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Discussion Starter #1
We're harvesting sunflowers here in Canada now, and I've had a few guys with some major fire issues on STSs. They seem to start inside the combine, maybe at the back of the rotor and spread from there. We've tried alot of things- blowing the combine completely clean before entering the field, wetting down the entire machine inside at out until there's water running out of the elevators, putting on multiple grounding chains...Nothing seems to help. Within half an hour the machine is smoking from somewhere. Now one had a fire so bad there's about $30,000 damage. The oil seeds seem to be worse than the confectionary. Walker machines seem to be fine. They're sick of paying me to fix hoses and wiring harnesses. Any solutions?
 

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Do you have rotor discharge paddles on the back of the combine. Just a guess, but in certain crops and slow rotor speed crop will hang up at the back of the rotor and create a HUGE amout of friction.
 

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Its called a 'discharge flight kit' bundle BH84478.
If you think the fires are starting in the back of the rotor, I'll bet here is the solution. Takes less than an hour to install.
 

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I know of an STS that had a fire in rotor area in tough grain conditions. Straw was wrapping at the front rotor bearing. Owner and dealer found John Deere apparently offers an anti wrap package for the front of the rotor only available from the parts counter. They installed the kit and have not had a problem this year from what I have heard.
Owner said smoke was coming out the back of machine and could smell it in the cab but the source was very difficult to find. Got hot enough it did start the field on fire.
I don't know much about sunflower harvesting but if the trash is tough and has a tendancy to wrap check the front of the rotor near the bearing it could be the source of your problem.
 

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John Deere, from my experience has a solution for most problems in their machinery. The problem lies with the dealers not informing the customers of PIP's or bulletins.
For instance, the above bundle I mentioned is to be used in edible beans when you have rotor rpm's below 300 rpm. In some cases, there has been catastrophic damage to machines that have not had this installed. Ours did not have it, and we were using the machine in exactly those conditions. I heard about the kit kind of word of mouth from a local guy who did grenade his rotor cage in beans. You would think the dealer would be right on this. When I went into the store to inquire about it, I got the reponse:"yea, we have sold a few of 'em". Our dealer KNOWS we combine edible beans with this machine...WTF!!!!
How hard is it to for each salesman to phone their customers that he sold a machine to and keep them updated...c'mon people. These are expensive machines, and the dealers have some obligation to their customers to make sure he/she knows what's available for the machine to make it work at it's peak in the crops that are locally grown.

Next rainy day, I am going to have a meeting with the store manage, parts manager, service manager, and saleman about this very concern. If something major would to happen to my machine when they knew about a solution, there would be BIG trouble.


off my soapbox now
 

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OMG, Kinzepower, you are really on to something! The DEALERS as well as the corporation have an URGENT obligation to their customers!

Yes, those combines are extremely expensive and if a new one is either severely damaged or even completely lost to a fire, either the corporation OR some insurance company must take full responsibility! The add-on kits would, indeed, save both deere and any insurance provider much grief, not to mention the customers!
 

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I think it is JD fault just as much as the dealer if you bought the machine new. They know what machine you have why can't they send you a list of the kits for your machine.

We have a case where there are some PIPS and they (JD) send it to the dealer with a list of the serial numbers. Well the service manager has to go through them and then follow up and it all takes time. If we know about it we could look at it and keep a eye on it or get ahold of service ourselfs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, kinzepower. I think i remember hearing about that kit at service school a few years ago. Never seen or installed one, though.

Combiness, sunflowers are just part of the crop rotations around here, but there is alot of Canola too. The sunflower crop is incredible this year, so those that grew it are glad they did.
Canola around this area produces a large plant, so the swath going into the combine is very big. This tends to be hard on slip clutches, chains, and reversers. Different crop, different problems. Thanks anyway.
 

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Greentech, thanks for your input into this.
I had never heard anything negative about canola as far as harvest goes, so had figured it to be about as combine-friendly as anything could be. I do know the two things it stil has going for it are the reduced fire hazards and greater oil yield.
Other than that, can sunflower oil be as readily used in some hydraulics and engines as canola oil? Just curious. I'm still researching "green" alternatives to petroleum.
 

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Hey Combiness, a definite negative when harvesting canola is a rookie swather operator. Here in Canada we sometimes refer to the mess left by these guys as beaver piles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah those piles are what I'm talking about. Takes a good operator and a large swath opening to not get those. For most farmers piles are just part of harvesting Canola.

Combiness, not sure about the sunflowers for engine oil, but just heard about fast food chains switching to canola oil for deep frying here in Canada. That should help to raise those sagging commodity prices.

FYI, my biggest customer who farmers 15,000 acres, was the first farm in the area to switch to biodiesel this year. So far so good, seems to burn cleaner they say.
 

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sts's also have a problem with static fires in lentils and field peas,more than a few started fires and some completely destroyed here in south Sask
 

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Hiya
Seems the fire story started a while back and not with me here in Africa. If this was posted 2006. I was already having problems with my machine then. You would think the JD tech heads would have solved that issue before adding more gadgets and electronics to their machines. It seems research sometimes steers away from real issues of concern.

By the way I had to blow the machine out after every tank of sunflower otherwise by second tank full FIRE!!!!!
 

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HI there.

Just to put you in the picture a bit here. Our nearest dealer is 500km away. The John Deere dealership in Zambia falls under the dealership in South Africa so the ultimate authority rests in an air conditioned office in another country. We do not have the massive production and area of tilled land such as USA and Canada so hence a lot fewer machines and less people really qualified to sort out technical issues. I have sent a zillion pictures and emails. Unofficially I got told the conditions were to dry so that is why I had fire issues. I am a contractor and when the farmer calls I harvest. FUrthermore, the red machines 2388's were running side by side mine in exactly the same condtions, no problems. I then asked the JD guys in South Africa to please define what is too dry for the John Deere. They then could not answer because they were then unofficially saying the STS could not do the job but the Case could.
I like the STS because of the capacity over the 2388's. I have not seen one AFX8010 yet here. But when one colour burns and the other does not, you do not need to be rocket scientist to work out which one to buy , plus the Brazilian 2388's are way cheaper...hmmmmm. The saga continues, am about to start soybeans and then 6weeks or so into sorghum(milo)
and sunflowers. Then the fun can begin. I will see whether the strait pipe mod will stop the fires.
ANy thoughts welcome all the time
 

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Straw spreader and no fires do not start there. The dust accumulates there and the embers land there and start a fire there or in the spreader tubes , real b......d to put out . The embers are blown from the engine fan down left hand side of machine due to fluting in engine bay and they land up generally on left hand side of spreaders.
 

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Have you tried just combining at night when the conditions are a little tougher? I know people that have had to do that in real dry warm conditions here in the states. Don't know if that would help but I know it has worked for some here.
 
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