Is Your Grain Cart Ready for Harvest?

Performing some preventive maintenance on grain carts will help ensure they're ready to roll at harvest time. 

1. Check augers for noticeable wear. Inspect for wear especially where grain transitions from the horizontal to vertical auger, and from the lower to upper portion of the vertical auger. These grain transition zones are high-wear areas and when worn, can cause slow unloading, extra strain on other driveline components, and crop damage. Over time they will become smaller in diameter resulting in diminished performance.

2. Make sure Power Take-Off (PTO)/drive beltsare properly adjusted and the serviceable parts of the shafts are adequately greased. Ensure safety shields are in place and retainment chains are attached. Check drive belts for proper tension and alignment, as well as for heavy cracks in the grooves or other visible damage. Also, ensure the linkage is free to move and engages/disengages smoothly.

3. Check gearbox oil level and condition, and replace if needed. If the gearbox is run by chains, check the chain condition and lubricate.

4. Reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check tire pressure.Check wheel bearings on wheeled cartsand lubricate or repack bearings as necessary. For carts with tracks,check track alignmentand belt tension to ensure even wear of tracks.

5. Power up scale headto ensure no alarms and wiring is in good condition. Check the cart weight of at least five different loads with a legal-for-trade scale. Inspect all grain cart scale wires for damage and secure routing to prevent damage in the field.

6. Look over the tarp and make sure there are no tears or wear spots. Make sure it rolls freely and has proper tension when closed. If using an electric tarp, ensure that power cables are clean and in good condition. Validate proper operation and that the remote control works properly.

7. Check the condition of the hitch clevis and if worn replace.

8. Make sure allsafety chains are in good working order and retainment clips are attached.

9. Make sure all safety and warning lights are working and visible. Ensure unload work lights are operational and clean.

10. Make sure the Slow Moving Vehicle sign is visible and in good condition. Clean it regularly through the season so that it is visible.

Visit our farm safety page for more articles on how to farm safe.

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