7 Aspects to Consider when Buying a Grain Dryer

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As harvest approaches, a grain dryer will be needed for farmers to dry their grains from corn to wheat.  If you are in the market for a new or used grain dryer here are some things to consider before making that purchase.

1.Choose the right dryer

There are a number of things to look at when choosing the best dryer for your operation. Capacity would be the first thing to look at. If the maximum capacity to dry is 100,000 bushels, an in-bin system is suggested. If it’s a larger amount such as 750,000 bushels GSI suggests a tower dryer.

2.Do you qualify for an energy grant?

Does your purchase qualify you for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant from the USDA? It can pay up to 25% of the total eligible project costs. Also check if your local electrical distribution company offers grants to promote energy efficiency.

3.Think long term

Grain dryers can last anywhere between 20 to 30 years. U.S. farm yields tend to increase by 2% to 3% annually. Down the road you may have 30% more wheat. That’s why it’s important to make sure you choose one that will meet your needs for a long time.

4. It’s more about the investment than the cost

Farmers are initially wary of the cost of their grain dryer purchase but it’s important to pay attention to the effectiveness of the dryer. Will it help to increase your yield?

5. Increase dryer holding capacity

If you have a larger holding capacity and you maintain optimum airflow, not too high and not too low, you will dry the most grain. It may cost more in the beginning, but it will pay off every year.

6. Shop Around

Make sure before you pick that perfect dryer you shop around and compare others in price and options other dealers have to offer.

7. Check power needs

Make sure you check with your electricity provider on how much amp service you need. If you’re replacing your old grain dryer, have the electric company come out and check your existing system to see if it’s acceptable.

Begin the search for your next grain dryer purchase at Fastline.com.

 

 

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6 Things to Look at When Performing a Pre-Harvest Inspection on Your Combine

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With harvest season quickly approaching, now would be the time to do a pre harvest inspection on your combine.  This would avoid any headaches such as lost time and money and the guess work on whether or not any parts even need to be replaced.  Now is the time to check if your combine has built up mud from wet weather or even dust in the air filters from dry weather conditions from previous harvests.  Here are 5 things to look at before harvest season starts.

1. Electronics

It’s probably a good idea to have a yearly inspection by an experienced technician that can check your electronics and any previous sensor fault code data to find any issues before harvest. This tends to be regular issue with machinery that’s been stored for a long period of time and can be especially damaging to electronic components, wiring and sensors. Also if you’ve been storing your equipment it’s important to check that rodents haven’t chewed through wires.

2. Fluids

Oil and fuel should be drained and replaced if your combine hasn’t been used in a while.  You need to make sure the engine coolant has enough life left to withstand engine temperatures in excellent range.  It’s also very important to check all bearings and gearboxes so that they are at their oil or grease capacity.

3. Chains, Belts, and Bearing

The loosening and failure of chain-driven components can have major impacts on the combine which makes this an important area to look at during the inspection so that chains are tight.  Look at bearing surfaces to make sure they are clean of dust and crop residue.  Also make sure belts are tight and inspect for any cracks in them.

4. Use Air, not water

High-pressure air is favored over water as a cleaning tool for combine components.  If you’re going to use high pressure water, be careful it doesn’t enter the interior surfaces because that could cause rust.

5. Threshing and Auger Components

The smallest damage in a concave can influence harvest performance and can cause yield loss. When looking at the threshing and separation area, pay attention to minor damage.  If you notice something dinged or banged up, it needs to be repaired.  Check the concave for excessive wear and replace as needed.  Also make sure the concaves are level and zero them to the rotor for a more exact setting/reading for concave clearance.

6. Fire Extinguisher

If there are dry crop conditions, this will up the awareness for maintenance and machinery fires. Make sure to have fire extinguishers serviced and on every piece of harvest equipment

 

Start the search for your next combine at Fastline.com.

 

 

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THE RIGHT TO REPAIR MOVEMENT: WHAT’S YOUR STANCE?

