identify precautions and safety recommendations that should
be observed by operators of combines.
combine operator is responsible not only for his safety but
also for the safety of others who may be working on or just
be near the machine. The operator must be aware of hazards and
remain alert to situations that are potentially dangerous. This
includes pre-operational checks, starting, transporting, towing,
operating, field repair and maintenance and stopping the combine.
Signals. A set of hand signals have been endorsed by
several safety institutions (Fig. 1). Since spoken instructions
are very difficult to hear over the sounds of a combine,
a knowledge of hand signals can be extremely helpful to
the operator when maneuvering a combine, especially in tight
attempting to operate a combine, study the operator's
manual. It has information on general safety rules,
plus specific safety recommendations for the particular
machine. the more you know about the combine, the better
prepared you will be to safely operator it.
exhaust fumes from a gasoline or diesel engine are very
poisonous. If the combine is run inside a building,
be sure to open the doors to provide good ventilation.
clean the combine before starting. Trash around the
exhaust system can cause fires. Oil, grease or mud on
ladders or the platform can cause serious falls. If
the combine is equipped with a cab, clean the glass
to provide maximum visibility.
the tire pressure each day. Under-inflation can cause
buckling of the sidewall, which can cause dangerous
tire failure. Over-inflated tire have a great deal of
"bounce" and cause upsets more readily that tires with
the brakes once a week. With hydraulic brakes, make
sure that the master cylinder is full of fluid and that
no air is present in the lines. Adjust the pedal free
travel, if necessary, so that the brakes are engaged
with the pedals an equal distance from the floor of
the platform. Check the operator's manual for specific
the threshing cylinder rocking bar to see it is clear
of the cylinder.
sure that all shields and covers are in place and fastened
or stow all service equipment.
use the handrails and ladders provided on the combine
for safe mounting and dismounting.
mounting the combine, make sure that everyone is clear
of the machine. Do not allow anyone it ride with you,
unless combine is equipped with a passenger seat.
starting the combine:
gearshift in neutral
careful when using diesel starting fluid. It is extremely
it is necessary to use jumper cables to start the combine,
be careful to avoid sparks around the battery. Hydrogen
gas escaping from the battery can explode. Follow the
operator's manual instructions for using jumper cables.
keep your mind on the dangers of driving the combine
on public roads. Beside maintaining control of the machine,
you must watch for obstacles on the road, pedestrians
speed is the leading cause of accidents. Never drive
faster that the road conditions allow for safe operation.
Anticipate dangers and slow down to avoid accidents.
sure you are familiar with local traffic laws. Check
the safety flashers and SMV emblems to be sure they
are clean and visible.
lock the brake pedals together. If the combine is not
equipped with locking mechanism, be sure to depress
both pedals at the same time evenly. Applying only one
brake, or applying one harder than the other can cause
the combine to swerve and perhaps tip over.
careful when applying brakes when a header is attached
to the combine. The added weight up front can cause
the combine to tip forward if the brakes are applied
abruptly. Always drive slow enough to allow controlled
application of brakes at all times.
check headlights and safety flashers to make sure they
are properly adjusted and in working order.
the unloading auger in the transport position. Be certain
it is not blocking a safety flasher or SMV emblem.
self-propelled combines, never use the header safety
support when transporting the machine. Raise the header
enough for safe ground clearance, but not high enough
to reduce visibility.
pull-type combines, always use header support when transporting.
Towing at transport speeds can be hazardous because
of side forces on the tractor when stopping too quickly.
Side forces from slowing a combine too quickly may cause
a tractor to skid, especially on loose gravel. Slowing
down while turning can cause jack-knifing. Slow down
before the corner so the towed combine doesn't get out
for low power or telephone lines, bridges, buildings
and any other obstacles, to make sure you can pass under
them safely. Always keep as far to the right of the
roadway as possible. Keep a careful watch to see that
you have safe clearance on both sides.
sit down when traveling at high speeds or going over
careful when making turns. Make sure that the rear of
the combine will clear obstacles when it swings around.
Avoid sharp turns. Turning too sharply at high speed
can cause the machine to turn over.
the wheels for steering are in the back, self-propelled
machines often fishtail when turned too quickly at transport
speeds. Steering to the right will whip the rear to
the left, and vice versa. Steering suddenly to the right
when meeting oncoming traffic causes the back of the
combine to swing out into the path of on coming traffic.
or braking too rapidly could cause loss of some steering
control (weight on rear wheels). This is most noticeable
when driving with a corn head or some other heavy header
raised high. In this case, most of the weight will be
on the drive wheels. Install rear wheel weights. Keep
header as low as possible. Use the variable speed drive
or engine throttle to slow the machine. Reduce speed
before you need to apply brakes and always lock brake
depress the clutch pedal or take the combine out of
gear to coast down hill. When the combine is moving
it is impossible to shift the transmission back in gear.
