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Old 15-03-2011, 08:34 AM
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Default Machinery maintenance after floods station owners asked to not neglect

Officials from Case IH are urging growers to ensure they don't neglect their pre sowing machinery maintenance, even though they have had a long summer of harvesting and now controlling summer weeds.

Case IH have reminded growers not to try and get tractors to do something they can't, with tractor product manager Tim Fanning saying tractor and seeding rig need to be correctly matched in terms of engine size and PTO power.

He said it was also important to make sure there is a match between the tractor's hydraulic capacity and the hydraulic pressure required for optimal seeder operation

"If your hydraulics don't match then you will see either hydraulic overheating or an influx of air, both of which can damage the hydraulics and put you out of action temporarily," he said.

Ballasting is another important consideration.

"The majority of Case IH Steiger tractors are delivered with standard ballasting of 45 per cent of the weight at the back of the tractor and 55 per cent of the weight at the front," explained Mr Fanning.

"We use suitcase and wheel weights rather than liquid weights to ensure the ballast is stable. Some customers may need to vary their ballast according to the tractor's application but, for seeding, the 45/55 ratio is usually best. Once it's set, you can forget about it."

Tyre issues such as pressure and tyre choice is also vital when getting ready for planting, with farmers who get them wrong having higher fuel consumption, uneven tyre wear and reduced efficiency.

"Choose your tyres according to your application and conditions," Mr Fanning said. "Tall, narrower tyres provide better traction while lower, fatter tyres provide higher flotation. Once you've chosen your tyres, make sure you inflate them to the right pressure.

"There is a list of optimum tyre pressures in the tractor's operating manual but your local dealer can also tell you what pressure to set your tyres at, based on the known weight of the seeding rig, the load on the drawbar, the weight split on the tractor and so on. If your tyre pressure is out by even two psi you'll need to correct it," he said.

"Because your tyre pressure can change while you work, it's absolutely critical that you check it at least daily during seeding and perhaps twice daily if you're doing a lot of hours.

"Don't guess what your tyre pressure might be, keep a gauge in the cab of your tractor so it's easy to check."
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