Our most important winter work: Prepping the planters

Kyle Stackhouse 12822stackhouse.jpg
Here we are measuring the seed opener to make sure it isn't worn beyond specs.
Getting this equipment set up right is one of the few ways we can impact crop potential.

This week was the first of probably a month of work on the planters. It is the most important work we will do all winter in respect to this year’s crop potential. It is also one of the few factors we can control about the crop potential.

We began with a quick inspection to see which parts we would have to order. This included simple items such as checking seed and fertilizer opener blade diameter, checking gauge and closing wheel bearings, checking the trash wipers, and checking the wear and resilience of seed firmers. Getting certain parts continue to be an issue.

We then moved on to the actual work. Recall, last spring, the planter fell onto the road at the end of the planting season. The dealer did an inspection and determined there was no major damage but there were some items that would have to be replaced. Those repairs is where the bulk of the time is spent so far.

We have had to tear down four planter units and replace the shank. That is the heart of the unit that everything else is attached to. We are also removing one of the wheel frames in hopes we can get it straightened. I have all the hydraulic hoses hooked up to the tractor, but many of the wiring harnesses were torn. Those remain laying on the floor toward where I think they are supposed to go. We will have to get someone to the farm to figure out the best way to tackle that part. Those harnesses can be very temperamental, a little stretch can lead to a faulty wire or intermittent issue.

While tearing down those four rows, we found pins in the cylinders for our hydraulic down pressure were rusted in. After finding that, we went ahead and replaced all those pins. One-third of them had locked up and had to be cut out. We couldn’t see how the down pressure would work properly with locked-up pins. Since it all starts with the planter, we had no choice but to do this work.

Work on this planter will continue next week. Hopefully we can get it out by the end of the week and spend a couple days organizing the shop.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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