Part 5: Checking for Wear
Ok we have here a pair of double disc openers from a corn planter and you can see the top disc is well worn compared to the bottom one which is new. And we can make an evaluation on this worn disc about its state of wear and it should have been changed from the planter when the circumference was 14 inches and it's about 13 and a half so it's been on the planter too long and needs to be removed. Also, if you inspect the blade you'll notice on the inside a lot of spurs are starting to develop on the disc and again the thickness of the disc has become too narrow, too thin and you're starting to spur in the middle. A new disc, heavy, directly beveled on the outside. These two come in two different thicknesses and a lot of times I'll recommend using the thicker, heavier disc as a replacement because it will last longer, your change interval will be lengthened, so you can run and get more acres before you need to change the blades.
This is the housing for the closing wheel mechanism. I wanted to show you some wear items that you want to be aware of. The closing wheel would fit in here, the wheel out here.
This hole can be worn and gets large and the closing wheel instead of maintaining its angle will tilt in angle. That's one wear area. The other is up where it attaches to the frame of the unit. And here you can see some wear, where this hole has become oblong where the bolt goes through to fasten it. And then when you try to get that thing to ride true on the row it can't do it because it keeps going back and forth with this wear area and this side of the attachment. Here's a new one and you can see the hole is somewhat smaller and its round compared to the worn hole that's become oblong and is going to be very difficult to hold into the proper alignment. Also you can see the holes here where the wheels fit on a thicker metal and not worn and those closing wheels will track very true.
Also have some seed drop tubes and they get worn very easily. You can see the tips of these have been worn away and here's the new and you can see the drop tube there will deliver the seed the whole way down where you can catch a lot of interference on the worn. A drop tube where it's broken off, so that's an item, the seed drop tube, from the singulating unit down to through the double disc opener. There is a protector that rides in front of that tube to keep it from wearing. I have three here, two different new ones and a worn one. And you can see the worn one is, it's worn on either side by the double disc opener on the inside of the double disc opener. It helps to clean that double disc opener on the inside and it's also designed to protect the seed tube and if you line this up with the seed tube you can see that that is not going to protect her. That guard is not going to protect that seed tube any longer because it's not as wide as the seed tube so it's going to put the seed tube at risk to going into the soil, hitting small stones and eroding away and looking like this well worn one we have. The new protector, as you can see, is wide, completely covers both sides of the drop tube and is going to protect that and keep it from wearing so you get a much more even stand of seed corn placed in the field.
There's an alternate model that's used by some houses, this one has a little bit more aggressive cleaning unit for the inside of the disc to keep it clean versus the old model.
They both do an excellent job of protecting that seed drop tube. You also have another wear area. This would be the parallel linkage on the planting unit. This is the linkage from the frame back to the unit that you want to keep level and parallel to the ground when you're operating. There's a lot of force put on this piece and you can see on this piece again the holes have worn and they're now somewhat oblong or almost egg shaped on this one end and you want a perfectly round hole and of course a little bit smaller diameter hole than what we have in these. The first wear point is actually the bolt that would go through this hole and the bushing that fits in there normally you would replace the bushing on a periodic basis so that this does not wear to this extent in a short term rather than be a long term wear item. So you want to keep your eye on that parallel linkage bar, replace those bushings as there's enough play there and you can grab a hold of the back of the unit and if it swings around and has play you're probably going to need to replace those bushings that fit through the parallel linkage bars.
No till planting equipment has come a long way in recent years. Whether it be a new planter or attachments that adapt to an existing planter, the capability to do a good job of planting under a wide range of conditions is better than ever. Having the right equipment, properly adjusted and maintained is the key to successful no-till planting.