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JOHN DEERE CH570 CANE HARVESTER
PROGRESSIVE LUBRICATION SYSTEM
CASE STUDY (2023)
Proper lubrication is essential for the maintenance of farming equipment, such as cane harvesters, as it minimises wear and tear, extends the equipment’s lifespan, and optimises machine performance. Insufficient greasing can increase friction between mechanical parts, thereby accelerating wear and tear, potentially leading to more frequent downtime or even a shortened lifespan for the harvester. Conversely, over-greasing can result in excessive pressure that may cause seals to rupture, allowing contaminants to enter the system, which in turn can reduce operational efficiency and increase costs.
During the harvest season, cane harvesters run for extended hours as farmers race to harvest the cane. North Queensland cane farmer and harvesting contractor, John Muscat, typically operates his cane harvester for 10-12 hours a day and around 1,200 hours a year. In previous years, his cane harvester was manually greased, and ensuring that every point of the machine was properly lubricated was a crucial part of daily maintenance. Often, greasing could be deferred after a long day’s work, and replacing bushes and bearings at the end of the harvest season could prove costly. Manual greasing could also lead to over-lubrication, potentially causing overheating and damage to the bearings.
When John Muscat purchased a new CH570 harvester, he decided to install a Lincoln 4L P203 Progressive Lubrication System. The system delivers precise amounts of grease at scheduled intervals throughout the day, significantly streamlining the maintenance process at the end of the day. The progressive lubrication system was carefully installed to eliminate the risk of cane rubbing against the harvester’s sides and possibly dislodging the pump system. The installation process was neat without any welding on the machine, requiring only a few strategically drilled and tapped holes. To further enhance durability, the grease lines were spiral-wrapped and anchored with p-clamps, virtually eliminating the risk of them being torn off.
John remarks, “I know that as my machine operates during the day, all the points requiring lubrication are being greased at the appropriate times. This makes end-of-day servicing much quicker. With the automatic system, I simply need to blow down the machine and refuel it, and it’s ready for the next workday. As a result, I anticipate a longer lifespan for the pins and bearings on the machine.”
By installing the Lincoln P203 progressive lubrication system significant maintenance time was saved daily. When the cane harvester was serviced at the end of the season, it was found that most of the bushings and bearings were in excellent condition, requiring no replacement. It’s an investment expected to last 10-15 years.
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