our 9770 caught fire 7 times last fall and a neighbor had two to burn same model ,,,,ours was in real dusty beans ,,,,the rotor had a lip on the back that bean fus would build up and start smoldering and when you stop to dump would flare up,, we traded just for that reason ,,,deere had a quick fix where they put some high performance BONDO in the lip ,,,the neighbor's insurace man came out and as soon as he got out ask for a 15 mm wrench jump up on the back took the shield off and said yeap that what we thought said they had to many to count with the same problem...
Not being biased here because all colours have fires (yes even my beloved red ones) - it's just that the STS's have a bad reputation for build up of chaff in the engine bay area because it is so enclosed and has very little air movement = poor design . They do have a problem, JD know about it and have tried or are trying to rectify it. A good friend of mine owns an STS and received a guide on how to clean the machine hourly / daily to reduce the chance of fire - at delivery there was more emphasis on that book than the operators manual.
You must think Deere couldn't do a poor job of shitting the bed.
It has everything to do with design and the mere existence of that paddle kit should tell you that.
It does appear to be a vine crop issue and it is relatively uncommon but STS's seem to shoulder all the complaints.
I have mentioned before, when this topic was addressed two seasons ago, that STS', especially the 70 Series, were burning up at an alarming rate. I was in touch with one of the retired combine engineers about this, who also showed a great concern. I began to contact insurance writers to see what incentives could be made, so D&C could be "made" to install a known reliable automatic fire suppression system on all new combines. One would think just the liability and insurance premium rates dropping in price, would be incentive enough to goad D&C's decision to approve this. NOT!
Another corp exec from D&C [albeit miffed at the "expose"] went on to tell me that more fires/total losses, only resulted in increased combine sales. GRRRRRR!!!!!!!
That is most certainly NOT the thing to tell someone who really loves combines!
No, I do not sell or endorse any brand of automatic fire suppressors. I only know they are available, and can be found via web search.
D&C needs to adopt this program, make it a factory-installed option, assume any and all liability. Just the fact their combines [like any other make], are capable of burning to the ground, is a liability in itself. Fire potential also has increased with newer combine technology, rather than decrease. The cause is obvious; more electromagnetics, tons of wiring, plastic that increases and holds static charge, you name it.
If D&C [or any other manufacturer] refuses this option, then go back to building basic, mechanically-driven combines.
So when you make them put this fire detection/suppression system on the machines and another goes up in smoke then what? Blame them for not engineering that better? Are you willing to pay the increased price for a machine that has that system? Not to mention the annual inspection the system will require? What happens when the system is 10 years old and hasn't been maintained and the combine goes up, who's at fault then? And what about the farmers/owners/operators that don't take the time to clean the machine off?
The amount of liability that D&C would have to take on is out of this world. As stated before i'm sure they try to engineer out any area for crop to sit on the machine but its still up to the farmer to maintain his equipment, if he chooses to never blow off/wash his machine, then he might learn his lesson the hard way. On our farm the machine gets blown off every morning, front to back.
If you want fire protection that bad...go buy it from one of those companies that you googled. I would think if its that big of a concern everybody would be running out and buying a kit when they bought a new machine. Since thats not the case, i just don't see it happening.
Deere has obviously changed something,as farmerjones indicates, because I am amazed how clean the motor stays on our newer sts.
As for the shields, well you can chalk that up to liability due to stupid mistakes by operators causing bodily harm.
You can make quite a pile of unnecessary (IMO) guards on these machines that drastically reduce chaff build up around bearings.
We also have a big Stihl backpack blower that we use often to keep it looking like new, only takes a few minutes at the end of the day.
For all the red owners on this forum 'concerned' about green combines burning remember that in NA Deere sells 2x as many combines as IH therefore there will be 2x as many fires all things equal.
BTW the only fire that has happened around my area was a 8010 last fall.
I ran STS from 2000 up and never known engine bay area to be anything but pristinely clean.
Have seen the discharge beater pulley cause a fire though as michaelshawn points out
Yes Deere sells more units in NA, bet it's not 2X's, but yeah more numbers = more problems.
I also wonder if shielding doesn't cause problems with dust accumulation sometimes.
Combiness I'm simply pointing out things that may be overlooked...you keep saying it so simple...that it will work. If its so simple why hasnt it been done? Maybe because there are still alot of questions to answer about this system. I don't doubt that the system works, i know there are many large pieces of equipment using systems like the ones you described. I just think that there is more to it then you make it sound like. Guess I'm not like some and just dive into something without thinking about it first....
On our 9760 we set 3 fires before we found that the charge air cooler had been soaked in hydraulic fluid at the factory. There must have been a loose hose or something. A few neighbors had the same problem. This quickly plugged with dirt and altered the air flow through the compartment. It caused a drift of chaff to form on top of the fuel tank and chaff to settle on the muffler. The chaff would then get cinder hot and blow onto the drift on the fuel tank. It took 3 fires to find this. Only by the grace of God we caught them all in time.
The other 2 fires we had on this machine were caused by the engine fan drum. This internal cone shape of the drum collects chaff and dust. You cannot see inside. After a few years of collecting it packs so tight that it get's hot and starts fires. It took 2 fires to find this one. This year was our first harvest where we didn't set any fires. However regardless of this we now completely blow off all the combines at the start of the day. It's a dirty job but it's worth it.
Here is our experience with 9750's and up. Mostly, only in soybeans do they seem to have little fires pop up and around rear of machine. So I got to looking at picker exhaust[due to rapid fire potential in cotton fields] and the new machine they havent come out with. I took the flapper off the exhaust pipe, put a 90 degree elbow on and then put a chrome 8 foot stack off one of our Pete's and ran exhaust over tail, right along unloading auger and it extends 3 ft past rear of machine. Presto, no more fires. The aspirator, along with pulling machine hard in soybeans with very combustible dust, creates a vaccum and pulls dust particles from breather and blows this dust out at exhaust. This creates little sparks as the dust is ignited before it is blown out of exhaust. The flapper then knocks these sparks back down toward machine and creates the fires we are used to. If you want to get rid of these pain in the a** fires, this will solve your problems. By the time the sparks reach the end of our long exhaust pipe, they have burned out. Backpressure on exhaust doesnt seem to be any problem. Update since my Sept post!!!!! Since we are pulling in mud due to this fall's weather, our machines are being put to the test with 60 bushel beans and wet ground conditions. I am intentionally NOT blowing radiator and dust buildup around engine just to test the extended pipes I installed on combines. They were catching on fire every 2 hours or so and since the modification, we have not had any problems. I have retrofitted several farmer combines that were "burning" and they have the same results NO MORE FIRES.
@ Wavesofgrain, I'm curious why you blow your combine off at the start of the day rather than at the end of the day. I hate getting dirty first thing in the morning then getting in the cab all itchy for the rest of the day. When we were on the harvest run everything got blown off and filled with fuel at the end of the day, then greased in the morning. Just curious is all.
We blow them off in the morning because we usually crawl back behind the engine. We've had some build up of chaff under and behind the engine that needs to get cleaned. Since things are so hot in there at the end of the day we started doing it in the morning. Also we have to do 8000 acres in a very short time frame so we tend to run long into the night as well. We've tried blowing them off in the dark but always seem to miss something. I have to admit I'm not a fan of doing it in the morning but for us it seems to work best.