Doffer Maintenance: Why Proactive Care Makes All the Difference

The doffer column is an essential part of your cotton picker’s operating system. Doffer lugs rotate in tandem at a speed many times faster than the rotating speed of the spindles to remove the seed cotton from the spindles with a stripping motion. The doffer lugs are a very delicate part of your cotton picker’s operating system. Even a difference of a few parts of an inch clearance can cause damage to your cotton picker and to your crop. To ensure that your doffers are always operating correctly, here are a few tips for doffer maintenance.

Check the clearance of your doffer column daily

If you notice that your cotton picker is doffing poorly, the most common problem is an issue with your doffer’s clearance—the space between each doffer lug and the spindles of your cotton picker. Daily operations or a jam in the system can cause the clearance to become unbalanced, which can result in poor doffing, damaged doffer lugs or even damaged crop. Doffer lugs should operate within about 0.003 inch from the spindle surface. To avoid problems, be proactive about checking your doffer clearance daily. If you notice a problem while operating your cotton picker, be sure to stop and check your doffer clearance before proceeding.

Monitor the flexibility of your doffer lugs

Your doffer lugs should be strong enough to clear seed cotton from the spindles of your cotton, yet flexible enough for trash and other debris to slip through without jamming up the system and causing damage to your spindles. Weather, sunlight and use over time can harden your doffers. Monitor the flexibility of your doffer and immediately replace any doffer lugs that have hardened. If a hardened doffer lug has already caused permanent damage to your spindles, we can fabricate new cotton picker spindles for you if necessary.

Replace worn or broken doffer lugs immediately

There are multiple causes for a worn or broken doffer lug. Age, weather conditions and simple wear and tear can cause doffer lugs to break or the leading edges to become worn and rounded. A worn or broken lug will affect the rotation speed of your doffer, as well as cause frequent spindle wraps or twists on low bars. To keep your cotton picker operating at its best, be sure to frequently check your doffer lugs for damage and wear. Replace damaged doffer lugs as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage to your doffer column and cotton picker spindles.

Your cotton picker is an expensive and delicate piece of machinery. Even a small imbalance or worn part can result in costly repairs, damaged crops and even injury. To avoid problems, be proactive about maintaining your cotton picker. Regularly monitoring and repairing your doffer is one way to ensure that your cotton picker stays in good repair for the long term. However, if you do find that you’re in need of replacement parts for your cotton picker, the staff here at Certi-Pik, USA are always ready to help. Give us a call today for more information.