Originally written February 1, 2006 | Last updated
August 21, 2014
Be sure the crop is ready to harvest. Test for grain
The combine must be correctly adjusted and equipped for
the crop to be harvested. Inspect rasp bars for chips, bends, or cracks.
Replace as necessary. Start with initial settings for the crop from the
To get the maximum efficiency without grain loss, the
header must be operated efficiently. Use the proper size header for the
machine and know the adjustments needed to achieve best results. Read
the header operator's manual for specific adjustments.
Operate at full throttle. All drives of the combine are
based at governed engine speed.
Keep an even, uniform flow of material moving through
the combine. When the combine is running near empty or taking in bunches
of crop material, increased grain losses and grain damage are likely.
Select a ground speed that will not overload the combine
or overrun the header's ability to do its job. Observe the engine
overload monitor. When engine speed is reduced, cleaning system speed is
Use the correct cylinder/rotor speed and concave
clearance to properly thresh and separate the crop being harvested.
Excessive cylinder speed is the leading cause of grain damage - always
use the lowest possible setting to achieve the best total threshing.
Always try to eliminate unthreshed losses by adjusting concave clearance
first rather than cylinder speed.
The sieves must be open far enough to let all grain
through. The chaffer sieve should allow all grain and unthreshed
cobs/pods/heads through. The shoe sieve below should let only threshed
grain through, so that the unthreshed portion goes to tailings and is
returned to the rotor cage to be re-threshed. If the chaffer setting is
too open, it overloads the shoe. If the shoe sieve is too tight,
tailings will increase; if it is too open, the grain in the tank will be
dirty. Set sieve to widest recommended setting and work back if
Wind blast through the sieves should be strong enough to
remove all particles lighter than grain. Too little air from the fan
causes shoe overload, high tailings and sloughing of the crop. Set fan
to highest speed recommended and work down if required.
Check all augers for wear because grain handling can
increase seed damage also check grain cart). Proper rotor speed ,
concave clearance, fan setting and sieve adjustment will reduce the
amount of tailings. Tailings should include only unthreshed particles.
Above all else, perform only one adjustment at a time to minimize your
time spent adjusting to optimum performance.
Read you operators manual thoroughly for detailed settings
for you specific combine model. Attend combine clinics to learn fine-tuning
methods from other combine operators. With proper adjustment, a quality crop
can be harvested.