By Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension
The combination of high temperatures and dry conditions are the perfect conditions for field fires and combine fires during harvest.
Dry grasses, crop residues, and woodland debris along many of our farm fields provide fuel for field fires. Likewise, leaked fuel, cracked hydraulic hoses, heated bearings, overheated belts and chains can provide the ignition for equipment fires.
The combine is a critical piece of equipment for fall harvest. Here are several precautions for protecting combines from fire this season.
Prevent combine fires from starting
Work crews should take extra precautions to prevent fires from starting.
- Park a hot combine away from out-buildings. Keeping a combine out of barns, sheds, and away from other flammables is a common prevention strategy in case a hot spot ignites. Insurance claims can double when equipment fires are responsible for loss of farm structures.
- Regular maintenance is priority. Check the machine daily for any overheated bearings or damage in the exhaust system.