John Deere Maintenance Monday: Preventing machinery fires
Fires can start many ways
Radio interview source: Chip Petrea, research specialist, Ag Safety and Health, University of Illinois
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Kevin in Illinois. He watched a neighbor's combine go up in flames during last fall's harvest, and wants to know how he can prevent the same thing from happening to his machinery.
Ag Research Specialist Chip Petrea at the University of Illinois says three things are needed to start a fire -- air, a heat source, and material to burn. And there are a number of ways a blaze can take hold.
"The engine or the transmission may have gotten too hot, and it could be that the material that's there has a low flammability, so it just doesn't take very much to start," Petrea says. "In other instances, it's been that a bearing has gone out, and if that bearing is in proximity to the accumulated matter and it throws off sparks, or the area around the bearing itself just gets so hot that it can ignite whatever it comes in contact with."
The operator may not even realize there's something smoldering, especially on machinery with engines on the back, like combines, because the smoke trails behind them.
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