Throughout the years VH MFG, Inc. has seen, and heard, many different philosophies on taking care of, and maintaining, a corn head. We have spoken to countless farmers, and advised farmers on how to better take care of their corn heads. Below is a list of what we believe to be the best practices to maintain, and get the most out of, your corn head.
Clean the head
- We recommend using compressed air. This allows you to get into those tough to reach places without much effort.
- It is important to break free any buildups of dirt, stalks, or anything else that shouldn’t be built up on a corn head. This will help prevent corrosion.
- We recommend not using water, but if you do, allow the head to completely dry before putting it in storage.
- Ensure that your gearboxes are fully lubed and filled with the proper grease that is specified for your head.
- Fill your oil drives to the proper level using the correct grease.
- This is also a great time to look for leaks. If grease, or oil, is leaking out of anywhere, it is probably time to replace some seals or gaskets.
- Starting with the poly, check for cracks and extended wear. If needed, look at purchasing some stainless-steel wear strips. This will help your poly last even longer.
- Check your stalk rolls/knives. For stalk rolls, look for wear towards the front of the stalk roll. For knives, look for bull nosing, or rounding, along the knife’s edges, and ends.
- Inspect your deck plates for wear. Look for excessive wear along the deck plates edge - this can be seen in the form of bull nosing, and wearing grooves into the edge. Look for excessive wear along the tops of the deck plates. If the thickness drops below 1/8 inch, it is probably time to replace the deck plates.
- Check your idler blocks, chains, and sprockets. Tighten any loose chains.
- Ensure that your stalk rolls/knives are still timed correctly. Grab the end of the roller and try to turn it. If you can wiggle it more than a 1/4 inch, your gearbox output shaft gears should be looked at.
Grease all chains and sprockets
1. We like to use BullSnot!® GreaseABull Metal Lubricant to grease our chains and sprockets. This helps prevent rust and helps ensure things can move freely. Disregard this step if you have a plastic wear strip between the deck plate and the row frame.
While this list of things may seem simple to some farmers, a lot of things on it are often overlooked, and forgotten about, during the hustle and bustle of running a farm. Doing these simple things will allow your corn head to continue to be the “bestest in the westest” - Wes Kats, President VH MFG, Inc.