Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Guide
Properly inspecting and maintaining your equipment is critical to achieving optimum performance in the field. In this guide, Yetter Farm Equipment provides key tips for staying safe and keeping your equipment running smoothly.
For an in-depth version of this guide, please click here.
As an equipment owner, it is your responsibility to comply with safety guidelines and correct operating procedures. Always read the operator’s manual before taking your planter into the field. Also, make sure you:
- Lubricate and maintain the product according to the maintenance schedule. However, never clean, lubricate, or adjust a machine that is in motion. Always install lockup mechanisms before servicing any equipment.
- Familiarize yourself with the machine and how to adjust it as field conditions change.
- Conduct thorough, controlled inspections.
- Remember that accidents can be prevented.
You cannot afford to operate a planter that’s not properly maintained. Regularly inspect the planter and have parts repaired on an as-needed basis. Make sure you:
- Follow the steps outlined in the Safety section.
- Confirm that the tires are adequately inflated per the recommendations in the operator’s manual. Proper inflation keeps the toolbar level to the soil surface and keeps the drive tires turning at the same speed. An underinflated tire will do all the driving and increase the seeding population rate.
Planter Row Unit Inspection Guidelines
To make sure your planter row unit is performing at its full potential, conduct a thorough inspection before you move into the field. In particular, you should make sure to check:
- Parallel linkage arms – Worn parts can cause the row unit to operate in an unbalanced manner, affecting seed placement, closing wheel spring pressure, and row unit spring pressure. Inspect the parallel arms for wear and look for bent, broken, and twisted parallel arms. Replace parts as necessary.
- Seed tubes – Worn or broken seed tubes can affect seed depth and spacing. Check the seed tubes and seed tube guard for wear. Make sure that the seed tubes are hooked on the row unit to prevent floating tubes and uneven seed depth.
- Disc opener blades – Worn, cracked, or warped blades will affect seed placement, depth, and spacing. Consult the operator’s manual for proper adjustment procedures. Blades worn too small need to be replaced.
- Depth control wheels – Worn or improperly adjusted wheels will allow soil to fall into the seed furrow ahead of the seed, causing uneven seed depth. Inspect the tire and bearings for wear or cracks. Also inspect the depth control arms. Make sure the grease fitting will take grease. Remove and clean the gauge wheel arm pivot as necessary.
- Seed boxes – A misaligned seed box will cause the meter to drop seed into the seed tube. Check the seed box for holes or cracks. Inspect the seed box for cleanliness. Make sure it is free of foreign objects, which can obstruct seed flow to the meter. Seed boxes need to be evenly filled for even weight distribution across the planter.
- Closing wheels – It is important that the seed is covered with soil that is free of air pockets and compaction. Inspect the closing wheel arm and pivot bushings or eccentric bushings. The parts must be in good condition to prevent the closing wheels from moving from side to side. Also inspect the wheel. If it wobbles, replace the wheel or the bearing.
Seed Meter Care Guidelines
Like your row unit, you should regularly inspect your seed meter to make sure it is working at peak performance. Be sure you check:
- Finger pick-up seed meter – Always thoroughly clean seed from the meter after planting. Inspect the meter for worn, damaged, or missing parts. Disassemble and check the bearing and replace worn or broken parts. Meters should be stored in a heated area to prevent rust.
- Vacuum/air seed meter – Disassemble and inspect the meter for broken, worn, or missing parts. Seed discs should be cleaned in warm water and soap after planting. Never store seed discs in the row unit. Meters should be stored in a heated area.
- Chains and idlers – Inspect chains and rollers for rust, wear, and damage. Lubricate with chain lube dry film lubricant, as petroleum-based lubricants attract dirt and facilitate wear. Chains and idlers need to be examined daily. Chains should be replaced annually.
- Drive shafts, bearings, and transmissions – Bent or misaligned shafts or rough, worn bearings will affect seed meter operation and seed spacing. Drive sprockets and transmission gears need to be checked on a regular basis for wear and proper adjustment. Transmission gears and spacers need to be properly lubricated (with dry film lubricant) to ease adjustment.