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Do you think of yourself at Tim “the tool man” Taylor from Home Improvement? Do you take pride in your equipment?  Do you like to fix it yourself when repairs are needed?    “I don’t think so Tim!”  Stop right there because those dreams are being crushed right before your “I don’t need to take it to a shop, I can fix this tractor myself” eyes.  A small advocacy group in Nebraska has published an op-ed promoting what is commonly known as “Right to Repair” legislation.  They are debating that Right to Repair will point to heightened competition and decreased prices for consumers.  This movement is questioning the ability of manufacturers to keep copyrighted software and other technical information and products in the hands of only an authorized dealer network. This means that if the owner’s equipment needs repairs an authorized dealer is where it needs to go instead of the owner being allowed to fix it. This legislation does little to protect the consumers and instead threatens both safety and environmental protections.

Farmers are now fighting back to regain control of their equipment. Currently New York, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Minnesota are participating in the Fair Repair legislation.  It’s a proposed legislation that would require the manufacturers of farming equipment to provide diagnostic, technical and service information to farmers and independent mechanics.

Right now manufacturers are using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to block farmers and heavy equipment owners from repairing their own machinery. How can you the farmer help?

Farmers can start by contacting whoever represents the legislature for that state. Tell them that you want the right to repair your equipment and support a bipartisan Fair Repair Bill.  Repair should be fair, affordable, and accessible.  It’s good for he consumers, the environment, and good for businesses.

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The Best Uses for Construction Equipment on the Farm

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Skidsteer

Skidsteers are beneficial for many aspects on the farm – whether it’s cleaning out calf pens to stacking hay bales to carrying livestock (they can be stubborn sometimes!).

Check out this video of a hay operation picking up large bales using a skidsteer.

Forklifts

Forklifts make the lifting easy when it comes to doing anything from stacking pallets or moving them to lifting heavy equipment (hey you never know!).

Check out how this farmer uses Forklifts on his sod farm.

Graders

Graders are the go-to piece of equipment when you need to create any type of surface area – whether that’s a flat ground, ditch, or lines for drainage tile.

Now, you won’t need something this big, but check this grader out!

Backhoes

Backhoes are useful for a lot on the farm but primarily, they’re needed for digging holes for new buildings, fences, or tree removal.

Check out this one in action – perfect for the smaller farms.

Forestry equipment

Cutting down trees to clear some land? Or are you considering getting into the timber business? Either way – forestry equipment is a necessity for quickly and safely cutting down and removing trees.

Check out how this equipment combined with a skidsteer makes tree removal easy and fun!

For more construction equipment needs, start your search on Fastline.com today!

How to Buy A SkidSteer

9f45edbe-4f53-4d2d-b5e3-db2910c85ec3Is it time to upgrade that helping hand? Or are you just looking to get yourself started with the beauty that is a skidsteer? Either way -we’ve got some tips to help you with buying or upgrading!

  1. Figure out what you’re wanting to do with it. what types of chores will you be accomplishing with a skidsteer? This will help you determine any contraints or physcial requirements you should look for.
  2. Vertical vs. Radial lift – once you’ve determined the chores that you will be looking to do with a skidsteer, you can then determine whether you’ll need vertical or radial lift. Vertical will benefit you if most of what you do is eye level or above. Radial will help with those lower level/below eye level jobs.
  3. Attachments – a wide variety of attachments are available for may different tasks. The most important thing to pay attention to is that the attachment will fit the skidsteer that you’ve got in mind and vice versa.
  4. Tires – know the terrain that you’ll be covering and factor that in as well. You want to make sure your skidsteer will have the right tires for where you need it to go.
  5. Maintenance – as with every piece of equipment, maintenance will be necessary. If you’re planning on doing maintenance yourself, then it is important to pay attention to what you would be comfortable and familiar with doing and fixing.
  6. Hydraulics – depending on the attachment(s) that you have in mind, you will need to make sure the hydraulics match up. Most skidsteers come with a standard hydraulic package, but if you are wanting to do something a bit more intense, you may need to upgrade your hydraulics.
  7. Resale – it’s good to keep resale value in the back of your mind, even if you want to keep the skidsteer for years and years. You never know what circumstances, good or bad, may arise causing you to have to resell.
  8. Try them out – don’t be afraid to kick a few tires on different models. This is quite the investment you’re making. Go to several dealerships to get a feel for all of your options.

Let Fastline.com help you start your shopping journey to your next Skidsteer!