Equipment fire is a serious concern. Unfortunately, it is a very common problem in farming equipment. In fact, a large part of our salvage sales are from machines where there has been a heat-related issue on one section of the machine.
Dry weather, high winds and hot machines aren't the best combination when it comes to fire, but with proper preparation, a fire can be prevented.
How can you prevent a machine from catching fire?
Often times, this is a completely preventable issue. Safety Specialist Dennis Murphy at Penn State University says it's important to have a clean machine. Remove all caked-on residue in the engine with a pressure washer. A clean engine runs cooler, and this reduces the chance of fire. It is also essential that any debris is blown out of the machine and out of any belts, bearings or moving parts.
Here are some tips from Iowa State University on preventing machine fire
- Keep the machine clean, particularly around the engine and engine compartment. Use a high-pressure washer or compressed air to remove caked-on oil, grease and crop residue.
- Give the machine a chance to cool off before you leave the barn. If you park your machine, turn it off and lock the barn up right away you are at risk of a fire starting and turning what would have been a small spark into a full barn blaze. Hang around for a few minutes, have some water and let your machine cool off before locking up.
- Check coolant and oil levels daily.
- Check the pressurized oil supply line to the turbocharger for wear areas that rub and may start an oil leak.
- Frequently blow leaves, chaff and plant material from the engine area with compressed air or a portable leaf blower. Doing this one last time at night is better than in the morning when dew may make it harder to blow residues off.
- Remove plant materials wrapped on or near bearings, belts or other moving parts.
- Examine exhaust or hot bearing surfaces. Repair leaking fuel or oil hoses, fittings or metal lines immediately.
- Inspect and clean ledges or recessed areas near fuel tanks and lines.
If a fire does occur, turn off the machine, use the fire extinguisher on board, call 911 and step away from the machine. Sometimes, no matter the preparation, a spark can occur. That's when All States Ag Parts is here to help in purchasing your salvage.