spindles are no longer whole—that is, until you notice sections of cotton plants still standing after the machine has done a pass. Check your machine for broken spindles at the start and the end of each harvest season.
Loose or missing spindles
There are damaged spindles… and then there are missing spindles. If an entire spindle is missing, that means it either got torn completely off the harvester or it came loose and fell off somewhere in the cotton field. From time to time, it’s a good idea to get a professional inspection of spindles and threading, but you can also check spindles yourself to avoid a serious malfunction while in use. Make sure new ones are attached securely, to the threading, not at all loose.
Cotton spindles are made to last a long time. However, they can dull to the point of uselessness. Like teeth for a field crop harvester, cotton picker spindles can begin to wear down over time, and sometimes need to be replaced with new ones. To know which ones have ceased to be functional, compare the rows of spindles to each other, looking for individual pieces that feel smooth when you touch them with your bare hands.
Rust does not favor any particular piece of equipment. If it’s metal and left out in a damp environment, there’s a likely chance that rust will form—and spindles are made of metal. As rust slowly starts to corrode metal surfaces, you will notice a reddish-brown color coupled with flakes of metal peeling off—and if you don’t remove it, it will spread. To reduce the chances of rust taking over your cotton picker spindles, make sure to store equipment properly in an enclosed building, protected from all types of moisture.
If you notice any of the above signs, you may consider replacing problem cotton picker spindles with premium products from Certi-Pik, USA. Contact us today to learn more or check our stock!