With harvest season approaching, Kinze Manufacturing offers maintenance recommendations to ensure that grain carts will be field-ready this fall. “The grain cart is a hard-working piece of equipment, so you’ll want to be sure it’s in good operating order before the combines roll,” said Justin Render, Kinze senior product specialist.
Here are some preventative maintenance tips he offers:
- Cart wheels — Reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check the tire pressure. If any loose nuts are found, check the rim and studs for damage. Check wheel bearings for wheeled carts and lubricate or repack bearings, as necessary. Determine if tires have the proper air pressure.
- Tracks – For carts with tracks, check track alignment (see operators manual for proper steps) and belt tension to ensure even wear of track. Be sure the bogies are in good working order and properly lubricated, belt tension is correct, and axle bolts are not worn or cracked. Also perform a visual inspection of the main track frame for damage or cracks.
- Driveline — Repair or replace any worn driveline components, including gears, shafts and gear boxes. Check that hydraulic hoses and connectors are properly fitted and free of visible wear spots or leaks. Inspect gearbox oil level to determine if it needs replacing.
- Augers — For single and dual auger carts, repair or replace any worn parts. This is key because over time augers will become smaller in diameter, diminishing their overall performance. Inspect for wear especially where grain transitions from the horizontal to vertical auger or from the lower to upper vertical auger. These grain transition areas are high-wear areas and when worn cause slow unload times and extra strain on other driveline components.
- Lubrication points — Make sure all are functional and greased prior to heading to the field. This covers items such as track wheels, auger hinge area and PTO vertical auger bearing. Inspect the gear box oil level and condition and replace oil if needed. If the gearbox is run by chains, check the chain condition and lubrication.
- PTO/drive belts — Make sure they are properly adjusted and that the serviceable parts of the PTO shafts are adequately greased. Check adjustment, alignment and for heavy cracks in the grooves or other visible damage. Also ensure linkage is free to move and engages and disengages smoothly.
- Cart body — If using a manual or electric tarp, check for any tears or wear spots. Ensure that it rolls freely and has proper tension when closed. If electric, make sure power cables are clean and in good condition, validate proper operation and confirm that the remote works correctly. Also, look for any cracks in the cart side panels or frame. Check that scales are in good condition and properly calibrated and inspect harnesses for any wear spots or damage from the previous season.
- Scale accuracy — Check the cart weight of at least five different loads with a legal for trade scale. Use the data to calibrate per your owner’s manual. Inspect all grain cart scale wires for damage and routing to prevent damage in the field.
- Safety — Check safety chains, draw bar hitch pins and the clevis hitch to make sure they are not bent or broken. Confirm that lighting, turn signals and flashers are working properly, and determine if slow-moving vehicle signs or luminous safety tape needs to be replaced. Make sure that power shaft guards are in place to cover the rotating drive shaft connecting the tractor and cart.
For additional grain cart information, visit Kinze.com.