Birkey’s After-Season Combine Maintenance Checklist

Who keeps your equipment running?

Every operation is different. Some growers have skilled in-house service departments to keep their equipment in good condition. Others look to their dealer for advice, but perform some of the maintenance themselves. Still others rely on a local dealership to provide all recommended service.

Whatever operation describes you, this video can help. In it, we explain what’s on the checklist during an after-season Combine Maintenance Inspection. Use it to inform your own maintenance, or bring your combine in to receive an inspection.

We couldn’t fit everything in the video–the typical combine inspection takes 18 hours–so we’ve also included a list of the broad categories.*

  1. Safety: 9 points of inspection
  2. Feeder housing: 9 points of inspection
  3. Rotor assembly: 5 points of inspection
  4. Rotor cage modules: 5 points of inspection
  5. Grain pan: 3 points of inspection
  6. Chaffer/Shoe sieves: 5 points of inspection
  7. Cleaning fan: 6 points of inspection
  8. Discharge areas: 8 points of inspection
  9. Grain tank/unloader: 4 points of inspection
  10. Grain/tailings augers/elevator: 8 points of inspection
  11. Electrical system – Cab check: 17 points of inspection
  12. Belts and chains: 11 points of inspection
  13. Engine: 18 points of inspection
  14. Hydrostatic drive: 9 points of inspection
  15. Hydraulic system: 3 points of inspection
  16. Lubrication: 12 points of inspection
  17. Fluid analysis: 5 points of inspection

* 20 & 30 series combines. Our techs address each combine series uniquely.

Photo by Les Post

Photo by Les Post

We hope this helps you maintain your equipment investment after a long harvest season.

If you’re doing repairs yourself, call or stop by your local Birkey’s for parts and expertise. If a Customized Maintenance Inspection (CMI) from Birkey’s seems like a good fit for your farm, schedule one before December 31, 2014 and you’ll be entered for your chance to win an additional free Tractor CMI. Learn more here.

By : Birkey's /November 10, 2014 /Agriculture, Ask A Tech, Birkey's, Case IH, Farm equipment, Illinois, Indiana, Tech Tip /0 Comment Read More

Case Equipment for Every Season: The City of Sullivan


The leaves turn, the snow falls, the spring rains come, and the summer heat scorches. The seasons may change, but the City of Sullivan in central Illinois is prepared to tackle each challenge they bring.

For the three departments serving the Moultrie county seat, overcoming Mother Nature’s tests begins with a flexible, team-oriented approach.

The City of Sullivan

The City of Sullivan

“Sullivan is a nice place to live. All the utilities help each other out,” says Rick Barnes, head of Sullivan’s Gas Department. “We’re always watching for water leaks. Other guys will call if they smell gas. When you’re in the utilities, that’s what you do. You’re always looking out for one another.” (more…)

By : Birkey's /November 06, 2014 /Construction, Customer Profiles, Illinois /0 Comment Read More

Tech Tip: Save Money with Preventative Maintenance on Construction Equipment


One Veteran Tech Gives Critical Tips

Dennis Budde recently retired from his role as Service Technician after working at Birkey’s for 20 years. Before he left, we asked him to share critical maintenance tips that can reduce downtime and catch problems before they grow and cost more to fix.

Dennis talks about these tips in the context of CMIs, or Customized Maintenance Inspections, that he performed at Birkey’s. You can put these tips to good use in your own shop, or bring your machine in for a CMI done by a certified Birkey’s service tech. (more…)

By : Birkey's /November 06, 2014 /Birkey's, Construction, Illinois, Tech Tip /0 Comment Read More

Precision Farming Options for Anhydrous Application


It’s fall anhydrous season. We interviewed Todd Weitekamp, one of Birkey’s Precision Farming Specialists, about anhydrous solutions. Click the button on the left to listen to Todd’s recommendations:


Read the interview:

Are growers interested in precision farming options for anhydrous application?

Todd: Yes. Harvest is coming to an end and a new anhydrous season is right around the corner. When it comes to anhydrous application, we get many phone calls from customers this time of year asking what they can add to their displays to make them more useful for accurate fertilizer application. (more…)

By : Birkey's /November 04, 2014 /Birkey's, Illinois, Indiana, Precision Farming /0 Comment Read More

No Surprises: Why One Contractor Chooses CMIs


A&R Services, Inc.

Urbana, IL

“It’s like any other insurance problem. You want to make sure you have the most cost-efficient coverage you can get,” explained Tom Bridwell, General Manager at A&R Services, Inc. The company, a division of A&R Mechanical Contractors, does site utilities, concrete work and excavation around Champaign, Illinois. 

Insurance policies help companies protect themselves from a major loss. But A&R Services chooses to invest in “insurance” on a smaller scale—one that can still make a big difference to the company’s bottom line.

Their method is a yearly CMI, or Customized Maintenance Inspection, on each of their construction units. (more…)

By : Birkey's /October 13, 2014 /Birkey's, Construction, Customer Profiles, Illinois, Testimonial /0 Comment Read More

Worth the Trip: Why CMIs Work for One Illinois Farm


Harold Miller and Sons

Smithfield, IL

“There’s no quick way to get to these 160 acres,” said Harold Miller, gazing down the gravel road.

Harold farms with his sons, Rod and Mark, and his grandson, Tyler, near Smithfield, IL. The Harold Miller and Sons main farm is a straight shot east from the Birkey’s store in Macomb, but the Spoon River winds around their land, forcing bridges and turns in the roads that connect to it.

Despite the trek, the farm has sent their 7120 combine to Macomb for a Customized Maintenance Inspection, or CMI, from Birkey’s every other year for the past six years. (more…)

By : Birkey's /October 10, 2014 /Agriculture, Birkey's, Case IH, Customer Feature, Farm equipment, Illinois, Indiana, Testimonial /0 Comment Read More

Let’s Create a Harvest Snapshot


Photograph Your Display Monitor—Be Entered to Win $50!

Harvest 2014 has been in the headlines all year. Now details are finally coming in: “Test weight is a surprise” … “Beans are huge!” … “Yields are great in most areas but I lost a lot of nitrogen in the wet spots.”

In years past, it would be hard to get a sense for the big picture during the season. But with technology, we can take a snapshot of what’s out there—literally. (more…)

By : Birkey's /October 07, 2014 /Illinois, Indiana, Interactive, Recent News /0 Comment Read More

Customer Feature: MBI Construction

MBI Construction

Delivering on Schedule…All Day, All Season

Gary Bartels, owner of Effingham-based MBI Construction, stays ahead of the competition by offering customers something many other site-prep contractors can’t provide—the ability to do large, time-sensitive projects quickly and efficiently. “We have the people and the equipment to get a project done fast,” Bartels noted.

The company specializes in “green field” projects, where it goes into an empty field and “by the time we leave there’s a new grain elevator, grain bins, or a 100-car train loop and dump pits.” (more…)

By : Birkey's /October 02, 2014 /Birkey's, Construction, Customer Profiles, Illinois, Indiana /0 Comment Read More

CE Tech Tip: Hydraulic Systems


Prevention Beats Cure…Every Time

Inadequate maintenance and operations practices cause 90 percent of hydraulic breakdowns, costing equipment owners millions of dollars in replacement parts and service work annually. With proper care, you can extend the life of the hydraulic system and save money, said Dennis Budde, service tech at Birkey’s Urbana location. Budde offers these tips: (more…)

By : Birkey's /October 02, 2014 /Birkey's, Construction, Illinois, Indiana, Tech Tip, Tech Tips /0 Comment Read More