- How Big Is a Combine Harvester?
- An Overview of Transporting Combines
- Planning a Combine Transport
- Consult with the pros
- Drain the fluids
- Clear out any loose items
- Protecting the combine
- Choosing your trailer
- Final Thoughts
Farming machines, like combine harvesters, can be headache-inducing to transport. Farmers may love the machines' functions and ability to help their work. But it's still a challenge to transport them.
Due to their size, you must transport machines like combine harvesters carefully. You must pay attention to weight restrictions for transport. You may also have to involve the use of additional types of equipment.
But moving a combine harvester or any other farm machine is certainly possible. You can even move an antique combine if you wish. Read this guide below and learn how to transport a huge machine like a combine harvester.
How Big Is a Combine Harvester?
Modern farming practices owe a lot to the combine harvester or combine for short. As the name suggests, it combines all harvesting functions, from reaping to winnowing, in one operation. Farmers can streamline the harvesting process with a combine simply by reducing the time and effort of the machine.
A combine comes in different sizes and configurations to serve other crops and farming needs. Their sizes often go up to 40 thousand pounds; the biggest in the world weighs 23 tons.
The size is often related to the machine's capacity to hold harvested grain in its body. A bigger combine's size means a bigger haul.
But a combine's power doesn't only come from the size of its body. It also depends on the size of the engine. Combine engines are divided into different classes by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, from Class 5 to 10. Class 5 and 6 are the smaller engines with the smallest horsepower.
Meanwhile, Class 7 upwards are the more powerful engines, starting from 360 horsepower.
Choosing which combine to use will depend on the farming terrain. For example, more significant combines usually function better on flat land areas, while the smaller ones work better on hilly landscapes.
But no matter what they do on the farm, their size is substantial. Moving it around is no easy feat.
An Overview of Transporting Combines
As mentioned, transporting combine harvesters is often a complex operation. Measuring your combine accurately, for instance, will help the transport company you hire to move the machine more easily. The company will then know the proper equipment to use and what hauling guidelines to follow.
The proper equipment to transport combines may include specialty trailers that most ordinary people do not have.
For example, combine harvesters are typically moved using flatbed trailers but with additional features. Removable goosenecks or deck-widening features will help accommodate the machine's size and width.
Another huge consideration in transporting combines is determining the shipping route carefully.
As combines are heavy, they are subject to weight restrictions on the road. Some roads may not be open to them, making the transport process longer as you may have to find alternative routes.
It also helps to study the rules for operating the combine on the road for short-distance moving without trailers.
A reliable transport company can help you plan this route. It can also help you prepare the necessary permits for moving heavy machinery. You may also need comprehensive insurance coverage for such valuable machinery, which the moving company may provide.
Planning a Combine Transport
Most people transporting a combine will likely consult a specialist. And even with the help of expert transporters, moving a combine safely is likely to be tasking for the owner. Observe the following steps to plan your combined transport.
Consult with the pros
Besides hiring a professional hauling company, consulting with industry experts is also a good idea. Watch videos and read content from harvester manufacturers, like John Deere, Case International Harvester, New Holland, and Volvo BM, to familiarize yourself with different models.
You can also ask and talk to fellow combine owners to exchange ideas. Also, dealers of farming machinery may have insights into the machine you own. Knowing your machine intimately through expert knowledge can help with the transport process.
If you reach out to professional transporters, they can also give you customized solutions based on your machine's requirements. You don't have to do the entire work by yourself; instead, you can use their expertise to get the job done.
Drain the fluids
A safety aspect of transporting combines is fluid draining. Your combine, like any other machine, will have fluids to make the engine work. Oil and fuel are two of the most common types of fluid in it. You must drain them for these two purposes:
- Prevention of spills and leaks
- Reduction of the combine's weight
Locate the drain plugs for each fluid. The combine's manual will direct you to them if you're unsure where they are. Prepare some suitable containers before collecting the fluids. Then, carefully drain each fluid into the proper container. Never mix the fluids together; each container must contain only one fluid type.
And ensure you drain all the fluids completely. Leaving even a small amount behind still poses a risk when you move the combine.
After the draining, close the drain plugs. Double-check that they are secure. This action will ensure there's no spill or leak during the transport.
Clear out any loose items
When your combine is transported, any loose items on it can damage the interior. Unsecured tools may become projectiles that damage the machine and everyone involved in the moving process. So, clearing these loose items out is a must before transporting the combine.
These items include your personal belongings. If you often leave your toolbox in the combine, remove it. The same goes for any accessories, like hats or gloves. Leaving them in the combine can interfere with the controls.
Or, if you're not careful, they can get stuck in the engine. This causes operational issues or breakdowns.
So, check all the storage compartments. Remove any item that's not a part of the combine and store them securely. Suppose there are items you can't remove easily, secure them properly. Use the proper storage compartments for the remaining items.
Combines are heavy. So, they may not go through regular roads, using alternative routes instead. These routes may include bumpy roads. Avoid damages from loose items moving around inside the combine by taking precautions.
Protecting the combine
Taking care of any loose items inside the combine is how you can protect the interior of your machine. But how about the exterior? Of course, you must secure your combine to the trailer with reliable tie-down systems. Choose heavy-duty binders, chains, and straps to prevent the combine from moving around.
Some combines have a detachable component, like a header or cutting platform. When transporting a combine, you may want to detach this piece. But secure it the same way you treat the main body of the machine.
Use any tools recommended by the manufacturer. Or listen to what the professional transporter suggests.
Finally, cover every part of the combine harvester. Use traps or protective covers on the engine, cab, and sensitive areas. This protects your combine from weather elements, dust, and debris on the road.
Choosing your trailer
Using specialized trailers is common for transporting combine harvesters. The first rule of thumb in choosing your trailer is to select one that can handle large and heavy machinery. There are a few options.
Flatbed trailers are typically used to move combines, but so are low-loader trailers.
Specialized trailers built to move heavy machinery may also have extra features. These features will usually make the loading (or unloading) faster. Hydraulic ramps, for example, are one of the standard additional features.
Any trailer with features that adjust the deck's width is ideal for transporting a combine harvester.
For more giant combine harvesters, you may need a removable gooseneck trailer. This type of trailer has a detachable front section for easy loading and unloading. It can be tilted and lowered as necessary.
Meanwhile, the deck height is lower, so it can facilitate tall and oversized equipment.
If the combine harvester is particularly gigantic and oversized, additional equipment may also become necessary. You may need a lifting device to load the combine, so find out if the trailer also has this extra feature.
If not, you may need to hire the required device, which can add to your budget considerably.
Transporting a combine harvester may not be the easiest thing. But our recommended steps may help you. Your best bet is to contact a professional transporter to help.
A transport company can instruct you on ideal routes and the official road guidelines.
On your part, start by measuring your machine accurately. It will help the professional movers to speed up the process. Draining the fluids and clearing out any personal and loose items are your next moves. And finally, protect your combine and choose the right trailer.
Trust your combine to A1 Auto Transport, experts at shipping combines and other heavy farm machinery. A1 Auto Transport can handle different types of combines for shipping and ensure they arrive safely. Get a free quote today to sort out all your transport needs.