In South Carolina, Farm Bureau Insurance has paid out more than $5.6 million over the last five years for fire losses to combines, cotton pickers and other farm equipment. The numbers are staggering and impact your cost to insure these expensive pieces of equipment.
Properly maintaining and cleaning farm equipment is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent an equipment fire. Caked-on grease, crop residue and oil accelerate a fire causing it to spread quickly. A fire that begins as a smoldering mass of trash or lint can become uncontrollable in as few as three minutes!
Here are some reminders to help prevent fires on the farm and may save you thousands of dollars in downtime and lost crops.
- Begin the harvest season with a clean machine. Once harvesting begins, conduct a thorough cleaning each day.
- Crop residue can build up quickly especially during dry conditions. Clean equipment periodically throughout the day. Most fires begin in the afternoon long after an early morning cleaning.
- 75 percent of all machinery fires start in the engine or engine compartment area so pay close attention to this area.
- Use a pressure washer to remove caked-on grease, crop residue and oil.
- Pay attention to trash and lint accumulation on or near components that can be very hot such as the transmission, belt drive, hydraulic components, engine manifold and exhaust systems.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
- Complete regular visual inspections for possible leaks, exposed electrical wiring or other signs of wear and tear. Keep an eye out for worn bearings, belts and chains.
- When refueling, allow equipment to cool and allow proper time for fumes to dissipate. Immediately wipe up any spills.
Download the complete equipment cleanliness and maintenance checklist to help prevent equipment fires.
Protect Your Equipment With South Carolina Farm Insurance
Farm Bureau Insurance was started to provide South Carolina farmers with affordable and dependable insurance. Our dedication to our local farmers has never wavered. Protect yourself from loss due to damage to your farm property or equipment with farm insurance from an insurer who is a part of your community.