Always maintain complete control of the combine. The
same applies to tractors that are towing pull-type combines.
the combine must be transported over long distances,
it is safer to haul it on a large truck or a special
tow the combine at speeds higher than 20 mph.
keep the transmission in neutral or in the "tow" position,
if the combine is so equipped.
tow a combine equipped with hydrostatic drive. Towing
can cause damage to the drive unit. Instead, haul the
operate the combine if you are ill or sleepy. Operating
safety depends on alert, efficient handling of the combine.
safety glasses at all times.
clothing that fits snugly to avoid catching clothing
in moving parts.
let anyone ride on the combine unless it is equipped
with a passenger seat. A rider's clothing may become
entangled in moving parts, or he may be thrown off the
starting to harvest a field, check it carefully for
ditches, fences or other obstacles. Be aware of weather
conditions which present safety hazards.
especially careful when operating on hillsides. Avoid
sharp turns that could tip the combine over. Beware
of ditches or obstacles--they are doubly dangerous on
grain tank extensions are used, remember that the added
weight may make the combine top heavy and more subject
travel over 10 mph (16 km/h) with a full grain tank.
The added weight makes the combine more difficult to
maneuver and easier to upset.
sit down when traveling over rough terrain. A sharp
jolt can throw you from the platform or away from he
combines are equipped with automatic or manual leveling
devices. Hydraulic cylinders act to level these combines
on steep slopes. These machines are equipped with a
warning signal that indicates when the leveling system
has reached its limit. Be especially careful after the
using the steering brakes, always turn the steering
wheel before applying the steering brakes. Failure to
do so can cause the combine to swerve and turn dangerously.
repair and maintenance safety.
keep the machine clean. Field trash around the exhaust
system can cause fires. Mud, grease or oil on the operator's
platform or ladders can cause falls.
lubricating or adjusting the combine, disengage all
drives and stop the engine. Never leave the operator's
platform with the engine running.
sure that the header drive and separator drive are disengaged
before attempting to clean the combine. Never try to
unclog the machine with a stick or pole with the machine
is running. The stalk rolls on a corn head can pull
a 12 foot (3.6 cm) stick through in one second--shorter
sticks or stalks even faster--before you can let go.
a pull-type combines, always disengage the PTO and turn
off the tractor before attempting to unclog, adjust
or lubricate the machine.
stop the machine before opening the inspection doors.
all shields in place. After working on the combine,
make sure the shields are fastened securely.
operating in very dusty or noisy locations, wear goggles
and ear plugs to insure safe visibility and prevent
hearing loss. Never wear loose clothing that can become
entangled in moving parts.
clear of moving parts at all times.
belts and chains properly adjust and aligned.
rely on the hydraulic system for support when working
under the machine header. Always use the stops or supports
provided on the machine. If no safety device is provided,
block the header securely.
adjusting the wheel spacing, make certain the machine
is blocked. Never rely on jacks alone for support.
support the reel arm securely when adjustments are being
careful when removing heavy parts. Make certain they
are held firmly to avoid dropping them. Have someone
help you with heavy jobs.
operating in dry fields. Install a spark arresting muffler
to prevent fire.
sparks or open flames when working the battery. Hydrogen
gas escaping from the battery may explode.
possible always refuel the combine outside the field.
Let the engine cool before attempting to refuel and
never smoke around fuels.
the system to cool and remove the radiator cap slowly,
turning it until pressure escapes through the overflow
pipe. Make sure all pressure is relieved before removing
clear of the exhaust system until it cools.
fluid leaks in the hydraulic or diesel fuel system are
very dangerous. The leaks can be invisible and still
have enough pressure to penetrate the skin. When checking
for leaks, use a piece of cardboard. If an injury does
occur, seek medical aid immediately.
carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher on the combine.
the combine safely.
To make sure drive units do not cause injury when the
machine is started again, do the following when stopping
gearshift lever in neutral
ignition key to prevent tampering or accidental starting.
The hydraulic drive unit is not an effective parking brake.
Fundamentals of Machine Operation - Combines, Deere & Co.
State University Cooperative Extension Service, Manhattan, Kansas.
KSU Cooperative Extension Service provides practical, research-based
information and educational programs to address critical issues
facing individuals, families, farms, businesses and communities.
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