It’s hard to believe we’re in the heart of fall. Harvest is beginning to wrap up, and it’s important to take a moment to make sure your applicator is ready for fall fertilizers and cover crops.
If you own one of our Valmar ST-10 / 56 series applicators you have a machine that is capable of accurately metering a variety of cover crops and fertilizers. However, to maximize their accuracy you must keep the machine well maintained and calibrated. I have prepared a few useful tips to make sure your fall is most productive with the least amount of downtime.
Valmar’s new design helps prevent bearings and serviceable parts from being exposed to corrosive fertilizer. However, that doesn’t mean maintenance can go by the wayside. Below are a few different points that should be inspected regularly to ensure
- Remove metering rollers, clean and inspect daily for damage (check for grooving or flattening).
- Remove bottom shield and inspect for debris.
- Grease in 40 to 50-hour intervals and be sure to grease when finished for the season.
- Lubricate chains with chain lubricant
- Inspect fain belt and check tension.
- Inspect delivery system for a accumulation of debris.
Calibrating your applicator is necessary to ensure accurate flow rates for new products. Keep in mind it is just as important to recalibrate previously used products every year. The ST-10 / 56 series applicators make this process simple and manageable with their easy calibration process.
- Ensure there’s enough product in the hoppers for calibration (minimum of 50lb per calibration).
- Remove venturi covers and attach calibration catch trays.
- Completely open shut-off gates and run hydraulic flow to meters.
- Program target rate and enter product density into rate controller.
- Enter the desired weight of the product to be dispensed (approximately 50-70 pounds).
- Start calibration and wait until meters stop turning.
- Weigh sample and enter the actual weight of product dispersed from the catch trays.
- Repeat the process again to confirm accuracy.
Another great resource for preparing your Valmar is our YouTube video on calibration and maintenance tips.
If you have questions on any of the maintenance or calibration tips discussed above, give us a call! As always, we wish you a successful and safe harvest.