If you’ve been in the cotton growing industry for a length of time, you know just how important it is to keep your equipment clean. It’s especially important to clean that equipment at the end of each season—the harvester and baler must be cleaned and maintained before being put away for the season. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just quickly taking a hose to the equipment and letting it air dry. There’s a thorough set of processes that must be used when cleaning the picker and baler parts to ensure they function next year and far beyond.
Here are some of the methods you will need to use to clean your individual cotton picker and baler parts to ensure these components will be able to stand the test of time:
- General cleaning: Before you focus on the smaller and more intricate components of your baler or harvester, you should give it a good general cleaning to remove larger pieces of dirt, debris and cotton residuals. Rather than using a hose with water for this process, you should instead use compressed air. Invest in a heavy-duty blower that is capable of blasting away all of the loose debris from your machine. Make sure you run that blower into all of the small cracks and crevices where debris might be hiding and be otherwise resistant to being cleaned out. Always wear gloves, goggles, a hat and a facemask when performing this step.
- Moisture columns and row units: This is perhaps the most difficult and tedious part of cleaning your cotton picker, as it requires you to get in and pick out the debris by hand. Debris accumulated in these areas tends to be thick and wet, or was previously wet and is now crusted and dried in place. This means you’re not going to be able to get it out with compressed air. Pick through the debris to get out as much as you can with your hands, while at least loosening up what you can’t get, then go over the area with compressed air. Again, this step will take the longest amount of time, but it’s worth it to ensure a good clean.
- Engine compartment: Buildups of debris inside the engine compartment of your baler or cotton picker can create disastrous situations if left for long periods of time. Open up all of the access panels to the engine and dig out any larger chunks of debris you find inside of it. After you’ve done this, take the compressed air to the engine and blow it out thoroughly, taking care to shut all of the compartments back up when you’re done.
- Header: This section is also a little more labor-intensive, but shouldn’t take you quite as long as the moisture columns and row units. Here, you just detach covers from the stripping units so you can find any debris trapped inside. Pull this debris out with your hands, and once you’ve gotten as much as you can this way, blow it out with compressed air.
For more tips about cleaning your cotton picker and baler, contact the experts at Certi-Pik, USA today.