Good maintenance helps cotton pickers last longer and delays the need to replace cotton harvester parts. Heavy high-use equipment that is exposed to many elements often does not stand up to everything you throw at it. Even if you take good care of your equipment, you also need to harvest efficiently, not only to secure the best quality cotton, but also to prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear on your harvester. Help your essential equipment by implementing these four good practices:
- Read the whole manual: When you purchase a new harvester, the first thing you should do is read the manual. Even if you have an older model, you are still not off the hook—pick up that manual now and get familiar with it. If you buy a new machine, it will have its quirks, and the manual will alert you to many of them. Technical content may go over your head, but tips on cleaning, maintenance and troubleshooting will set you up for productive harvests every year. You do not need an engineering degree to understand what is going on with your harvester. You just need the desire to understand so you do not have to find creative solutions without background knowledge while you are stuck in the middle of a field.
- Learn basic adjustments: Use will jolt your harvester and leave some parts misaligned, which affects your productivity. Being able to adjust equipment when necessary improves your harvest. Many of these tips are in your manual, and you will want to know the default settings for parts, too. If there are frequent adjustments required by your harvester, teach them to your workers as well, so they can continue their work without having to contact you for guidance.
- Center rows: Crooked rows compromise tracking and picking. You will often miss crops and waste cotton by flattening plants rather than picking from them. Poor centering results when operators are in a hurry or lack proper training. Always ensure you have time to pick—deciding to harvest right before a big storm is a poor idea. When you hire, give the worker a test to see how they center rows. You will enjoy more profit and less waste this way.
- Study lint quality: You need to know the best time to harvest, and that arises with knowledge of lint quality and the effects of weather on it. It is easy to pick cotton when it is too green or during less optimal weather. For example, wet weather opens the bolls on cotton plants and that makes picking inefficient. Rather than pick below-average product, wait for the field to dry out. If there is a frost, freezing makes cotton rough, and you will not secure a high price for it. Your best time is after the bolls open and clear days allow them to dry completely.
If you require cotton harvester parts, Certi-Pik USA offers a complete inventory. We offer a wide selection and we ship anywhere in the world. Call us today to place an order or request a catalog.